LIBERAL, Kan. – The Butler men's basketball team saw its season come to a close with a hard-fought 63-61 road loss at Seward County in the first round of the Region VI playoffs.
The Grizzlies, who ended the season with a 14-16 overall record, were led in scoring by Karlon McSpadden's 15 points as he hit 4-for-5 from three-point range. Seward County improved to 18-13 and advances to face Coffeyville on Sunday at Hartman Arena in Park City.
The game was tight from the beginning. The Grizzlies tied the game 16-16 with 11:27 to go in the first half after a pair of free throws by Justin Criddle. Seward responded with four straight points, and led the remainder of the first half.
Russell Smith threw down a dunk on an offensive rebound and Butler was within a point at 26-25 with 3:40 left in the half, but Seward would surge, going up by as many as eight points and leading 35-28 at the break.
Butler came out hot to start the second half, and after Anthony Bratton scored and made a free throw after being fouled, the Grizzlies led 41-40 with 15:33 to go.
Later, Tevin Berry hit a three-pointer in the near corner and was fouled on the play. Berry added the bonus shot as Butler tied the game 46-46 with 9:03 remaining.
With 1:01 left and Seward up 59-55, Bouchum and Karlon McSpadden both made 3-pointers in the final minute. McSpadden's trey pulled Butler within a point with 13.3 seconds to go. Seward made one free throw at the other end, giving Butler the chance to tie or take the lead. Berry fired up a shot from the corner, then Bouchum chased down the rebound and put up a missed contested shot from the left wing as time expired.