Aquinas will savor the win for a just a bit. The follow-up is next.
With Ahmed Hill hitting fadeaways and Tamyrick Fields boxing out for boards, the Aquinas boys basketball team beat Butler 71-63 on Saturday night at Evans High School in the ABR Tip Off. The teams play again Friday at Richmond Academy in the 100 Black Men of Augusta Classic.
“I told them to enjoy the win quickly, because I know they’re coming back ready,” Aquinas coach Bernie Norris said.
The Irish (2-0) used a 17-2 third-quarter run to pull away from the Bulldogs.
Hill was the main scorer, hitting a pair of 3-pointers in the game but also providing highlights with two dunks in the third quarter. On his second slam, Hill weaved through the defense to get 13 points in the quarter.
Fields was a consistent presence near the rim, getting 18 tough rebounds as he earned fouls or easy scores close. Fields’ 17 points put him second on the team.
“He does the dirty work,” Norris said. “He gets in there and mixes it up. He’s the one that takes care of those boards. It makes it a whole lot easier for us.”
From the other bench, Butler’s Don Coleman scored 28 points as he tried to save the Bulldogs.
With his team trailing 60-44 early in the final quarter, Coleman hustled on his own missed 3, got the rebound and scored on the second chance. Coleman ended up scoring nine consecutive Butler points, but Aquinas never allowed the Bulldogs to get closer than five points in the final period.
Aquinas’ foul shooting was a factor, considering the Irish made 25 free throws to Butler’s seven. The ball was also in Hill’s hands in key spots as the point guard. Hill is trying to be the veteran leader with his new supporting cast.
“I ran it most of the summer in AAU. It’s been pretty good,” Hill said about handling point duties. “I’m trying to get ready for next year and I’m trying to get my team involved.”