TENNERTON — Coming off of a tough loss to the Parkersburg Big Reds, head coach Travis Foster’s Buckhannon-Upshur boys’ varsity basketball team (5-2) was back in action Monday, January 3, 2022 as they welcomed the Hampshire Trojans (3-3) to Tennerton for their first game of the new year.
A couple minutes in the game, the Bucs’ suffered a major blow as leading scorer on the season, senior guard Harrison Walker went down with an injury. Following the injury to one of their team’s leaders, the Bucs seemed shaken, leading them to start the game in uncharacteristically slow fashion offensively, only managing to score 7 first quarter points. Despite their early offensive struggles, the Bucs kept their energy level and overall intensity high, playing outstanding defense in the opening period to keep the Trojans’ offense in check, holding them to 7 first quarter points. At the end of the first period, the game was deadlocked in a tie at 7-7.
Without Walker creating shots off the bounce, the Bucs offensive woes from the first quarter carried over into the second quarter, scoring 9 points in the period to bring their total to 16 at halftime. Meanwhile, the Trojans’ offense picked it up a notch, doubling their first quarter scoring output by dropping 14 points in the second quarter. Heading into the locker-room for the halftime break, the Bucs trailed 21-16.
The Bucs’ came out of halftime and continued to put up a dogged fight to keep the game in striking distance. Lamar Hurst scored 6 of the Bucs’ 10 points in the period, yet the Trojans kept the Bucs at arm’s length, scoring 13 third quarter points to extend their lead to 34-26 going into the fourth and final quarter.
At the start of the fourth quarter, the Bucs’ trailed by 8. The Bucs’ scored 9 fourth quarter points, keeping the game close, but couldn’t quite make a serious run at the Trojans’ lead. The Trojans’ won the quarter 11-9 on their way to closing the Bucs out. In the end, the Bucs’ never quite regained their footing offensively following Walker going down with an injury, dropping a defensive battle to the Trojans by 10 points, 45-35, marking their second straight loss.
Senior guard Sterlin Thropp paced the team in terms of scoring, tallying 16 points by netting 6 2-point field goals, a 3-point field goal, and finishing the night a perfect 1-1 from the charity stripe. His night was highlighted by several steals that allowed the team to get out in the open floor and generate some easy looks to somewhat alleviate Walker’s absence. Hurst was the only other Buc to hit double-digit scoring numbers, hitting 5 2-point field goals and finishing 3-4 from the free throw line to end the night with 13 total points. Both senior guard Mason Hyre and junior point guard Zach Calef-Boring finished the night with 3 points apiece to round out the Bucs’ scoring numbers.
The Bucs have announced that their remaining games this week, at North Marion and at home against Grafton have been cancelled. The Bucs’ will look to rebound and end their two-game losing skid when they travel North take on the Liberty Mountaineers next week on Wednesday, January 12.