Butler never trails in 35-27 girls hoops win over Knoch

Derek Pyda Eagle Staff Writer

December 04, 2023 Last Updated: December 04, 2023 09:14 AM Sports

Butler’s Amelia McMichael (with ball) drives the ball past Knoch’s Karlee Buterbaugh in the consolation game of the Armstrong Tip-Off Tournament at Armstrong High School Saturday. The Golden Tornado won the girls hoops game, 35-27. Justin Guido/Special to the Eagle

MANOR TWP, Armstrong County — After seeing his Butler girls basketball team salvage the consolation game of the Armstrong Tip-Off Tournament, Mark Maier was in a satisfied, if not jovial, mood.

"I'll take it," the Golden Tornado coach said following Saturday's 35-27 win over Knoch. "Knoch is a good team, strong on defense. We know who our starting five are. We're still working to figure out who girls six through 10 are, but that will come in time."

A day after turnovers led to a 55-47 loss to Kiski Area, the Tornado led throughout Saturday's contest and their own defensive effort negated the 15 turnovers they did have.

"We mixed in some man and zone," said Maier. "Knoch had some second-chance baskets, but I thought we played pretty well with our initial defense on possessions."

While points were a struggle for both teams, Butler junior Amelia McMichael scored a game-high 15 points, including three treys.

Knoch (0-2) cut Butler's lead to 16-13 when Naturelle Ewing drained a 3-pointer 30 seconds into the second half, but McMichael scored eight points in the third period to help keep the Tornado in the lead.

The Knights scored a combined 51 points in the two-day tournament. Naturelle Ewing and Neah Ewing both had eight points to lead the team's effort Saturday.

"The effort and the defense is there. It's always going to be there," said Knoch coach Shane McGraw. "We just need to find more offense. We were able to feed a bit off our defense today, but the offense will become more consistent. It will come and when it does, it will be by committee."

Sydney Patterson added nine points for Butler (1-1).

"One thing we need to determine is who is the next girl up when Amelia gets into foul trouble," Maier said.

Before opening section play against Highlands Dec. 18, the Knights have road contests against Mars (Tuesday), Hampton and Indiana.

"With those games, we feel we will be battle-tested going into section play," McGraw said.

Butler's boys and girls both play at Kiski Area on Thursday.

Butler 8 8 11 8 — 35

Knoch 2 8 8 9 — 27


Jessica Chwalik 0 1-2 1, Cameryn Booher 0 1-2 1, Sydney Patterson 1 7-10 9, Avery Maier 1 0-2 2, Amelia McMichael 6 0-0 15, Malina McElroy 1 0-0 3, Ashton Huff 2 0-0 4, Casey Clouse 0 0-0 0. Totals: 11 9-16 35.


Adah Fuller 2 0-2 4, Neah Ewing 3 0-0 8, CeCe Kosecki 1 0-4 2, Karlee Buterbaugh 1 0-0 2, Naturelle Ewing 3 0-0 8, Lauren Bowser 1 0-0 3, Abby Hawk 0 0-0 0. Totals: 11 0-6 27.

3-point goals: Butler 4 (McMichael 3, McElroy); Knoch 5 (Ne. Ewing 2, Na. Ewing 2, Bowser).

Tuesday: Knoch at Mars