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Beloit is no-brainer for Butke

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JOHN N. BARRY
June 17, 2010

Choosing a college can be a long, drawn-out process.


It took Tyler Butke 20 minutes to decide.


The 2010 Delavan-Darien High School graduate made the short drive from his home in Delavan to Beloit College. After a couple of pick-up games in Flood Arena and a tour of the nostalgic campus, Butke was hooked.


The sharp-shooting Butke, the Southern Lakes Co-Player of the Year in basketball, will play for coach Brian Vraney’s rebuilding program.


This week, Butke is showcasing his skills as part of the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association all-star week. Butke is a member of the Division 2 South boys team that will play the North at 9 a.m. Saturday at the UW Field House in Madison.


After a whirlwind week and an end to his high school basketball career, Butke is looking forward to staying close to home and playing for the Buccaneers.


“Everything fit for me at Beloit,” Butke said. “My family is 20 minutes away and will get a chance to watch me play.


“Beloit’s got a really good academic reputation, especially in the business program, which is what I’m leaning toward. And if I continue to work hard at my game, I might have the opportunity to play right away.”


Butke was a three-year starter for the Comets and capped off an impressive high school career with a stellar senior season. The versatile 6-foot-5 Butke averaged more than 20 points a game in leading Delavan-Darien to the Division 2 sectional semifinals.


That was highlighted by a six-game stretch late in the season, during which Butke averaged 26 points a game, including back-to-back games of 33 and 36 points. Overall, he led the league in scoring with 276 points for 19.7 average.


“Teams knew that they had to find a way to stop Tyler, and he still found a way to rise above that,” Delavan-Darien coach Bob Beighton said. “He was able to do whatever was needed for us to be successful.”


Butke has plenty of talent surrounding him on the South squad this week. T.J. Bray of WIAA Division 2 state champion Waukesha Memorial was the Associated Press state Player of the Year, and Flavien Davis of Wisconsin Lutheran has impressed Butke.


“Flavien can jump out of a building,” Butke said. “He’s got some incredible skills.


“I played against T.J. in a Sunday pick-up game before, but I never realized how quick and athletic he was until this week. But everybody is good here.”


Butke hopes a win Saturday can help to erase the painful memory of Delavan-Darien’s last-second loss to Madison Edgewood in the sectional semifinals. The Comets’ season ended in a 53-52 shocker in which Edgewood overcame a seven-point deficit in the final minute.


Butke led the Comets with 20 points, but his ill-advised pass with 25 seconds left hasn’t been forgotten.


“It still hurts,” Butke said of the loss. “A lot of us players still spend time together and think about it.


“My dad has tried to get me to sit down and watch the video of the game, but I’m not ready to yet. I still remember everything that happened. I just wish we could play the last minute over again.”


But the painful end to Butke’s high school career can’t begin to tarnish what was a remarkable run. Even so, he hopes the 20-minute drive is the start of a new one.



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