EL DORADO — The Red Devil men's basketball team has had an up-and-down start to their conference slate and now sits at 2-3 in the Jayhawk Conference after suffering a 91-83 loss at Butler Community College on Monday.
The Red Devils built a 10-4 lead after a Quentin Blaue jump shot with 16:55 to go in the first half.
"We got off to a good start by attacking the rim and being aggressive," Allen coach Andy Shaw said. "Then we had a couple of turnovers and those led to easy baskets and dunks for Butler."
A layup by Butler's Jacolby Harris with 14 minutes to go before intermission gave the Grizzlies a 13-12 lead.
The Red Devils were never able to recapture the lead for the remainder of the game. The Grizzlies built their lead to 42-34 at halftime.
With 14:33 left in the game, the Red Devils were keeping pace with Butler with the score at 56-45 after Allen's DaRon Mims' three-pointer.
The Grizzlies countered with a 15-3 spurt to take a 23-point lead with just under 12 minutes left in the game.
The Red Devils still trailed by 18 with just under five minutes left and seemed destined to have the game end in a blow-out loss.
After the Grizzlies added a free throw, Blaue took over with some help from sophomore point guard E.J. Garnes.
In less than a minute worth of game time, Blaue hit a trio of threes on concurrent possessions with each of the assists from Garnes. The third triple cut the lead to four points with just 1:47 left.
"It was a good comeback," Shaw said. "Quentin made some big shots to cut into the lead and give us a chance, but at the end of the day, we couldn't get down by 20-plus points."
Butler's LaJuan Hardy was able to extend the lead to seven points with a three pointer of his own with 1:21 on the clock.
Hardy helped seal the game with four free throws in the final 30 seconds and Butler was able to hang on for the win.
"You don't like to lose, but at least we put up a fight and didn't give in," Shaw said.
Blaue led the Red Devils with a double-double. He finished 14 points and 12 rebounds on 5-of-7 shooting.
"He battled and was in the right spot," Shaw said. "When he was open, he stepped up and there was no doubt about those shots. They all looked good and went in."
Shon Sanders and Mims each had 12 points, while Garnes added 10 points and nine assists.
"E.J. had a great effort the entire game and just made plays," Shaw said. "He was huge for us."
Allen will host an undefeated Barton Community College team on Wednesday.
"We have no time to pout," Shaw said. "We have to prepare for Barton. In my opinion, they are the best team we will have played to this point... I think we can play with them, but it will take our best effort."