TENNERTON — The Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School basketball teams have valiantly fought through COVID-19, injury, and illness and are great representatives for the community despite their losing record. Up to this point in the season, the middle school boys’ varsity team’s record sits at 1-7, while the boy’s junior varsity team’s record sits at 0-7. Their record doesn’t detail the obstacles that these student-athletes have had to face down and overcome this season. It cannot be understated the time and effort that these boys have had to put in to even return to some semblance of normalcy after all aspects of their life was interrupted over the better part of the last two years.
The Little Bucs season tipped-off back on December 12, with a game against rival Robert L. Bland, which resulted in a 59-32 loss. Following that game, the Little Bucs would go on to lose 4 more games, first to Mountaineer Middle 53-31, then to Taylor County 40-34, before losing to Bridgeport 52-47, and finally Suncrest Middle 34-24. In their sixth game of the season, the Bucs squared off against Elkins on January 4, 2022. The Bucs put together by far their most complete game of the season so far for a 10-point, 44-34 victory. The win over Elkins marked the Little Bucs first win of the season, improving their record to 1-5 on the season. Jerin Westfall starred for the Little Bucs in the win, scoring an impressive 24 points. In their most recent game on January 13, the middle school varsity team came up short against Belington, losing by a final score of 44-26.
The B-UMS junior varsity team hasn’t managed to win a game yet, but they continue to improve by leaps and bounds. In their last game against Belington, the Bucs narrowly missed out on collecting their first win, losing in the final minutes by a single point, 31-30. While, both teams have had players flash potential, but they are striving for more consistency through both practice and in-game reps. As they pass the midway point in the season, their quest to find consistency will dictate how they close out the season down the stretch.
On the challenges his basketball program has faced this season thus far, the Little Bucs head coach Jason Westfall stated, “We are a very young team. Throughout the early part of the season, I think it’s safe to say that we have experienced some growing pains. Regardless of our record, I am proud of the amount of work this group has put in. They continue to represent our community with pride. Our record is disappointing, but I feel like we are heading in the right direction. Of course, like every team playing right now, we have had to make roster adjustments due to complications with COVID, injury and illnesses. We had a nice win versus a strong Elkins team which indicates we have what it takes to win, or at least compete in every game if we play up to the standard we are trying to set. As a team, we need to limit our mistakes and continue to play together to reach our goals. Our record doesn’t indicate the growth made by our entire roster. We will continue to work hard and do everything we can to put ourselves in position to earn a win going forward.”