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In the end, the Butler does it for Archbishop Carroll


SHILLINGTON >> All season, Keyon Butler has been the man in the middle for Archbishop Carroll on the defensive end.

Tuesday night at Governor Mifflin Intermediate School, that primary plan lasted all of a quarter — or 11 points from Lampeter-Strasburg center Ryan Smith, whichever came first.

So Butler and Carrol had to adjust. And in overtime, Butler was the one that did so best.

Butler scored 21 points, including nine in the fourth quarter and a crucial one-and-one in OT, to send Archbishop Carroll past Lampeter-Strasburg, 77-76, in a scintillating PIAA Class 5A second-round game.

The win moves the third seed from District 12 into Friday’s quarterfinals against District 3 champion Milton Hershey, which took down Bishop Shanahan Tuesday.

Carroll’s Justin Anderson shoots a 3-pointer over Lampeter-Strasburg’s Patrick Holmes in the PIAA Class 5A boys’ second round game at Governor Mifflin Intermediate School Tuesday. Anderson and Carroll won, 77-76, in overtime. (Mark Palczewski/For Digital First Media)

The game of cat-and-mouse between Carroll’s post defenders and Smith, the 6-foot-10 center bound for East Stroudsburg, provided the game’s captivating plot. Smith had the upper hand statistically, with a dominant performance of 34 points and 22 rebounds. But he slowed late, missing two shots in overtime, clanging a front-end of a one-and-one in the final minute of regulation (after he’d cleaned up teammate Jordan Sweger’s miss) and bricking two from the line in OT.

Butler, meanwhile, calmly survived a miss at the end of regulation, hanging in the air from four feet after an offensive board of an AJ Hoggard miss, to rally in overtime. The senior forward started the game on Smith, but he rampaged out of the gates with a pair of first-quarter 3-pointers in a 21-point first half to necessitate a switch. Luke House and Devon Ferrero, lanky forwards more at home on the perimeter, took turns fronting Smith. Tairi Ketner came off the bench and held him relatively at bay. Help defense was quicker to respond, then recover to shooters.

That forced Butler onto the perimeter on defense, where the threats were less lethal. And it required stowing his pride to take on a different role.

“It was just the team effort,” Butler said. “We knew that he was their best player coming into the game, so we prepared for it very well. Coach just put trust in us and the bench, and everybody that had to guard him was ready to play.”

“We just knew they were vulnerable,” Smith said. “We worked on it in practice, attacking the glass. We knew we could get them in foul trouble so that’s what our goal was. It really worked out in the first half.”

When Carroll collapsed on Smith, he kicked out, the Patriots daring the Pioneers’ secondary scorers to hit shots. Twice in a row, Smith had the clarity of mind to prevent Carroll’s pressured defense with home-run passes for lay-ins.

Carroll spotted the Pioneers the game’s first 10 points and trailed 13-2 midway through the first. It got to within four after one, but an 8-0 run punctuated by Smith put Lampeter-Strasburg up 12 again. It wasn’t until the perimeter defense turned up, leading to 19 turnovers in the game, that Carroll started to make real progress, narrowing the deficit to six at half.

The offensive spark in the third came via Justin Anderson, who scored 10 of his 19 points in the frame, and House, whose early 3-pointer in the third shook loose the shooting cobwebs.

“Everyone can go off on this team,” Ferrero said. “It just depends on the night.”

A jumper by Anderson at the 3:06 mark of the third put Carroll up for the first time at 41-39. But that only sparked a roller-coaster final 12 minutes. Hoggard (17 points, five assists, four steals) hit a 3-pointer to open the fourth and increase Carroll’s edge to eight.

But Lampeter-Strasburg replied with 11 straight points, capped by an Isaac Beers 3-pointer. Sweger, who didn’t attempt a shot in the first three quarters, came up with two 3-point plays in the fourth, and reserve guard Zack Kingsley scored six in the frame. Only Beers (11 points) joined Smith in double-figures, but the supporting cast presented more than enough danger to keep Carroll’s defense honest.

“They’re just amazing. I love my teammates,” Smith said. “They really stepped up and we came back and we had a second wind, and we got back into the game. … It was awesome and we really played our hearts out. It’s unfortunate that we lost by one point, but it was an amazing season.”

The Pioneers’ misses at the line proved costly, going 9-for-17 at the stripe while Carroll was 15-for-18. Even a 37-27 edge on the glass couldn’t mitigate that all the way. They built a 65-61 lead before Butler hit an and-1 on a beautiful dump-off by Ferrero in the lane. Beers missed a front-end that Hoggard steamed down the court with for a lay-in to put Carroll up 66-65. After a great hustle offensive board by Peyton Denlinger diving out of bounds, Beers was again sent to the line on a weak hand-check call but only made one, tying the game at 66 and sending it to overtime when Hoggard’s and Butler’s chances missed.

Seth Beers stepped up with a 3-pointer and the first five points of overtime to put LS up, 71-70. Hoggard added two from the line on a second chance possession and fed Butler to get to the line after Hoggard’s steal, making it 74-71.

Anderson converted one at the line and Hoggard two — around a Smith second-chance basket in the final minute that drained 18 seconds off the clock — to stretch the margin to four at 77-73 and make Isaac Beers’ 3-pointer at the buzzer academic.

It also ensured that Butler and his fellow Patriots seniors have at least one more game to play.

“I think we just knew what was ahead of us,” he said. “Especially for us seniors, this could’ve been our last game. It’s now or never, this could be the last game we ever play at Carroll.”



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