The boy’s basketball team clung to a 66-64 win over Butler on Tuesday night. After a tight game early on, the Crimsons used a 17-2 run in the second quarter and a 9-0 to start the third quarter with a 19 point lead. During the runs, Manual forced seven turnovers, and forced 12 in the first half. However, after the Crimsons lead 45-26 early in the third quarter, Butler began to chip away at the Crimson lead.
“Butler just played harder than us,” head coach Jimmy Just (Math) said. “They kept playing their game, which got them back into the game.”
Butler outscored Manual 38-21 during the remainder of the game. The Bears’ comeback effort came up short as the Crimsons hit seven of ten free throws to ice the game at the free throw line.
Even though Manual (6-0) held on to win, the team struggled to put away Butler (2-4).
“We were taking quick shots and we gave them [Butler] too many easy baskets on defense,” Jarrett Harness (12, #4) said. “Then they got momentum and their crowd got energized and they were back in the game.”
“We did not play well tonight,” Just said. “This was the worst game we have played all year. There were some things that we were doing earlier in the season that we have not been doing lately, but I think that it is just part of this team’s learning process.”
The Manual defense, which carried the Crimsons for the first half of the game, collapsed for the majority of the second half.
“We let [Butler] drive and get into the lane,” Harness said. “We didn’t guard the ball very well and our rotations were late which led to them getting easy buckets.”
Once Manual stopped forcing turnovers on the defensive side of the ball, the Crimson offense also became stagnant.
“We did not move the ball offensively,” Just said. “We were too complacent and we rushed shots.”
“We need to pass to the open man and not try to do everything by ourselves,” Harness said. “We need to play unselfish and pass the ball.”
Dwayne Sutton (12, #22) led the Crimsons with 22 points and 15 rebounds (Courier-Journal). Sutton is now averaging a double-double with 25.2 points per game and 11.5 rebounds per game.
Will Johnson paced Butler with 25 points (Courier-Journal), including a three at the buzzer to cut the Crimson lead to 2.
Even after the disappointing performance, Manual hopes to build on this game by not taking anything for granite.
“Tonight we learned that nothing will be given to us,” Harness said. “No one is going to give the game to us, we have to come and play hard every game.”