Butler men advance to regional semis with win over Cloud

Butler men advance to regional semis with win over Cloud

PARK CITY, Kan. – The Butler men are now among the final four teams remaining the Region VI playoffs after dispatching Cloud in a 69-61 victory on Sunday night at Hartman Arena.

Butler, now 19-13 on the season, will face Neosho County at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday. It is Butler's second straight trip to the semifinals. Neosho advanced with a come-from-behind 72-71 victory over Coffeyville.

Cloud County, which was No. 15 seed in the tournament and had knocked off second-seeded Pratt in the first round, ends its season at 10-22.

Butler jumped ahead 13-5 early, but Cloud scored eight straight to tie the game. Cloud's biggest lead came at 27-25 with a 3-pointer by Aamahne Santos with 4:13 left in the half.

With the score tied 29-29, Daven Joseph made two free throws with 1:05 left in the half and Butler led 31-29 at the break.

Butler scored the first seven points of the second half to go up 38-29. Cloud didn't score its first bucket of the half until 15:30 remained in the game.

Cloud did get within a point of Butler at 38-37 with 12:51 to go, but Semaj Hervey and Damien Akao hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put Butler back up seven at 44-37 with 11:14 remaining. Butler pushed the lead to as many as 14 points later in the half.

Butler had five players in double figures, led by Caelan Neal and Daven Joseph with 11 points each, while Semaj Hervey, Derrick Byrd and Damien Akao had 10 each. Will Adler led Butler with nine rebounds.