PRP beats Butler 55-45 with D'Angelo Hunter's late charge

PRP beats Butler 55-45 with D'Angelo Hunter's late charge

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PRP beats Butler 55-45 with D'Angelo Hunter's late charge

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Pleasure Ridge Park boys’ basketball coach Dale Mabrey tells his team the same thing every year as the Panthers’ game with arch­rival Butler approaches. The players change, and the schools may rise and fall in the standings.

“And it doesn’t matter, this game always goes down to the wire,” he said.

It did again Friday night before a packed and divided J.C. Cantrell Gymnasium at Valley High School, until PRP senior forward D’Angelo Hunter stepped up in the final 1:16. Hunter, who attended Butler as a freshman, scored 9 of his 17 points in that span to lead the Panthers, the No. 8 team in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings, to a 55-45 victory.

With the Panthers (11-4) up 44-42, Hunter was fouled as he made a jumper. He converted the free throw to make it a five-point game with 1:16 left. He then intercepted the inbounds pass and made a layup to put PRP up 49-42.

He wasn’t finished. Teammate Lamontray Harris stole the next inbounds pass, and after a couple failed attempts, Hunter’s putback made it a nine-point game with just under a minute left. He then added a breakaway layup in the game’s final seconds to finish the scoring.

“I was just trying to let the game come to me,” Hunter said. “I knew my team would step up when it was time to step up.”

The final two minutes were doubly painful for the Bears (5-9). With 1:42 left, Butler had a chance to tie or take the lead, but senior guard Bryson Williams fell to the ground with an apparent leg cramp and could not return.

After an officials’ timeout for the injury, Jalen Bradley lost the handle as he went up for a shot with the ball going out of bounds.

“We executed for 30 minutes,” Butler coach Rick Gibson said. “The last two minutes snowballed on us. That’s all they needed.”

William Johnson led Butler with 15 points.

Gibson said he wants to believe his team is moving in the right direction, but he wants to see more proof first. The Bears play Kentucky Country Day in the first round of the Louisville Invitational Tournament Monday at Valley. PRP plays Fairdale in the LIT Tuesday.

“Talk to me after the LIT, and I’ll let you know,” he said.

* Danielle Lawrence scored 19 of her 27 points in the second half to help the Bearettes (12-1), the No. 3 team in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings, put away the Lady Panthers (7-4).Butler 68, Pleasure Ridge Park 51:

Butler jumped out early, using its pressure defense to confuse PRP’s young guards and forcing eight turnovers en route to a 23-4 lead in the first six minutes. But PRP rallied, largely behind seniors Rayven Shead and Paige Murphy. Shead scored 15 of her 25 points in the second quarter, and Murphy, who finished with 20, hit a 3-pointer at the end of the half to cut Butler’s lead to three.

But Lawrence ended any thought of a PRP comeback as she scored eight points during a 16-3 run over a four-minute stretch of the third quarter.

“In the second quarter, I felt like we got comfortable,” Lawrence said. “Coach told us to come out with the same energy we did in the first. We really focused on the third quarter and made our push.”

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