TROY — The Troy boys basketball team prepped for a big week in MVL play with a 49-41 win over Vandalia-Butler Friday night.
The Trojans improved to 14-4 overall and 13-1 in the MVL, while Butler dropped to 9-8 overall and 7-6 in the MVL.
Troy travels to Sidney Tuesday, before hosting Tippecanoe — unbeaten in the MVL — Friday night.
It was an even battle throughout Friday night.
Butler, led 11-10 after one quarter, while Troy led 22-19 at halftime and 34-31 after three quarters.
Troy had opened a 34-29 lead late in the third quarter on back-to-back 3-pointers by Kellen Miller and Konyae Foster — who found the bank open.
But, Butler’s Julius Rusk had a basket to close the deficit going to the final eight minutes.
Troy started the fourth quarter by going more than four minutes without scoring.
Butler managed just a basket by AJ Holderman during that time to close within 34-33.
That’s when Troy hit them with a dagger.
Isaac Phillips and Nick Prince hit back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 40-33 and Noah Davis followed with a drive to the basket to make it 42-33.
After Butler’s Dion Oliver scored, Hollis Terrell electrified the Troy crowd with a slam dunk and Phillips hit five of six free throws down the stretch to keep the Aviators at bay and put the game away.
Phillips led Troy with 18 points and Miller had 10 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots.
Davis scored nine points, Prince had five points and Terrell pulled down five rebounds and and had five assists, three steals and blocked four shots.
Foster dished out seven assists.
Oliver and Tristen Vandevort scored 10 points each for Butler.
Holderman had six points and three assists and Evan Ables pulled down six rebounds and had three steals.
Dohnavan Collins blocked two shots.
Troy made 18 of 43 shots from the floor for 41 percent, including six of 19 from 3-point range for 32 percent. The Trojans converted seven of eight free throws for 88 percent.
Butler was 2o of 42 from the floor for 48 percent, including missing all seven 3-point attempts. The Aviators were one of three from the line for 33 percent.
Troy won the battle of the boards 22-19 and had 12 turnovers to Butler’s 10.
Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]