Only the scoreboard counts in Butler's 38-27 girls hoop win
By Mike Kilroy
Eagle Staff Writer
BUTLER TWP — A win isn't graded on how aesthetically pleasing it is to the eyes.
A win is simply a win.
And the Butler girls basketball team will take it.
Sometimes winning ugly has a purpose, as the Golden Tornado did in a 38-27 victory over Knoch in the first round of the Butler Christmas Tournament Wednesday night.
“Every game's not going to be hitting 13 3s,” said Butler coach Joe Lewandowski. “We always talk about this. This isn't an art class. You're not graded on your work of art. It doesn't have to look good. At the end of the day, you're graded on the scoreboard.”
Early on, the Golden Tornado looked to be painting another masterpiece.
Butler (5-2) stormed out to a 21-5 lead with Kylee Lewandowski knocking down three 3-pointers for a quick 13 points.
But Knoch (1-6) closed the half on a 10-0 run and went into the break down just 21-15.
“Those are the ones you have to win,” Coach Lewandowski said. “You have to find a way to win, to pull through when everything isn't going your way, when teams are taking things away from you. We started out rolling early.”
That hole Butler dug for the Knights proved to be too deep for them to crawl out of.
“We talked in there about playing four quarters,” said Knoch coach Chris Andreassi. “We're getting there.”
Gabby Fennell and Casey Kretzer each hit two big 3s to get Knoch back into the game during the 10-0 run at the end of the second quarter, but the Knights began the third period like they began the game — in a funk.
Butler rolled off nine straight points to start the second half and build its lead to 30-15.
“We have a slow start in the first quarter and a slow start in the third quarter,” Andreassi said. “The scoreboard reflects all four quarters. As soon as we overcome those slow starts, I think we can be a tough team to beat.
“We just have to keep working,” Andreassi added. “You keep working and you come every day to work with the intention of getting better until it eventually comes together.”
Kylee Lewandowski led all players with 13 points. Mia Rader added eight for Butler, including a big 3-pointer late that gave the Golden Tornado a 10-point lead again.
Alyssa Eyth and Jenna Kunst also added seven points.
Kunst had eight rebounds, four steals and four assists.
“First of all, let's give Knoch credit,” Joe Lewandowski said. “They competed. They're well-coached. They executed offensively and defensively. It's a battle and that's what it's going to be.”
While Butler's offense struggled a bit, the defense was once again a constant.
Fennell paced Knoch with eight points and Fraser added seven.
“We limited them most of the time to one shot,” Coach Lewandowski said. “When you can do that, you can win a lot of basketball games.”
Butler will take on Montour in the championship game at 6:30 p.m. today.
Knoch will square off against Allderdice in the consolation game. Tip-off is 5 p.m.
Kayla Grafton 1-5 0-1 3, Gabby Fennell 2-7 2-2 8, Emily Fraser 3-10 0-2 7, Carly Burdett 2-5 0-0 4, Casey Kretzer 1-4 2-2 5, Anna Neff 0-2 0-0 0, Sabine O'Rorke 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 9-33 4-7 27.
Audrey Hilliard 0-0 1-2 1, Mia Rader 3-5 0-0 8, Alyssa Eyth 3-4 1-1 7, Kylee Lewandowski 5-8 0-0 13, Jenna Kunst 2-6 3-6 7, Julia Gibson 1-2 0-0 2, Nicole Pepmeyer 0-1 0-0 0, Morgan Gage 0-1 0-0 0, Jordan Kaufman 0-0 0-0 0, Sydney Hanratty 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-27 5-9 38.
Knoch 5 10 5 7 — 27
Butler13 8 11 6 — 38
3-point goals: Knoch 5 (Grafton, Fennell 2, Fraser, Kretzer); Butler 5 (Rader 2, Lewandowski 3)