Don Coleman received the outlet pass and had the break. He could have passed the ball or drove with it, as he had done before.
There was no doubt, however. He was feeling it from deep, and it was time for another.
Coleman scored 21 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter as the Butler boys basketball team beat Laney 75-57 on Saturday night in the final game of the 100 Black Men of Augusta’s Thanksgiving Basketball Classic at Richmond Academy.
“I had to turn it on for my team,” Coleman said. “I just couldn’t let my team down.”
Coleman drilled six 3-pointers and made 12 of his 13 foul shots in the game, with his huge fourth quarter giving the Bulldogs 36 points in the fourth. Butler (2-0) went on a 33-11 run to take command.
The fourth-quarter explosion came after Butler had been up only 39-38 through three quarters. Laney took the lead early in the fourth quarter when Curtis Hightower scored inside to make it 40-39.
But Marquis Leverett, who had 21 points, hit a 3-pointer, and then Coleman took over. He routinely went to the foul line and also atoned for a rare mistake when he had to do so. After a bad shot, Coleman got the rebound and scored while being fouled. The three-point play pushed Butler’s lead to double figures, and it got only worse for Laney.
That wasn’t the case in the opening stages, as the Wildcats scored the first seven points with great ball movement. Quentin Hall also got into a rhythm from long range, making three first-half 3-pointers on his way to 15 points.
But the Bulldogs grabbed a slim lead in the second quarter and kept it close before Coleman took off.
“I haven’t seen a player with the same gift as Don work as hard as he does,” Butler coach Cervantes Boddy said. “A lot of times, he’s the last one on the gym. Now he’s trying to dunk.”