Butler takes a big step

Video highlights from the from the second-half of the girl's Harlem at Butler basketball game.
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Butler and Harlem aren't supposed to be playing a girls basketball game this meaningful this late in the season.

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Butler point guard Ashley Watts drives past Harlem's Mary Anne Davignon. Watts led Butler with 18 points in the win.  Chris Thelen/Staff
Chris Thelen/Staff
Butler point guard Ashley Watts drives past Harlem's Mary Anne Davignon. Watts led Butler with 18 points in the win.

They're probably not supposed to play one this good.

"People look at our past," Butler senior Ebonie Harris said, "and think we aren't any good."

Both teams took a step toward earning respect Tuesday with a contest that had the intensity of a postseason game.

Butler -- a school that has made one state playoff trip this decade -- turned back Harlem, 52-48, in overtime. The game was a matchup of teams that entered with 6-0 Region 3-AAAA records.

Butler (10-2, 7-0), which let a double-digit lead dissolve in the third quarter, scored the first 12 points of the fourth quarter. Butler then allowed Harlem to force overtime by losing a six-point lead in the final two minutes of regulation.

Butler went ahead for good with 2:25 left in overtime on Harris' 17-footer.

"So many times we could have crumbled," Butler coach Keisha Stewart said.

Butler sophomore point guard Ashley Watts scored a team-high 18 points and handled the ball with command that belied her youth. Meka Carter (16) and Harris (10) also scored in double figures.

"Ever since I've been here we've been trying to build a program," said Stewart, in her fourth season. "We're not at the top yet, but we took a big step.

"This program still has a ways to go."

Sophomore Ebony Wells scored 24 points for Harlem (10-1, 6-1), which entered the game having defeated all but one of its opponents by at least 20 points. Nicole Wells' layup with 13 seconds remaining forced overtime.

Harlem -- which endured a three-year stretch earlier this decade that included no region wins -- took the lead on the first possession of overtime on Ebony Wells bucket. Harlem wouldn't score again until 1.3 seconds remained.

Butler shot 12 free throws in overtime (converting six) and was never threatened after Harlem point guard Chancellor Martin (10 points) fouled out with 1:55 left.

Reach Matt Middleton at (706) 823-3425 or matt.middleton@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (15) Add comment
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jshiver15
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jshiver15 01/07/09 - 03:37 am
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It's good to see Harlem is

It's good to see Harlem is playing well again like they did nearly 10 years ago when Brooke Moore and Shavon Holdon dominated the region.

Must have something to do with the coach.

cottoncandy16
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cottoncandy16 01/07/09 - 08:11 am
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BUTLER BULLDOGS!!!!! NO. 1

BUTLER BULLDOGS!!!!! NO. 1 in the Region..... Good job girls!

wise ole man
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wise ole man 01/07/09 - 10:57 am
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No coach- just talented

No coach- just talented girls.

dale88fan
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dale88fan 01/07/09 - 11:22 am
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I am shocked to see white

I am shocked to see white kids at Butler !

givitup
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givitup 01/07/09 - 11:42 am
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Great Game....... Good job

Great Game.......
Good job Coach Stewart
Congratulations Butler. Can not wait to see the next match up!!!!

cottoncandy16
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cottoncandy16 01/07/09 - 12:20 pm
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dale88fan: who is the white

dale88fan: who is the white kids you saw?

been-in-the-game-4-awhile
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been-in-the-game-4-awhile 01/07/09 - 02:24 pm
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you call harlem coach a good

you call harlem coach a good coach(pe teacher from sego) three of the best girls in the region (just-talented huh) and you know basketball wise-ole-man

been-in-the-game-4-awhile
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been-in-the-game-4-awhile 01/07/09 - 02:27 pm
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i did'nt harlem had black

i did'nt harlem had black kids on their team (a r.. ...k) school baseball / softball HARLEM DO WHAT YOU DO BEST LEAVE BASKETBALL TO THE BLACK KIDS AKA NIGGAS

wise ole man
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wise ole man 01/07/09 - 03:33 pm
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Played college basketball so

Played college basketball so yeah i know basketball. I've seen HHS play several times since Slagle took over- never called her a good coach-not much coaching from the bench- doesn't know when to call time out and gain control of the game. She's lucky this year. See her accomplishments next year when she has to rebuild her team. Did not mean to undermine the abilities of these girls. The starting 3 can play for anyone and be stellar-imagine them playing for Hephzabah- Lofton would be undefeated. These girls are top prospect for any college team. Someone needs to call ole Andy at UGA and tell him about them- he could use some help.

nino512
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nino512 01/07/09 - 03:50 pm
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have they fired there

have they fired there football coach yet

givitup
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givitup 01/07/09 - 05:30 pm
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Coaching girls involves

Coaching girls involves coaching and being a good example. Something that many coaches fail at, but Slagle is a good coach. Lofton had to start from somewhere. He has had plenty of talent over the years, but he has many times kept his starters in to "stomp out" a team. Is that good coaching? Harlem has 5 starters and multiple girls that come off the bench and add to the winning. Anybody can coach girls that have talent, but try inspiring girls that "just love the game". Many of them Love and respect the game. Slagle seems to love the playerws as well as the game. They respect her and that is why they continue to improve. Now everybody want to coach Harlem. They will learn to modify there game to the court that they play on. Keep up the good defense GIRLS. "Pressure bust pipes"!!!!

harlem08
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harlem08 01/07/09 - 07:16 pm
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this was the best match up in

this was the best match up in a long time i cant wait to watch the next match up when they come to the dawg house

jff
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jff 01/07/09 - 07:57 pm
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the talent the harlem girls

the talent the harlem girls have.i have not seen in about 20 years.this could be a special year for the program.

Searching 4 the facts
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Searching 4 the facts 01/07/09 - 08:22 pm
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(CNN) -- The officer involved

(CNN) -- The officer involved in a New Year's Day shooting that left a passenger dead in a crowded Oakland, California, subway station resigned Wednesday, a Bay Area Rapid Transit spokesman said.

Oscar Grant, 22, was killed January 1 in a shooting at a subway station in California's Bay Area.

BART spokesman Linton Johnson said in a statement that the officer's attorney and his union representative submitted the resignation at a meeting Wednesday morning with BART police investigators. The officer was going to be at the meeting but did not show up, Johnson said.

The resignation was effective immediately.

Shortly before the funeral for the passenger, 22-year-old Oscar Grant, Johnson said the officer had received death threats.

The BART officer fatally shot Grant in the back after he and some friends were pulled from a train car following a report of an altercation, according to a BART statement.

jshiver15
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jshiver15 01/10/09 - 03:14 am
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been-in-the-game-4-awhile, my

been-in-the-game-4-awhile, my reference was to their past coaches. One is in prison right now and the other is coaching a poor performing boy's team.

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