The Butler fans roared with approval after every Don Coleman drive, every Ron Jones rebound and every clutch basket.
Like their cheering fans, the Bulldog players were happy with the final result gained from those efforts.
But besides a few fist pumps immediately after the win, there wasn’t much celebrating in the open – Butler knows this isn’t the end.
Still, Butler beat Glenn Hills 72-61 on Friday night in the Bulldogs’ packed and loud gym.
It was Butler’s second win against the Spartans this season, with the setbacks Glenn Hills’ only two losses. The win also gave the Bulldogs the top spot out of the subregion heading into the region tournament.
“ ‘Enjoy it, but (today), we’re right back at it,’ ” Butler coach Cervantes Boddy said, summarizing his desired post-game message to his team.
The Bulldogs (15-8 overall, 8-2 in 3B-AAAA) were led by Coleman’s 25 points. The guard was relentless in taking his dribble to the hoop, even when he had four fouls.
In the fourth quarter, Coleman scored nine consecutive team points as the Bulldogs went from down a point to up six after Coleman’s individual run.
Teammate Jones was also a force inside, using nice moves to score and get boards. Jones had 14 points and 16 rebounds, leaving him just one rebound shy of 1,000 in his career.
Earlier, Glenn Hills (22-2, 8-2) battled after it trailed by as much as 14 in the first half. A Santo Nina 3-pointer started the push and the Spartans defense stayed strong in the third period during the rally attempt.
Eventually, Glenn Hills took a lead, but its one-point edges never lasted long, with Coleman’s drives a difference.
Glenn Hills did win the girls game, 37-25, with the defense controlling play.
The Lady Spartans picked up their third subregion victory with the result, thanks to the defense often ending Butler’s offensive possessions with steals.
Some of those led to quick points, as Airelle Richards slapped the ball down by sticking out an arm before she scored a layup with no Lady Bulldog near her. She had a dozen points in the game.
“We played better defense at times,” Lady Spartans coach Bernard Bowman said. “We created offense by playing defense.”