Savanna's Mark Butler, right, dribbles around an Anaheim defender during an Orange League game on Friday.

Butler's 34 points help Savanna turn back Anaheim


ANAHEIM – Savanna hits like a twine-twirling tornado.

The four-time defending Orange League champs play so fast and gain so many extra possessions it almost doesn’t matter how short they are on height.

Savanna knows but one speed, and as long as its high-octane, high-scoring point guard Mark Butler is running the show, the Rebels will continue running teams off the court.

Butler led all scorers with 34 points as Savanna defeated Anaheim, 84-55, in Friday’s Orange League game at Savanna High.

“This team has heart,” Rebels coach John Konrad said. “These kids hustle. We know we’re not big, so we have to use our team speed. Our bigs aren’t tall, but they’re fast, and the rest of the team feeds off their energy.

“They know that if they run hard, they’re going to be rewarded.”

Savanna (10-12, 4-0) led, 18-5, after the first quarter, its swarming defense responsible for 10 Anaheim turnovers. The Colonists (7-14, 3-1) missed 13 of their first 15 shots.

The Rebels’ press caused Anaheim fits all night. Butler turned his share of takeaways into easy baskets for himself and his frontcourt.

“When I play hard, it gives my team confidence,” said Butler, who sat most of the fourth quarter but posted a triple-double with rebounds and steals. “We’re a small team, so we have to play small ball. We have to scrap. We have to play with heart and pride.”

Savanna turned 53 first-half possessions into a 41-20 halftime lead. Only late in the second quarter did the Rebels go three consecutive possessions without scoring.

Undersized forwards Christian Seatts and Abraham Mansaray combined for 11 points.

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