HANCEVILLE — Every time Brooks made a run, Butler responded.
Ultimately, the Lions, who cut a 9-point deficit to one mid-fourth quarter, couldn't completely close the gap, falling 47-40 in this afternoon's Class 4A semifinal at the AHSAA Northwest Regional basketball tournament.
Butler (16-13) used a 16-6 run to turn a 1-point halftime deficit into a 33-24 lead with 7:07 left to play.
Jack Singletary then checked in for Brooks (26-8) and scored his first five points, sinking a 3-pointer and following with a steal and a fast-break basket. Canaan Sides followed with a basket, and Brooks pulled within 33-32 with 5:27 to play.
But from there, the Lions missed three straight 3-point shots, and six-foot-5 sophomore Robert Steele, who had all six of his rebounds on the offensive end, made back-to-back put-backs to push the Rebels' lead to 41-32.
Skyler Beck and Holden Corum sank 3s for Brooks in the final minute, and the Lions trailed 46-40 with the ball and 23 seconds to play. But a contested layup and a 3 didn't fall, and Brooks got no closer.
Steele scored a game-high 14 points for Butler, which advances to a regional final for the 10th straight time and will play J.O. Johnson on Saturday at 3 p.m.
KJ Gosa added 11 points for the Rebels.
Brooks took a 18-17 lead into halftime.
Chris Crews scored all of his team-his 10 points in the first half on 4-of-5 shooting for the Lions.
Brooks trailed by as much as 14-8 before Crews converted a conventional 3-point play, followed with a 3-point basket and added two more baskets basket consecutively to put the Lions ahead 18-14.
Corum scored 9 and Brady Bedingfield added 8 points for Brooks.
Bryan App an be reached at 256-740-5730 or email@example.com. Follow @bappster on Twitter.