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Butler 60, Independence 59

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Butler’s Fisher-Davis proves to be difference-maker

By Herb White
Correspondent

There was no doubt Matthew Fisher-Davis was going to take Butler High’s final shot against rival Independence.

The Bulldogs’ senior forward nailed a turnaround 3-pointer with 8.4 seconds left to lift Butler to a 60-59 win and first place in the Southwestern 4A on Tuesday at Grady Cole Center.

Fisher-Davis, who has committed to Vanderbilt, dropped a game-high 30 points, including 14 in a scintillating fourth-quarter rally from a 10-point deficit.

He scored the Bulldogs’ final 11 points, including three 3-pointers.

“I was feeling good all game,” Fisher-Davis said. “I practice that shot a lot, the turnaround. It’s one of my favorite shots.”

Fisher-Davis, who connected on seven 3-pointers, including two in the final minute, found a lot to like.

He knocked down a triple from beyond the NBA line to pull Butler (11-4, 5-1) to within 59-57 with 57.7 seconds left, then after the Patriots missed the front end of a one-and-one, he drained the game-winner.

Independence (9-9, 5-1) had an opportunity to go in front, but missed.

“I’m very pleased,” Butler coach Donald Kirby said. “One thing we knew early on about this bunch was they were very resilient kids. They work hard and they had to put up with me the last 10 days without a game and they give you what you ask for.”

Independence recovered from a slow start to seize the momentum in the third quarter behind Deion Lane, Tayon Gleaves and Workpeh Kofa, who combined for 51 points.

The Patriots ripped off a 21-8 third quarter to grab a 47-42 advantage that left Butler reeling until Fisher-Davis went off in the fourth.

“I wasn’t surprised by how hard they played,” Kirby said. “It’s a rivalry game. This was to even up things in the conference with Independence, and the guys just brought it.”

Jay Gibbs added nine points for the Bulldogs. Lane led Independence with 20 points, Gleaves chipped in 18 and Kofa 13.

Butler built a 34-26 halftime lead by combining defense with perimeter shooting. The Bulldogs imposed their will early, converting Independence mistakes into transition baskets, sinking four 3-pointers in the first half and leveraging five turnovers into seven points.

Butler1618818-60
Independence11152112-59

Butler – Matthew Fisher-Davis 30, Gibbs 9, Scott 6, Mack 5 Holloway 4, Robinson 4, Hill 2.

Independence – Deion Lane 20, Tayon Gleaves 18, Workpeh Kofa 13, Harry 6, Thomas 2.

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