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Butler reaches Final Four


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COLUMBUS, Ga. --- Drew has the word defense printed across the upper middle of its shorts.

Team page: Butler Bulldogs

But it was Butler that came out playing lockdown defense Saturday in the Georgia High School Association Class AAA quarterfinals at Columbus State.

The Bulldogs (24-7) held the Titans (16-10) to 17 first-half points and kept them at bay throughout the second half for a 54-47 win. The Bulldogs have allowed more than 50 points just twice in their past eight games.

"They are going to play defense and rebound," Butler coach Cervantes Boddy said, "or they are going to come help me coach. Defense wins games, but defense and rebounding wins championships."

Butler will play in its fourth Final Four ever and first since losing to Mays in overtime in the 2004 Class AAAA championship game.

The Bulldogs will take on Franklin County, who defeated Carrollton 64-54, at 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Macon Centreplex.

Dan Lambert led the Bulldogs with 17 points, and Chris Washington added 12, but Ronald Jones provided the most timely points of the night.

The sophomore scored eight of his 10 points in the fourth quarter, with all stopping Drew runs.

After leading by 15 at the half, Butler's lead started to evaporate when it scored only six points in the third quarter.

Drew finished the third quarter on a 7-0 run, but Jones stopped the stretch with a layup to start the fourth.

After the Titans pulled to within 41-38, Jones followed with back-to-back baskets to provide some breathing room.

"I looked at the scoreboard and knew somebody had to step up." Jones said. "I just tried to get to the basket and get us going."

Jones stepped up one more time later in the fourth quarter with a basket after the Titans pulled to within four points with 2:34 to play.

"We needed someone to step up, and he did it," Boddy said. "If we lose, it's over. He answered the call."

Drew got as close as four following a layup by Barry Mayes with 1:49 to play.

Washington answered with a pair of free throws, and Lambert provided further cushion with a steal and breakaway layup with 41 seconds to play to put the Bulldogs up eight.

Butler has won eight in a row since a two-point loss to Glenn Hills on Feb. 4. The loss to the Spartans was a third loss in five games, with two of those coming in overtime.

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zeketheman 03/06/11 - 03:25 am
Keep the guys focused Nupe

Keep the guys focused Nupe one more then take it back to Augusta

carrolleboddy@yahoo.com 03/06/11 - 06:07 am

CONGRATS, guys, you REALLY made us PROUD!!!

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