Brittany Butler from Daily World Sports

Butler era coming to an end
Lone NCHS senior set for Senior Night

By Tom Dodge

LEBEAU - It will be a quick ceremony as North Central Hurricane head coach Vanessa Taylor recognizes her lone senior for Senior Night.

North Central (19-9, 13-0) will entertain Livonia 6 p.m. today as senior Brittany Butler plays her final regular season game.

Butler was a freshman when North Central made its appearance in the Sweet 16.

Butler scored a season-high 30 points Monday as the Lady Hurricanes cruised to a 74-26 victory over Opelousas Catholic.

Taylor said Butler is having a great senior season, averaging in double digit scoring, leads the team in assists and is second on the team in rebounding behind freshman Val Harris.

"A lot falls on her shoulders," Taylor said of Butler's role on the team. "She is a quiet leader and the girls know that when the game is tight - the ball is in Brittany's hands.

"But she is such an unselfish player that when I want her to have the ball, she is trying to pass it to an open teammate."

"She handles the pressure late in a game really well," Taylor said of her senior. "She can hit the free throws when we need them. She is a threat outside but she can also work inside and get the rebound.

"She believes in her team and they believe in her," the coach commented of Butler leading the Lady Hurricanes to a fifth district championship.

The 2005 District 7-2 A champions, North Central shared co-district titles with Pointe Coupee Central last season after being runners-up in 2003 and district champs in 2002.

North Central also captured two district titles under Taylor's leadership while in Class 1A.

"This team makes me laugh," Taylor said comparing this group to the 2002 team, that lost to St. Frederick (74-32) in the semifinals, "that team was so serious about winning basketball games.

"In the course of a game someone on the bench will tell me something and make me laugh," Taylor said of her team. "I don't get with this group because I know their knowledge of the game is not there yet.

"The other group was serious and there was no clowning around," Taylor said. "This group is young, but they will be a great team."

Originally published February 11, 2005

Coach Taylor about to present Brittany with team ball at half-time Parent Ceremonies. (Photo by PMartel)
Photo by David Gremillion
North Central's Brittany Butler (left) wrestles for the ball with a Jeanerette player.