Butler dunks, shoots its was to blowout victory
Eagle Sports Editor
BUTLER TWP — Ambridge coach Mark Jula knew he wasn't going to employ a man-to-man defense against
He didn't know how well the Golden Tornado can shoot the basketball.
“Play man against that team and the (Ethan) Morton kid will kill you,” Jula admitted. “When you back into a zone, you give up shots.
“I didn't realize those kids could shoot like that. I do now.”
Butler had eight players combine for 14 treys while running away from the Bridgers, 71-47, Friday night for its third consecutive victory.
“We missed our first five shots from out there and still finished 14 of 28 from behind the arc,” Butler coach Matt Clement said. “That makes that percentage look even better.
“When Jason Gray gets involved hitting from out there, we can really get rolling.”
Gray hit four treys in the contest, scoring 14 points. He hit two of those shots in a third quarter that saw the Tornado (3-1) outscore Ambridge 22-11.
Butler's lead peaked at 65-33 when Gray dunked the ball to conclude a fast-break with 7:23 left in the game. The Tornado led 38-22 at halftime and scored the first nine points of the third period.
Gray's dunk was Butler's third of the night. Ethan Morton and Tyler Frederick slammed down shots earlier.
“That's probably the first time ever that Butler had three different guys dunk in the same game,” Clement said.
Jula felt the frustration.
“They are tough to defend. It's like, pick your poison,” he said. “I wish we could have competed better, but we're young and they're awfully good.”
Freshman point guard Morton paced the Tornado with 18 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Frederick had 12 points and six boards despite not playing at all in the final quarter.
“Ethan can sense things on the floor,” Clement said. “He had an open look to shoot a three, yet saw Jason Gray open in the corner and fed it to him.
“He knew it was important to get Jason going in this game.”
Jula raved about the Tornado freshman as well.
“He's got court sense, he can read the floor, shoot the ball and he gets everyone involved,” Jula said. “It seems his teammates are already looking at him as a steadying influence.
“All that and he's 6-foot-5. That's quite a point guard they're going to have around for the next four years.”
Nick Campalong paced Ambridge with 17 points and three steals while Matt Pupich had 14 points. Butler had a commanding 31-20 edge in rebounding.
“Rebounding is heart and playing physical,” Jula said. “We need to grow a little bit And get more physical. But our post player is a sophomore.”
While Butler has won three straight games, it has yet to play a section contest. That comes Tuesday night at North Hills.
“People are picking us to lose that game,” Clement said. “You have to gain respect to get respect. We've only won twice down there in my seven years here.
“Preseason wins are nice, but the next game is when it really counts.”
Tay Lindsey 2-7 1-1 5, Monterrey Carpenter 0-1 0-0 0, Nick Campalong 4-8 9-9 17, Aaron Hilzendeger 2-9 0-0 6, Matt Pupich 5-6 1-2 14, Iendae King 0-3 0-0 0, Ante Cvitkovic 0-0 3-4 3, Noah Campalong 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 14-35 14-16 47.
Luke Michalek 2-3 0-0 5, Andrew Yonker 2-3 0-0 6, Jace Stutz 1-5 0-0 3, Ian McCarrier 1-3 0-0 3, Jason Gray 5-7 0-0 14, Tyler Frederick 4-4 4-6 12, Connor Ollio 3-5 0-1 7, Ethan Morton 6-10 3-3 18, Cade Negley 0-1 0-0 0, Joel Stutz 1-6 0-0 3, Jefferson Ford 0-1 0-0 0, Phil Vandegrift 0-1 0-0 0, Luke Patten 0-1 0-0 0, Isaish Scribner 0-0 0-2 0. Totals: 25-50 7-13 71.
Ambridge 14 8 11 14 — 47
Butler23 15 22 11 — 71
3-point goals: Hilzendecker 2, Pupich 3; Michalek, Yonker 2, Ja. Stutz, McCarrier, Gray 4, Ollio, Morton 3, Jo. Stutz
JV: Butler, 60-37 (B: Pat McLachlan 14, Tarick Taoufik 13; A: Noah Carpalong 14