Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Butler upsets Myers Park in Southwestern 4A tournament

Butler pulled off the first upset of the conference tournament season in the first game.

Playing in the opening game of the boys' Southwestern 4A tournament Tuesday, the Bulldogs beat Myers Park 57-51. Butler hadn't beaten Myers Park in three years. The Bulldogs must win the conference tournament to make the state playoffs next week.

"It was good to win," Butler coach Kurt Wessler said. "We put ourselves in a situation where we've got to win. We closed out today and I loved what I saw today in the locker room: People holding up the No. 1 sign, but it wasn't 'Hey we're No. 1.' It was, 'This is the first (win) and we've got to get two more.' And there's no pressure on us. We just want to go out and play."

Butler led 27-25 at halftime and the game was tied at 41 at the end of the third quarter.

Butler (9-15) was the No. 5 seed in the conference. Myers Park (14-9) was No. 4.

Butler junior guard Marcus Burton hit 7-of-8 free throws in the fourth quarter and finished with 15 points. Junior guard Anthony Stitt had 23 points, including three 3-point shots. Center Aerris Smith had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Myers Park's Griffin Shaw hit four 3-pointers and scored 18 points.

"All of them were challenged," Wessler said. "He was as good as I've seen him today."

The Bulldogs will play conference regular-season champion Ardrey Kell in Thursday's semifinal round. That game tips at 7 p.m.