Butler knocks off Josey twice to open new gym

Ronald Jones and Chris Washington had been in similar situations in practice, but this time it was a little different.


The two Butler basketball players combined to hit four foul shots in the final seconds to help the Bulldogs beat Josey, 58-55, Saturday evening as Butler opened its new gym with wins by both the boys and girls teams.

"We actually practice that a lot," Butler boys coach Cervantes Boddy said. "I try to get them in game situations."

The Bulldogs survived an Eagles surge in the fourth, as the visitors rallied from a 52-40 deficit to score 11 in a row.

Akeem Johnson then gave a hint of more solid free-throw shooting to come when he made a pair of foul shots to make it a three-point game.

After Butler got the ball back following Josey's Kyle Doyle scoring his 14th and final point with a 1 for 3 trip to the charity stripe, Jones missed his next foul shot but grabbed the miss prior to making his next two foul shots.

The Eagles' William Bentley answered by hitting a clutch 3-pointer with 4.9 seconds left to make it a one-point game, but two Washington free throws and a desperation, one-arm heave from about three-quarters court missed to give Butler the win. Johnson, Jones and Washington combined for 43 points in the victory.

Butler also had a gym dedication ceremony earlier in the day, with the school's principal, Gregory Thompson, cutting a black ribbon. Past and present basketball players were among those who watched. The school's cheerleaders, chorus, drum line and step team performed during the dedication at the gym, which suffered damage from a flood this past summer.

Thompson said the damage made the school think the gym wouldn't be ready until late this month or very early February.

But Butler finally got its home games, and with the girls team's 45-41 victory against Josey, thanks in part to Ashley Watts connecting on her seventh 3-pointer late.

"I sometimes get nervous, but I got to step up," Watts said.

The senior guard scored 27 points and made at least one 3 in every quarter as the Lady Bulldogs went up as much as 16.

Though the Lady Eagles rallied behind Shaniqua Sullivan's 21 points to get to 39-35, Watts then hit her final long-range shot.

Sullivan tried to keep the rally going and scored on a layup to make it a four-point game, but the home side dribbled out the final 14.8 seconds.

"It's big," Watts said about opening the gym with a win. "We talked about (playing in it) and it happened."

See more photos

See a gallery of photos from Saturday night's Josey-Butler matchups.


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