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Late arrival doesn't hinder Butler

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At halftime of their lopsided Region 3-AAAA quarterfinal win over Evans on Wednesday, Butler's girls basketball players didn't retreat to the locker room.

With some help from teammate Sheli Williams (middle), Evans' McKenzie Bourne comes down with a rebound. Butler routed Evans to advance to the region semis.   Corey Perrine/Staff
Corey Perrine/Staff
With some help from teammate Sheli Williams (middle), Evans' McKenzie Bourne comes down with a rebound. Butler routed Evans to advance to the region semis.

TEAM PAGE: Butler Bulldogs

They instead remained on the floor to practice shooting. The team's bus picked the players up an hour late, and they arrived at Richmond Academy about 15 minutes before the game.

"We basically got dressed and had to go play," said coach Keisha Stewart, whose second- seeded team raced to a 21-point halftime lead mostly on layups created by its fullcourt pressure defense. "Our shots weren't really falling in the first half. I thought we could use some extra time."

Butler pummeled surprise quarterfinalist Evans 71-24 despite a poor shooting game, clinching its third consecutive state playoff appearance. The Bulldogs will meet third-seeded Glenn Hills at 4 p.m. Friday in a semifinal.

Butler scored 10 of the first 12 points and allowed only four first-quarter points. Shameka Carter's layup midway through the second quarter gave the Bulldogs their first lead of at least 20 points. They beat Evans for the third time this season by at least 20 points. Liz Grissom led all scorers with 23 points, and neither team made a 3-pointer.

No. 10 Evans upset seventh-seeded Richmond Academy a night earlier, the Knights' only win over an opponent other than Harlem this season.

"They gave it a good shot (Tuesday), and I think that took a lot out of them," said Evans coach Timothy Whitfield, whose team was playing its third game in four days after advancing to the quarterfinals from the play-in game.

"But don't take anything away from Butler. ... We just didn't do the things we did the other night."

GLENN HILLS 51, GROVETOWN 32

Jessica Morton scored 21 points as Glenn Hills avoided an upset to clinch a state- tournament berth.

"Anyone in Augusta can beat anyone else on a given night," coach Bernard Bowman said. "So of course we were worried about them."

Of the three teams that finished tied for first in the region, the third-seeded Spartans got the worse seed by virtue of a three-way coin toss. It hardly mattered.

Glenn Hills led by 15 at halftime and had doubled Grovetown's score by the end of the third period. Glenn Hills led by at least 11 points the entire second half.

Glenn Hills "played like they knew was on the line," said Grovetown coach Jamie Echols, whose team grabbed only 14 first-half rebounds.

Six-seeded Grovetown concluded its inaugural season 10-16. The Warriors played the entire year without junior Georgia Tech recruit Ebony Wells (torn ACL).

"The future is bright here," Echols said.

Marianne Davingon scored 13 points to lead Grovetown.

HEPHZIBAH 56, WESTSIDE 34

The top-seeded Rebels won their 10th consecutive game, but it didn't come without a scare.

Hephzibah had beaten Westside 84-23 only 18 days ago, yet trailed 14-10 after the first quarter and by 10 points with 77 seconds left in the first half. Hephzibah, however, scored the last four points of the half and outproduced the Patriots 24-3 in the third quarter.

Tiffani Harrison scored 18 points to lead Hephzibah, which gained the lead for good with 5:39 left in the third quarter. All but four of Harrison's points came in that period.

"We underestimated them," coach Wendell Lofton said. "They came to play and are playing really good ball right now."

Freshman Jewel Sturgis scored 17 points, including three 3-pointers for No. 8 Westside.


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