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Nightmarish 2nd quarter does in Butler, 84-48

Butler's Charlie Kreinbucher (22) and Raine Gratzmiller fight for a rebound with North Hills' Royce Parham during the second quarter Tuesday night in the Golden Tornado gym. North Hills won the game, 84-48.

BUTLER TWP — Two Braylon Littlejohn free throws and a Devin Carney layup pulled Butler within five at the end of the first quarter Tuesday night against North Hills.

Then the roof caved in.

The undefeated Indians (10-0, 5-0) outscored the Golden Tornado 30-4 in the second quarter, thus invoking the mercy clock in the second half and paving the way to a runaway 84-48 boys basketball victory in the Butler gym.

North Hills used a 9-0 run late in the third quarter to build its biggest lead, 69-30, with 38 seconds left in the period.

“These games happen sometimes,” North Hills coach Buzz Gabos said. “They're hard to figure out. We beat them at or place by 20 in December, but in reality, the game was much closer.

“We came up here last year and played a strong first half, then got destroyed in the second half. Sometimes a game trends in the wrong direction. I'm happy we were on the right side of that tonight.”

The Indians drained six treys during the second quarter and canned 11 3-pointers on the night. Five players scored in double figures.

North Hills had eight turnovers to Butler's 16 and enjoyed a 36-25 edge in rebounding. The Indians snapped the Tornado's five-game winning streak.

“There's not a whole lot to say about this,” Butler coach Matt Clement said. “Give credit to North Hills. They played really well, they shot well ... But this was a bad effort by us.

“This team is a reflection of me. This game tonight is not reflective of me nor the people in this locker room. Our compete level was poor. The care level was poor. That all starts with me. I'm the coach. I have to come up with a better game-plan. I have to prepare these guys better.”

Alex Smith paced North Hills with 17 points, seven assists, four steals and four rebounds. Matt Seidl had 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists, Royce Parham 16 points, four boards and three assists.

The 6-foot-7 Parham did not play in that lopsided second quarter after picking up two fouls in the first period.

“That's what made that run so impressive to me. We did it without Royce,” Gabos said.

Devin Burgess had 13 points and Logan Johnson came off the bench to score 11 — including three treys — for North Hills.

“We're much more balanced in scoring this year and we're playing well at both ends of the floor,” Gabos said. “That's made a difference for us.”

Littlejohn came off the bench to lead Butler (8-3, 2-3) with 12 points. Carney had 11. Raine Gratzmiller tallied six rebounds and three assists. Madden Clement sank two treys and scored eight points.

But there weren't many positives on the Tornado side of the ledger.

“This game is filled with negatives,” Clement admitted. “We'll see where we go from here. The kids can use this as a trampoline toward better things or they can let it ruin their season.

“We'll get our first look at that answer Friday night.”

Butler travels to Seneca Valley in another section game that evening.

NORTH HILLS 84

Dylan Barnes 0-0 0-0 0, Alex Smith 7-15 3-4 17, Will Blass 2-5 1-2 7, Jayden Thomas 2-2 0-0 4, Matt Seidl 6-9 1-3 16, Devin Burgess 5-9 1-1 13, Royce Parham 7-9 1-2 16, Logan Johnson 4-11 0-0 11, Zach Pollaro 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 33-60 7-11 84.

BUTLER 48

Braylon Littlejohn 4-6 4-4 12, Raine Gratzmiller 2-4 0-0 4, Devin Carney 5-17 0-1 11, Madden Clement 22-5 2-2 8, Mac Schnur 0-0 0-0 0, Colin Patterson 2-6 0-0 6, CJ Singleton 0-1 0-0 0, Charlie Kreinbucher 0-0 1-2 1, Lance Slaterf 0-0 0-0 0, Colin Casteel 0-0 1-2 1, Kaleb Proudfoot 0-0 0-0 0, Ryan Porch 0-0 0-2 0, Ayden Davis 0-1 0-0 0, Hayden Thompson 0-1 1-3 1, Ryan McLister 2-2 0-0 4 Totals: 17-43 0-15 48.

North Hills 24 30 16 14 — 84

Butler 19 4 10 15 — 48

3-point goals: North Hills 11 (Blass 2, Seidl 3, Burgess 2, Parham, Johnson 3), Butler 5 (Carney, Clement 2, Patterson 2)

JV: Butler, 65-60 (B: Colin Casteel 18, Mac Schnur 17; NH: Hayden Thomas 24, Dylan Barnes 14, Zach Pollaro 10)

Friday: Butler at Seneca Valley