Butler storms past Indians


ROSS TWP — Don’t get Cait Baxter angry. You won’t like her when she’s angry. 

The Butler senior had just one point and the Golden Tornado girls basketball team was reeling on the road against North Hills. 

Then Baxter got mad. Very mad. 
What resulted was a 12-point second half from the guard and a double-digit rally from Butler in a 35-32 win over the Indians Monday night. 

“That’s what Cait does,” said Butler coach Dorothea Epps. “Then she’s like a bull in a haystack. You don’t know which end she is coming out, but she’s coming.” 

Baxter scored seven of her points in the final quarter. 
“Yeah,” she said. “I got a little mad. It helped a little bit getting mad. The first three quarters, we just weren’t there. We weren’t playing as well as we should.” 
The game actually started out well for Butler, which jumped out to a 10-2 lead, then things went awry — very, very awry. 

It took the Tornado (12-9, 8-3) another 13 minutes to score three more points and North Hills grabbed a 23-13 lead. 
“Man, I don’t know what happened,” Epps said. “The bottom just dropped out. Nothing would go right for us. We got into foul trouble and that fueled them.” 
Baxter and Mackenzie O’Donnell fueled the Tornado. 
“We shut them down and we scored,” Baxter said. “It was a great team effort. That’s how we beat them.” 
O’Donnell was strong again in the post for Butler. 

The senior forward scored six of her game-high 15 points in the fourth quarter. 
“The key was getting it into Mac and Cait,” Epps said. “They are our two top scorers.” 
Another key was the Butler defense. 

While the Tornado were mired in a 1-for-10 slump while committing 15 turnovers, North Hills (7-14, 3-8) was only able to take a 10-point lead. 
“Our defense flat out kept us in the game,” Epps said. 
Alyssa DiPippa was impressive on the defensive end. 
She scored just one point off the bench, but she contained North Hills guard Scout Cheeks, holding the junior to just five points. 
“She did a really good job on her,” Epps said. “Scout didn’t have really anywhere to go. Alyssa did a good job taking away her drive.” 
Jamie Halloran led North Hills with 11 points. 
Like most of the Golden Tornado wins this season, this victory was short on style points. 
Butler committed 25 turnovers; North Hills had 20. The teams combined to shoot just 30 percent from the field. 
“I’m going to tell you something,” Epps said. “Our games are never going to be pretty. These girls are tough and they don’t play pretty.” 
But they are winning. 
“These were the games we did lose last year,” Epps said. “We’re pulling those out this year. 
“There were a lot of things that went wrong. It’s good to know they withstood it,” Epps added. “It’s a win on the road. We want to go into the playoffs on a positive note.” 
Natalie Barkus 2-4 0-0 5, Mackenzie O’Donnell 6-11 3-4 15, Sam Marak 0-2 0-2 0, Cait Baxter 5-11 3-8 13, Kalynn Callihan 0-3 0-0 0, Alyssa DiPippa 0-0 1-2 1, Morgan Pfabe 0-3 1-2 1, Lauren Bresnahan 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 13-35 8-18 35. 
Scout Cheeks 1-6 3-8 5, Jamie Halloran 4-12 3-3 11, Bre Bertran 2-5 1-2 5, Sarah Treser 1-6 1-3 4, Lexi Mark 0-3 4-6 4, Kallie Harper 0-0 0-0 0, Brandi Williams 0-0 0-0 0, Melanie Lindsey 0-2 3-4 3, Emma Weaver 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 8-34 15-26 32. 
Butler 8 4 6 17—35 
North Hills2 13 10 7—32 
3-point goals: Butler 1 (Barkus). North Hills 1 (Treser)