After serving as the assistant girls basketball coach under Sylvester Rosier at Butler for the last couple of years, Lisa White wanted nothing more than to beat her former boss in her coaching debut at Cross Creek Tuesday night.
Butler's Lady Bulldogs built a big lead early, then held on in the fourth quarter to post a 59-45 victory, spoiling Cross Creek's inaugural game.
In the boys game, the Razorbacks stood toe-to-toe with Butler for three quarters, but Butler's experience won out in the end as the Bulldogs took a 60-53 win.
White was the Lady Bulldogs' assistant coach until she got an opportunity this year to build Cross Creek's program from the ground up.
"I was a little nervous at first because I knew what type of girls they (Butler) had," White said. "He (Rosier) gave me my first chance (at coaching basketball) and I wanted to prove to him that he taught me well. I should have showed him more tonight."
Butler (1-0) took advantage of Cross Creek's inexperience early in the game and eventually built leads as high as 28 points in the second half. Leslie Jenkins' layup gave the Lady Bulldogs ther biggest lead of the night at 49-21 with 7:33 left in the game.
However, Cross Creek chipped at the lead, using a 16-8 run over the next 4:35 to trim the lead to 55-37 with 3:18 left to play on a 3-point basket from Shannon Crawford. Two free throws and a basket each from Alycia Rodger and Dameka Adams cut the lead to 55-43 with 2:14 left.
After a Butler timeout, the Lady Bulldogs' full court press generated three straight turnovers and a basket each from Niaka Tanksley and Tanisha Green that pushed Butler's lead back to 16 points.
In the boys game, Butler shot a blistering 55 percent from the floor in the final period while taking advantage of four Cross Creek turnovers to seal the victory.
Trailing 25-21 to start the third quarter, Rodney Johnson's three-pointer tied the game at 27-27, but the Razorbacks never got closer than two points the rest of the night. The Bulldogs used a 6-0 run over the next 2:42 to grab a 33-27, keyed by two jump shots from Robert Francis.
Butler built its biggest lead of the night at 51-40 on a free throw from Willie Green with 3:45 left. However, Cross Creek rallied to cut the lead to four points following an underhanded lay-in and two free throws from Thomas Mims.
That was close as they would get. Butler hit six straight free throws down the stretch to ice the game.
"We had some bad turnovers that come from the first game," said Cross Creek coach Ron McKie. "I didn't think we looked that sloppy except during the part where they started running away from us (in second half). I really didn't know what to expect in our first game here. Of course Butler was in the same boat, but they have a really good team."