Butler basketball rallies to beat Richmond Academy

Butler 68, Richmond Academy 56



All the excitement and momentum could have been gone in only two days.

The Butler boys basketball team, fresh off handing Glenn Hills its first loss of the season Wednesday, was in trouble. But the Bulldogs’ pressure became powerful and Butler sped away late to beat Richmond Academy, 68-56,
on Friday night at Butler.

“I told them, ‘Wednesday means nothing if you lose tonight,’ ” Bulldogs coach Cervantes Boddy said. “ ‘It will be considered a fluke.’ ”

Down nine entering the fourth quarter, Butler played possessed. With the defense getting steals, the Bulldogs scored 14 points in less than two minutes to go ahead for good. The 14-point barrage matched the entire third-quarter total.

Don Coleman was usually the thief on steals and the finisher, scoring 14 of his game-best 29 points in the last quarter. Coleman, who made 13 consecutive foul shots in the game, was relentless in driving to the rim as he followed up his 39-point performance against the Spartans with another huge act Friday.

Teammate Ron Jones was also big in the fourth, when he put up nine of his 14 points.

Richmond Academy tried to stop the spurt, but a Moses Lewis 3-pointer was only a temporary fix. His 3-pointer made it 57-56 Butler, but the Bulldogs closed by scoring the last 11 points. Much of the damage came at the free-throw line, where the Bulldogs made 28 shots – Richmond Academy attempted only eight.

The defense was again the catalyst late in the game. On one play, Jones stole the ball by jumping in front of the pass. But instead of taking time and passing the ball with two hands, Jones immediately tipped the ball ahead to Marquis Leverette, who got in the bucket.

The strong finish followed the Musketeers’ impressive start. Richmond Academy led at the end of the second and third quarters as Tony Daggett hit three 3-pointers in the third. At the same time, Devon Williams was tough on drives during a 19-9 stretch that lasted most of the quarter.

But Coleman and the Bulldogs weren’t done, and the guard said Friday’s rally was sparked
by not wanting to waste Wednesday’s statement victory.

“We came out sluggish,” Coleman said. “But we just fed off that game.”