Butler defense triggers 71-56 hoop win
Tornado force 15 turnovers in middle 2 quarters vs. SA
PETERS TWP — You can't score if you can't hold on to the ball.
Sewickley Academy lived that frustration Saturday afternoon at Peters Township in dropping a 71-56 boys basketball decision to Butler in the second round of the Allegheny Health Network Tip-Off Tournament.
When Isiah Warfield drained his second trey late in the first quarter, the Panthers had an 18-14 lead.
Then the Golden Tornado (2-0) started taking the ball away.
Sewickley Academy (0-2) turned the ball over 15 times in the middle two quarters. Butler turned it over twice in that same stretch. The result was an 11-0 Tornado run during the second quarter and a 50-39 Butler lead through three periods.
The Panthers never got the deficit out of double digits in the final quarter.
“Their defense really gave us trouble,” Sewickley coach Win Palmer said. “They have a lot of athletic kids with long arms.”
Butler coach Matt Clement said the physical attributes of his roster convinced him to employ more zone defense this season.
“We're going to have to play some man to be successful down the road,” Clement said. “But we do have so much length out there, we have to take advantage of it.”
The Tornado also took advantage of an unselfish offense while defeating the defending WPIAL Class 2A champions. Butler had 14 assists on its 22 field goals.
“That's a good percentage, especially when Ethan (Morton) scores so much himself,” Clement said.
Morton tallied 28 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds and four steals Saturday. Freshman guard Devin Carney scored 13 points — hitting three treys — and senior Isiah Scribner scored a career-high 12 points.
Luke Patten contributed seven points, six rebounds, four steals and a pair of assists in the win.
“We want to be able to spread the floor since we've got so many shooters,” Morton said. “If I can penetrate and dish it back out, I'm gonna do it because I trust those guys.”
Butler sank seven treys Saturday. Besides Carney, Mattix Clement (2), Patten and Mason Montag struck from long range.
“We hasve to trust our shooters because that's who we are,” Coach Clement said.
Scribner proved effective down low, however, sinking five layups.
“My role on the team is basically the same it's always been, but I do feel like it's my responsibility to work myself open down there,” Scribner said. “Ethan sees the entire floor so well and always knows where everyone is.
“I have to be alert (along the baseline) because I never know when the ball's coming my way.”
Morton lauded Scribner's efforts.
“He's doing a great job of working himself free and giving us another dimension offensively,” Morton said.
Morton sank 16 of 18 free throws in the contest.
Nate Ridgeway paced Sewickley Academy with 23 points, five rebounds and four assists. Warfield had 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
They are the lone starters back for the Panthers from last season.
“Butler did a good job of taking those two guys away when they had to,” Palmer said.
Warfield scored 12 of his 21 points in the first quarter.
Sewickley Academy played North Catholic — considered one of the top teams in the WPIAL — in the first game of this tournament.
“That's what we wanted,” Palmer said. “Play quality competition early. That's how you get better.”
Devin Carney 4-13 2-2 13, Mattix Clement 2-5 0-0 6, Dom McCowan 0-2 0-0 0, Luke Patten 3-4 0-2 7, Charles Kreinbucher 1-1 0-0 2, Mason Montag 1-2 0-0 3, Ethan Morton 6-15 16-18 28, Isiah Scribner 5-6 2-2 12. Totals: 22-48 20-24 71.
SEWICKLEY ACADEMY 56
John Delvecchio 0-3 0-0 0, Isiah Warfield 8-11 2-4 21, Rees Blaylock 2-4 1-1 5, George Zheng 0-0 0-0 0, Max Belt 1-5 0-0 3, Cole Knelick 0-0 0-0 0, Donald Belt 2-7 0-0 4, Nate Ridgeway 8-13 6-8 23. Totals: 21-53 9-14 56.
Butler 19 15 16 21 — 71
Sewickley Acad.18 11 10 17 — 56
3-point goals: Carney 3, Clement 2, Patten, Montag; Warfield 3, M.Belt, Ridgeway
JV: Butler, 57-49 (B: Charles Kreinbucher 17, Raine Gratzmiller 16; SA: Sal Laure 15, Dee Walker 15