When Butler boys basketball coach Cervantes Boddy sees Ronald Jones clean up misses at the glass or Marquis Leverette bravely driving in for the layup, he thinks that, just maybe, his Bulldogs are figuring it out.
On Saturday, Butler won its third game in a row, this time winning at Josey, 63-51.
“We’re not as good as people think we are. We’re a young ball club, but that’s not an excuse,” Boddy said. “Hopefully we’re getting there.”
Three players scored in double figures for the Bulldogs, as Don Coleman, Jones and Leverette all reached the mark. Coleman’s 20 points also led all players.
The Bulldogs, who lost 62-60 in overtime in December’s meeting, forced a split in the season series by getting better and closer looks than the Eagles.
Butler (8-6) took the lead for good early in the second period, but the Eagles stayed close until the final quarter. Though Charlee Greene drilled three 3-pointers on his way to 17 points for the Eagles, Jones’ putback for Butler started a 13-3 run to end the game.
In the opener, the Josey girls beat Butler 38-32 in overtime.
Both teams played sloppily for most of the game, with turnovers, missed free throws and blown layups leading to shaken heads by both coaches.
But Josey, which missed 32 of its 40 attempts at the foul line, found some consistency in overtime.
Debbie Gibson scored crucial points in the extra period, hitting a foul shot and then converting a close attempt after a steal to make it 33-30 Lady Eagles.
Josey (6-7) later got help from LaPorscha Wells when she saw her shot sit on the back rim for a few seconds before it fell in.
Wells scored a game-best 13 points in the win.
“Overtime gave us new life,” Josey coach Ann Jennings said. “We were flat and we were down. It revived them.”