High School Sports

How do you get on South Pointe girls’ basketball coach Stephanie Butler’s good side? Easy

South Pointe girls' basketball coach Stephanie Butler rarely sits still once the game tips off

South Pointe girls' basketball coach Stephanie Butler is a firecracker on the sidelines during the Stallions' games, a style that stems from her passion for basketball and coaching.
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South Pointe girls' basketball coach Stephanie Butler is a firecracker on the sidelines during the Stallions' games, a style that stems from her passion for basketball and coaching.

South Pointe girls’ basketball coach Stephanie Butler has never broken a heel, though she has turned her ankle during a game.

The Stallions’ coach stamps her feet and prowls her coaching box while her team plays, gesturing wildly in one instant and sharing her disdain with a simple but painfully clear facial expression in the next. Butler is a torrent of energy, passion and intensity on the sidelines.

“I played the game that way, and as a player it just kind of carried over into coaching,” Butler said after her team's win over Lancaster last Saturday. “I'm just a passionate person, especially about basketball.”

As a player, Butler was a tenacious guard at Southern Wesleyan University in Central, S.C. She made her name as a successful head coach at Butler High School in Matthews, N.C., before working as an assistant coach for a spell at Southern Illinois University. Butler has coached some of the country’s best players and she holds her South Pointe kids to the same standards.

“She’s really passionate about basketball, so when we’re not playing our best or trying our fullest, she thinks we’re taking the sport for granted,” said senior Jonna Roberson.

Butler likes to wear a nice pair of heels while she’s coaching. She’s only had to change into flats at halftime once this season, pretty incredible given the abuse she inflicts on a pair of pumps during two-hour games.

“She can be pretty animated,” said Roberson. “That’s a pretty good word.”

Butler said that people have told her she’s dialed back her sideline antics as she’s gotten older. But coaching the Stallions in one of the best 4A girls’ basketball regions in the state means she’s rarely in her seat on the bench for more than a few seconds. South Pointe is scrapping for a playoff spot with the likes of state powerhouses Westwood and Ridge View, and not every South Pointe player loves Butler’s direct and passionate demeanor.

But veterans like Roberson don’t question that she has their back. Besides, there is a very simple way to stay on Butler’s good side.

“The one thing we talk about every day in practice and preparing for a game, if they play with a passion and play hard, for me, a lot of the other stuff is gonna work itself out,” she said. “Stay focused on the game plan, but play with a passion no matter what. Play hard. Just play hard.”

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Local region standings (as of Jan. 24, 2018)

Region 4-5A

Girls

Nation Ford

4-0

13-4

Rock Hill

3-1

15-3

Clover

2-2

11-8

Fort Mill

0-3

8-7

Northwestern

0-3

4-12

Boys

Nation Ford

4-0

12-6

Fort Mill

2-1

8-7

Clover

1-2

10-7

Northwestern

1-2

7-10

Rock Hill

0-3

3-12

Region 3-4A

Girls

Westwood

5-0

17-1

Richland Northeast

3-1

13-2

South Pointe

2-3

13-7

Ridge View

2-3

9-8

York

1-3

4-13

Lancaster

1-4

7-6

Boys

Ridge View

4-1

11-6

Westwood

4-1

8-9

York

2-2

9-9

South Pointe

2-3

9-9

Richland Northeast

1-3

2-11

Lancaster

1-4

5-7

Region 4-3A

Girls

Fairfield Central

4-0

8-7

Columbia

2-1

5-11

Camden

2-1

7-4

Chester

1-3

1-16

Indian Land

0-4

0-14

Boys

Chester

3-1

12-4

Columbia

3-1

5-14

Camden

2-2

7-7

Indian Land

2-2

7-10

Fairfield Central

0-4

1-13

Region 2-A

Girls

McBee

3-1

7-9

Timmonsville

3-1

6-8

Lamar

3-1

7-10

Great Falls

1-3

2-10

Lewisville

0-4

3-12

Governor’s School

0-0

0-0

Boys

Great Falls

4-1

13-3

McBee

4-1

12-6

Lewisville

3-2

9-8

Timmonsville

1-3

5-9

Lamar

1-3

3-11

Governor’s School

0-3

3-6

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