ARKANSAS CITY, KANSAS – Sixth-ranked Cowley College spotted the Butler Grizzlies eight points to start the game. Then, Cowley began to play their brand of basketball.
Despite this being a battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2 in the East Division, the Tigers made the Grizzlies look pedestrian at times. They forced 41 turnovers in the 106-87 Cowley win.
The Grizzlies fall to 16-6 on the season and 9-4 in the conference. They are now tied with Coffeyville and Independence for second place in the division, as they are both 9-4 in the conference.
Butler led 8-0 and 10-2 to start the game. They held the Tigers without a point for the first 3:31 of the game and it appeared Butler would have a fighting chance against No. 6 Cowley but it really was a mirage and Cowley would go on a run of mammoth proportions.
The threes started to fall. Mike’l Henderson hit four threes in a matter of minutes and the lead ballooned and then it grew some more.
Before you knew it, Butler trailed by double digits and then were almost doubled up by halftime.
Cowley lead 57-29 at the break.
Butler opened the second half on a 9-2 after Juwan White made two free throws with 17:03 to go in the game.
Dalen Ridgnal ended that run after a big put-back slam that rocked the rim’s support system all the way to the ceiling. After two free throws from Will Mangum, the Tigers had answered back to take a 69-42 lead with 13:46 remaining.
Butler was able to get it down to 17 with 9:20 remaining in the game but Cowley had a response, Marteveon Jones hit a bucket and Henderson hit a three from what could be considered Sedgwick County and Cowley pushed their lead back up to 20.
Zach Butler drew a foul and hit the free throw, Butler had cut the lead down to 88-75 with 4:40 to go in the game. Then Henderson hit a running shot, forced a turnover and scoring the bucket.
Butler left Cevin Clark open and drained it in front of the Cowley bench. Butler down 95-77 with 3:33 remaining.
White led the Grizzlies with 22 points on 6-of-12 shooting. He went 10-of-11 at the free throw line.
Cowley had three players with 20 or more points. and with Mike’l Henderson leading the way with 31 points on 11-of-18 shooting. He hit six threes, including four in the first half.
The Grizzlies host Coffeyville on Saturday in a big game for the Grizzlies in the East Division. It’s also a big game for Fisher as it is his first game against his former team. Fisher was an assistant at Coffeyville for the last seven years.