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Nevada Preps Boys Athlete of the Week: Shadow Ridge’s Jalen Butler

Shadow Ridge sophomore guard Jalen Butler said the players’ goal entering the Golden Crown Holiday Tip-Off tournament last week was to get the team’s first wins of the season.

With the 6-foot, 3-inch guard leading the Mustangs’ scoring attack, they were able to accomplish that.

Butler averaged 18.3 points per game in the Mustangs’ three wins last week in San Diego, with his high being a 20-point performance in a 78-72 win over Temecula Valley (Calif.) last Tuesday. For his efforts, he was named Nevada Preps Boys Athlete of the Week.

“The mantra was getting the first win. We wanted to have a winning record,” Butler said. “We said we were going to lock in as a team and just do whatever we could to win.”

Butler is playing his first year with the Shadow Ridge varsity team after transferring from Bonanza two months into the last school year. When he did join the Mustangs, along with being a scorer, he was expected to get his teammates involved.

That was evident in San Diego last week when teams started to double-team Butler. When he didn’t break the double team, he would find his open teammates, who were also knocking down their shots.

“Those guys can help me so much because they make the game easier for me, especially when they’re involved and playing how they can,” Butler said.

Butler said adapting to his new situation has gone well. And after the success last week he’s seen the confidence of the team grow.

He believes the improvements shown last week can translate to more wins in league play and help the Mustangs’ goal of making the playoffs and a run to the state tournament.

“I’m excited for it,” Butler said. “We’re just ready to do whatever it takes to win.”

Contact Alex Wright at awright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlexWright1028 on Twitter.

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