Emphatic opening win for Butler men

Charles Chaney
Butler County Times Gazette
Butler's DeeJuan Pruitt (4)  goes up for a big-time dunk against Sterling College JV on Thursday, Jan. 21. Pruitt finished with 12 points to help Butler beat Sterling JV 117-50 at the Power Plant in El Dorado, Kansas.

EL DORADO—The Butler Grizzlies wasted no time on Thursday night showing they were the better team over Sterling College JV. The Grizzlies jumped out to an 8-0 run in the first 61 seconds and that would be all the cushion they would need.

Seven different players scored in double figures as Butler beat Sterling College 117-50 to pick up their first win of the season. 

"We tried to establish a foundation that is going to carry us through the conference season," second-year head coach Kyle Fisher said. "We emphasized playing hard and rebounding and for the most part we did that tonight."

Sterling responded to the 8-0 run by pulling to within 12-6 with a couple of 3-pointers by Mitchell Davis but it would not be nearly enough for Sterling. 

A three by Teron Batie cut the Grizzlies lead to 35-19 with 9:12 remaining in the half and then Butler turned on the jets. They would go on to score 20 straight points over the next five minutes. Their run reached 27-4 to end the first half. 

"The emphasis tonight was just on us," sophomore Keyon Thomas said. "We just wanted to use this to get better."

The Butler defense held Sterling to only two buckets over the half's final nine minutes.

Butler led 62-23 at the break.

Thomas, Karrington Davis and RJ McGarthy all hit threes as Butler saw the led balloon to 49 points with 13:51 remaining in the half. 

"We have a really talented team," Thomas said. "We know it and we were able to show it tonight,"

Butler broke into the 100-point mark, when Isaiah Williams was found left alone underneath the bucket for the easy jam, as the Grizzlies led 100-43 with 5:10 remaining.

Much like in the first half, Butler's defense was staunch as they held Sterling JV to only seven points over the games' final 5:18. 

"Doesn't matter who it is whether it's the No. 1 team or what," Thomasson sWe're always trying to give everyone a show."

Fisher talked in the preseason about getting numerous players in and that was evident as more than 11 players found themselves in the scoring column.

Butler held Sterling to only 30 percent shooting for the game and 31.4 percent from three. 

Mitchell Davis led Sterling JV with 13 points on 4 of 11 shooting, all from three. 

"This game is already in the past for us," Thomasson said. "We have a game on Saturday and then we get ready for conference play."

The Grizzlies will be back on the court on Saturday against DII Hesston College. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. and it will only be the men's team playing. The women's team could not find a school with an opening.

"We'll take this and try to build upon it as we get ready for conference play," Fisher said.

Charles Chaney has been the Sports Editor for the Butler County Times-Gazette since Aug. 2019. You can reach him at cchaney@butlercountytimesgazette.com or on Twitter at @ChuckChaneyBCTG.