North Point’s Tasia Butler closes decorated career in style

March 11, 2013

The game story from North Point’s victory over Poly in Saturday’s Maryland 4A girls’ basketball final paints a picture of senior Tasia Butler’s jubilant reaction to a long-awaited state title.

After two straight Maryland 4A girls’ basketball state semifinal losses, the Eagles posted a pair of hardfought wins at UMBC’s RAC Arena in this year’s state tournament with Butler combining for 38 points and 13 rebounds. She will head to Syracuse University next year as the Waldorf school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,363 points after averaging 19.1 points per game during the team’s unbeaten run to the title.

“This season, I can definitely say there was pressure,” Butler said afterward. “We’ve been here twice. We lost twice, so we knew how it felt. We knew what we needed to do on the floor at practice, preseason, all that. … Coming in here, we just worked our tails off.”

The state championship also closes a chapter of sorts for North Point, which began varsity basketball play in 2008. In that time, the Eagles have always had a Butler to rely on.

Tasia’s sister, Tiara Butler, played on the first three teams before earning a scholarship to Syracuse, reaching as far in the playoffs as the Maryland 2A East final in 2009. Tasia joined North Point’s varsity squad during Tiara’s senior season and has been a constant in the team’s lineup ever since, save for a four-game stint to begin her sophomore season in which she played at Riverdale Baptist before transferring back.

Late this season, Tasia Butler passed Robyn Parks, now a sophomore at VCU, for the top spot on the career scoring list. She is one of five Eagles to have played in all four state tournament games in school history, along with seniors Chalise Greenwood and Ebane Mainor and juniors Khaila Prather and KanDeon Niravanh.

When Butler orally committed to Syracuse in July, she cited the chance to play with her sister again as one of the most important factors in her decision. She had extensive interest from schools across the country at the time, claiming 27 scholarship offers.

Tiara Butler, a redshirt sophomore guard, has scored nine points in 16 games as a reserve for the 24th-ranked Orange, who will meet No. 3 Connecticut in a Big East tournament semifinal on Monday night.

After hoisting the state title trophy on Saturday afternoon, Tasia Butler laughed when asked if North Point’s title in her senior season provided any family bragging rights.

“Going to school with [Tiara] next year, it’s just something I can hold over her and be happy about,” Butler said. “… I’ve got a ring. That’s something to hold on my shoulder.”

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