Sunday, March 11, 2001

Vandalia Butler ousts St. X in OT

Bombers cold shooting from free throw line

By Dave Schutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        DAYTON — St.Xavier won the Division I state championship last year by playing nearly flawless basketball.

        The Bombers fell victim to poor shooting from the field and free throw line Saturday, losing in overtime to Vandalia Butler 64-54 in the district championship game at University of Dayton Arena.

        With St.X up 44-42, the Aviators' John Goldsberry sent the game into overtime with a spectacular shot with 1.2 seconds left.

        “The play was to go backdoor, but everyone was covered,” Goldsberry said. “I looked at the clock and saw time was running out. I spun and went up with the ball, trying to draw a foul.”

        St.Xavier coach Scott Martin also pointed to Goldsberry's shot as crucial in the eventual outcome.

        “That was a heck of a shot to send it into overtime,” Martin said. “We knew they would try to go backdoor and had it defended. If the shot doesn't go in, we're district champions.

        During the break before the overtime, assistant coach Ray Zawadzki Jr., the son of head coach Ray Sr., reminded the players that the Aviators had never lost in over time at UD Arena in 33 years.

        St.Xavier won possession of the ball off the tip but missed on a jump shot. Josh Betts rebounded and threw the ball long to Goldsberry, who scored on a layup with 3:20 remaining.

        After a missed St.X free throw, Betts converted three of four free throws, and Tom Hertlein scored at the 2:15 mark for a 51-44 lead. Goldsberry added eight free throws during the closing two minutes to put away the game.

        Overall, the Aviators converted 16 of 22 foul shots during the four-minute overtime and 22 of 33 in the game; St.Xavier was 12-of-21 and 2-of-5 in the fourth quarter and 1-of-5 in over time.

        The biggest lead either team held in regulation was four points, with St.X taking a 5-1 advantage. Vandalia Butler trailed until there was 2:15 remaining in the third quarter, when it a brief 33-32 advantage.

        Trailing 41-39 with 2:28 remaining, St.Xavier rallied behind senior guard Mike Grogan (field goal) and two free throws by Mike Heekin for a 44-41 lead. Betts sank one of two free throws for Butler cutting the deficit to 44-42.

        St.Xavier then missed what could have been the winning free throws, setting the stage for Goldsberry's heroics.

        “St.Xavier is a heck of a defensive team,” Zawadzki Sr. said. “We had trouble getting off shots, and I wasn't sure if we could pull it off.”

        Butler advances to the regional semifinals against Western Hills Thursday at XU'x Cintas Center.

        VANDALIA BUTLER (64) — Goldsberry 8-12 9-13 26, Godzik 3-8 2-2 10, Betts 1-3 7-10 9, Keegan 0-2 3-4 3, Hertlein 6-9 0-2 15, Higgins 0-3 1-2 1 Totals:18-38 22-33 64.

        ST. XAVIER (54) — Callahan 2-4 0-1 5, Grogan 4-8 0-0 11, Cornette 3-11 5-8 11, Bast 3-9 1-3 8, Retzinger 1-4 2-2 4, Hurley 0-1 1-2 1, Heekin 4-8 3-3 12, Williams 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 18-52 12-21 54.

        Vandalia Butler ....... 14 7 14 9 20—64

        St. Xavier ....... 16 7 13 8 10—54

        3-pointers: VB (6-12) Goldsberry, Godzik 2, Hertlein 3. SX: (6-21) Callahan, Grogan 3, Bast, Heekin. Rebounds: VB 35 (Betts 10, Goldsberry 9). SX (28) Cornette 8, Bast 9. Assists: SX 8 (Cornette 3, Bast 2). VB (8) Goldsberry 3, Betts 2. Steals: SX 5, VB 2. Blocks: SX (7) Cornette 5, Cashen 2. VB (2). Records: Vandalia Butler 20-4, St. Xavier 17-6. Officials: Matt Velten, Kent Sanders, Butch Burbridge. Attendance: 7,000.

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