Boys basketball: Montague, MVL’s leading scorer, boosts Butler

Butler senior Tyler Montague leads the Miami Valley League with 21.9 points per game. Greg Billing/Contributed
Butler senior Tyler Montague leads the Miami Valley League with 21.9 points per game. Greg Billing/Contributed

VANDALIA – Senior Tyler Montague stands 6-foot tall with a slender frame. But don’t let that fool you. His shoulders are more than strong enough to lift up a basketball team.

Montague, who leads the Miami Valley League in scoring, has boosted the Butler boys basketball team with his ability to drive to the basket as well as deliver an assist. Montague leads the MVL with 21.9 points per game.

He also leads the league in free throws (37) and free throw attempts (50), and is tied for third in three-pointers (12).

The nephew of former University of Dayton standout and NBA veteran Sedric Toney, Montague has scored 20 or more points in five of his seven games this season. He had five 20-point games all of last season when he averaged 16.6 points, second best in the MVL.

Montague showed off his game, and a little swagger, in a recent 48-32 win against Fairborn. Fairborn (1-5) slowed Butler (7-2) in the first half as the Skyhawks led 18-17 at halftime. The Aviators took control with a 23-5 advantage in the third quarter.

“It felt like the game wasn’t moving and it was on my shoulders to go ahead and take us over the top,” said Montague, who dropped in a pair of three-pointers during the run, including one from NBA range, and showed off his quick first step with a scoring drive to the basket.

“It’s just whatever I have to do for my team I’ll do it. If it’s passing or scoring, whatever we need, that’s the first thing I’m going to do.”

An ankle injury has kept Montague from playing in Butler’s last two games, including Wednesday’s 54-39 loss to MVL-leading Tippecanoe (7-0). The Aviators are still senior strong.

Quinton Hall (10.9 points) can get to the basket and is a solid defender. Connor Bucchanan (7.7 points, 8.3 rebounds) bring toughness inside and is quick to the floor for loose balls. Cameron Hendricks (4.0 points, 4.4. rebounds, 2.3 assists) has hit some clutch shots and brings defense. Ryan Wilson is expected to rejoin the lineup soon after getting cleared to play after an injury.

“In practice we’re getting after it every day,” Montague said. “I love the guys. They’re great teammates and we have each other’s backs. … I love our fight. These guys will fight to the end, it doesn’t matter.”

“I’m proud of them,” Butler coach Adam Betten said. “They keep coming in and working hard (despite the distractions with COVID-19). Our league is a tough league. We’ve got a lot of scorers. We really have to sit down and defend every night. … They’ve taken ownership of the team and we appreciate everything they’ve given us.”

As for Toney, Montague said his uncle has provided tips to improve his game.

“He kind of helped my jump shot out, because I used to shoot sideways,” Montague said. “He helped me square up and I had way better results. … Especially after bad games he’s there for me. He’ll give me some pointers and things like that.”

Montague went for a career-high 38 points in a 69-50 win against Piqua on Dec. 18.

Poll position: Wayne and Miamisburg debuted among the top 10 Division I teams in the first Associated Press poll released earlier this week. Wayne was ranked No. 5 and Miamisburg was No. 10. Centerville also received votes, including one first-place vote.

Wayne travels to Centerville on Friday.

In D-II, Tippecanoe earned one first-place vote and came in at No. 7 as the lone area team represented.

No teams made the top 10 in D-III, but Miami East did receive votes.

In D-IV, Botkins led the area at No. 4 with a pair of first-place votes. Cedarville and Minster also received votes.

Block party: Beavercreek 6-8 junior Gabe Phillips leads the Greater Western Ohio Conference with 57 blocks through his first 10 games.

Wayne’s Aamil Wagner is second in the GWOC with 15 in five games.

Phillips’ season high is nine blocks, doing it against both Centerville and Shawnee. He’s had seven or more blocks in five games.

Email high school boys basketball notebook items or suggestions to gregbilling90@gmail.com.

In Other News