Tornado thrive in Wheeling
Quick turnaround no problem for Butler in runaway 78-46 win Saturday morning
WHEELING, W.Va. — Two games in two states, 14 hours apart.
Those were the odd numbers Butler's boys basketball team dealt with.
After defeating North Hills in an 8 p.m. home game Friday, the Golden Tornado headed to WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, W.Va., to take on Wheeling Central at 10 a.m. Saturday as part of the Cancer Research Classic.
“Our bus left the school at 6:45 (a.m.),” Butler coach Matt Clement said. “It was definitely a quick turnaround and a quirky part of our schedule.
“The kids could have said they were tired, come up with excuses not to play well, or they could go on the court and have fun playing basketball.”
The Tornado (7-4) clearly chose the latter, using an 18-0 run in the first half to run away from Wheeling Central, 78-46.
Butler trailed the Maroon Knights (8-3) 9-6 after Clayton Abate stuck back an offensive rebound with 3:40 left in the first quarter.
With 6:39 left in the first half, the Tornado had a 24-9 lead and cruised from there.
“We really played well,” Clement said. “We got into our offense quickly and ran the floor well.
“The biggest difference for us this year is defense. We've worked hard on it. Our JV's and our bench have turned up the intensity in practice and it's helped the entire team.
Devin Carney led Butler with 26 points, adding three assists. He was named Co-MVP of the game with teammate Ethan Morton.
Morton registered a triple-double, tallying 11 points, 11 assists and 13 rebounds. Mattix Clement scored 16 points, nine of them in the third quarter. Madden Clement, a freshman, sank three treys.
Morton got his 10th assist on a Clement lay-up on the first possession of the third quarter. Butler had a 64-34 lead through three periods.
“Ethan fell one assist short of a triple-double down here last year,” Coach Clement said. “We figured he needed one more assist to get it this time.
“I told him I'd leave him out there for our first possession. That was going to be it.”
Morton, who returned to Butler's lineup Friday night after missing three games with a sprained ankle, left Saturday's contest early in the fourth due to the lopsided score.
The Cancer Research Classic is an annual two-day event in Wheeling that brings in some of the best high school basketball teams in the country. A number of eventual NBA players have participated in the event.
Morton's triple-double was the second in the Cancer Research Classic's history. The other was turned in by Miles Bridges, now with the NBA's Charlotte Hornets.
J.C. Maxwell led Wheeling Central with 17 points. Abate had six points and eight rebounds.
“This was a good showing by us,” Clement said. “It gives us some momentum leading into the Pine-Richland game (Tuesday). They are always one of the best in the WPIAL and it will take a great effort to beat them.”
Devin Carney 26, Mattix Clement 16, Ethan Morton 11, Charlie Kreinbucher 4, Mason Montag 4, Madden Clement 9, David Leslie 2, Austin Rodgers 2, Logan Kogler 2, Raine Gratzmiller 2.
WHEELING CENTRAL 46
J.C. Maxwell 17, Avery Lee 4, Ryan Reasbeck 5, Clayton Abate 6, Kaden Yocum 2, Caleb Ratcliffe 3.
Butler 21 17 26 14 — 78
Wheeling Central9 10 15 12 — 46
3-point goals: Mad. Clement 3, Carney 3, Mat. Clement 2; Reasbeck 2, Maxwell, Ratcliffe