Landon Butler scores 1,000th point to propel Latrobe past Penn-Trafford

Saturday, January 14, 2023 | 12:11 AM

Landon Butler admitted he became a little sensitive when the ball went through the net just before halftime Friday night.

He had chills for a second or two.

“Emotions kind of picked up, there,” Butler said. “I had tears in my eyes.”

Butler, a senior guard at Latrobe, took a defender off the dribble, drove the lane and ran into some contact. Falling backward, he flicked the ball up and off the backboard for his 1,000th career point with 3 seconds left in the first half at Penn-Trafford.

The Wildcats used the momentum to hold back the Warriors, 66-63, for their first Section 3-5A win of the season.

Latrobe (5-7, 1-3) snapped a five-game losing streak, while Penn-Trafford (2-11, 0-4) dropped its eighth in a row.

The 6-foot-4 Butler needed nine points to reach the milestone but finished with 17 to give him 1,008 for his career. He joins his brothers, Austin and Bryce, in the Wildcats’ 1,000-point club.

That is where the tears came in.

“Coach (Brad) Wetzel called Iso (isolation), so I knew I was going to the basket,” Butler said. “It just means so much to get 1,000 knowing Austin and Bryce did it, too. I wanted to come in here and get the win, first. Getting 1,000 came second. But it feels great to get it. It’s a relief.”

Austin Butler, who went on to play at Holy Cross and Charlotte and is currently a pro player in Finland, is the Wildcats’ all-time leading scorer for the boys program with 1,905 points.

Bryce Butler, a standout junior guard at nationally ranked Division II West Liberty, had 1,157 in his prep career.

The boys’ father, Eric, an assistant coach for Latrobe, scored 1,396 points playing at Ridgway High School in District 9. He went on to play at Robert Morris, Eastern Kentucky and Slippery Rock.

Landon Butler, who has interest from a number of Division II schools, got to keep the game ball and was recognized just before the third quarter began.

Latrobe led 39-37 at halftime and 57-54 after the third quarter.

The lead changed sides six times after the break, and it never got above six.

Penn-Trafford’s last lead came at 58-57 on a driving layup by Brayden Stone.

Latrobe went on a 7-0 run and went ahead 64-58 on a layup by Tyler Mondock on a break with 4:20 to play in the low-scoring fourth.

Latrobe had 26 points in the second quarter but only nine in the fourth. It was enough, though. Just enough.

“All it took is that first (win),” Landon Butler said. “Now, we can get going.”

Free throws by Jason Sabol and Carmen Metcalfe allowed the Warriors to cut the score to 64-61.

After a scoring lull by both teams, Butler made a free throw for a 65-61 advantage with 30 seconds left.

After an emphatic block by Latrobe’s JaTawn Williams, who had a game-high 18 points, Metcalfe made a layup to make it 65-63 with 6.6 seconds left.

Butler missed a free throw with 5.6 left but corralled the rebound and made another free throw with 4.8.

Penn-Trafford had one last chance, but Tyler Freas’ heave from just over halfcourt missed and Latrobe exhaled.

Freas and Sabol each had 17 points. Freas had three 3-pointers.

“Both teams gave a heck of an effort,” Wetzel said. “I am proud of our guys, and I am sure coach Kelly is proud of his. Games like this come down to a basket or two.

“We got one on the road; It’s so difficult to win on the road in this section.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at or via Twitter .

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