In a packed house, Independence and Butler squared off in an intense showdown in Charlotte and it didn’t disappoint. With each team looking to attack in different ways, it was a battle between two strengths for each team. Independence wanted to get out and run; speed up the game when they could. Butler wanted to use their size with Patrick Wessler.
In the first quarter, Butler jumped out to a 14-10 lead, attacking the paint but also hitting two 3-pointers to gain the early lead. Independence though started to turn it up on both ends of the floor in the second quarter, which helped turn a deficit into a nine-point lead at halftime. Sophomore Landon King used his speed to find openings, scoring seven of his nine points in the second quarter. But it was mostly a balanced attack throughout the first half for the Patriots.
Halftime: Independence 28 – Butler 19
Butler came out strong and eventually tied the game at 28 apiece. The Bulldogs looked to slow down the tempo, play more of a halfcourt set and tick some seconds off the clock and it seemed to work. But, Independence answered right back, led by Omarion Bodrick and Anthony Allen. Those two combined for 10 of the 12 third-quarter points for the Patriots.
Butler stayed within striking distance but struggled to put the ball in the basket for much of the game. In the end, Independence created turnovers that helped lead to their offense and retained their double-digit lead, eventually sealing it at the free-throw line.
Final: Independence 55 – Butler 41
Independence: Jalen Hinton 10 points/ Omarion Bodrick 7 points/ Anthony Allen 9 points/ Landon King 7 points
Butler: Patrick Wessler 15 points/ Moses Payne 6 points
Anthony Allen (Independence): Allen’s ability to get out and run for the Patriots really gets this team going but he also plays well in the half-court. His handles and ability to create is what captures the eye, as he gets defenders guessing and helps him get to the rim or create for others.
2022 Landon King (Independence): King is an interesting prospect to watch. The guard played well in big minutes, pushing the ball, initiating the offense, and using his speed to his advantage. Though still young and developing, he showed that he really can fly in transition. One to keep an eye on.
2022 Patrick Wessler (Butler): Wessler was the focal point for the offense and at times, he showed why he could be a big-time player in the state for his class. His blend of size and ability to get the ball on the rim and go get it was fun to watch. He still has work in areas but he is an absolute double-double machine down on the block.