FAIRMONT – It will go down as one of the most historic comebacks in Buckhannon-Upshur basketball history.
The Bucs were being run off the court by East Fairmont for three quarters and were down 17 points to the homestanding Bees heading into the final quarter.
The Bucs rallied to tie the game at the end of regulation and downed the Bees in the overtime session for a 78-73 victory capping off one of the biggest comebacks in the program’s history.
The only comment Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Travis Foster could come up with following the game was “Wow.”
“We have a motto of Hard Work + No Excuses = Success,” Foster stated. “For this team to come back and fight the way they did, is remarkable.”
Foster said a win of this magnitude shows the progress the program is making. The Bucs also matched their win total of six from last year with the victory.
“Past teams might have laid down and quit, but with the mentality that we are instilling, we want to be the team that never gives up,” he remarked. We take everything day-to-day. “We know if we keep fighting something good will happen at the end. You never know when the hard work will pay off, but you just keep working hard and when it happens it happens.”
In the first quarter, the Bucs had has many turnovers as points with 11.
B-U took an early 4-0 lead with baskets by Ryan Hurst and Dawson Lilly, but East Fairmont went on a 17-0 run as the Bucs continually turned the ball over.
East Fairmont went into the second quarter with a 24-11 lead.
In the second quarter, the Bucs narrowed the East Fairmont lead at one point down to nine, at 32-23, but East Fairmont pushed their lead back to 15 at the break, at 42-27.
East Fairmont controlled play in the third quarter as well as the Bucs couldn’t get any closer than 13 as the Bees extended to their lead 17, at 57-40, heading into the final quarter.
That is when the determined Bucs decided to impose their will on the Bees and dominate the rest of the game.
Hurst and East Fairmont’s Gavin Asterino traded 3-pointers to start the frame, but then Brayden Cutlip and Josh Loudin muscled in a pair of put backs, and after Asterino nailed a jumper, Lilly turned in an old-fashioned three-point play and Ryan Strader made a lay-up to cut the lead down to 10, at 62-52, with 4:02 left.
Asterino hit a jumper for the Bees, but the Bucs went on a 8-0 run with Cutlip scoring on a lay-up, Lilly knocking down a huge trey and Jacob Loudin making a free throw and a lay-up.
That cut the lead down to four, at 64-60, with 1:19 remaining.
The Bucs had to run some clock on defense as they only had committed two second-half fouls up to this point.
They were finally able to get East Fairmont to the line with 49 seconds remaining, where Luke Pollock made one of two to give the Bees a 65-60 advantage.
Jacob Loudin scored a lay-up and made his free throw after being fouled on the play to bring the Bucs to within two, at 65-63, with 39 seconds left.
East Fairmont’s Ben Underwood made a pair of free throws for the Bees to make it a 67-63 contest, but Lilly raced down the court for lay-up as the Bucs were down two, 67-65 with 22 seconds remaining.
East Fairmont’s Garrett Wilkerson was fouled with 18 seconds left, but missed the front end of his one-and-one with the Bucs grabbing the rebound.
Lilly powered his way up and scored on a put back with eight seconds remaining.
East Fairmont called a time-out with three seconds left with the ball at mid-court, but they weren’t able to get off a shot.
Wilkerson scored a lay-up to start the overtime period, but the Bucs went on a 8-0 run as they controlled the final four minutes of the game.
Cutlip put in a rebound, Lilly made a free throw and a lay-up and Hurst sank two free throws as the Bucs built a 75-69 lead with 46 seconds left in overtime.
The Bucs won it at the free-throw line down the stretch.
Lilly and Hurst led the Bucs with 21 points apiece.
“Both players came up huge,” remarked Foster. “Dawson didn’t have a great first half but he delivered for us in the second half and Ryan, just a sophomore guard, really brought it and was a huge part of the win.”
Cutlip earned a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds while Jacob Loudin added 12 points.
Underwood led East Fairmont with 20 points while Pollock scored 19 and Asterino had 14.
East Fairmont dropped to 4-6 overall and 2-5 in the Big 10 Conference.
The Bucs have now won four straight as they improved their mark to 6-4 overall and 6-1 in the Big 10.
The Bucs were slated to have played Robert C. Byrd Thursday.
They will return to action Saturday as they visit Elkins for a 7:30 p.m. conference tilt with the Tigers.
Buck.-Upshur 11 16 13 27 11 – 78
East Fairmont 24 18 15 10 6 – 73
Ryan Hurst 8-16 4-6 21, Jacob Loudin 3-7 6-7 12, Mason Hyre 0-1 0-0 0, Dawson Lilly 9-17 2-3 21, Zach White 0-0 0-0 0, Ryan Strader 1-2 1-4 3, Josh Loudin 4-6 0-0 8, Brayden Cutlip 6-14 1-1 13. Totals 31-63 14-21 78.
East Fairmont 73
Ethan Harvey 1-3 0-0 2, Brandon Corley 0-1 0-0 0, Ducati Linn 1-2 0-1 2, Aiden Slusser 4-7 1-2 10, Garrett Wilkerson 3-9 0-1 6, Jalen Marshall 0-3 0-0 0, Trey Rogers 0-2 0-0 0, Gavin Astrerino 6-14 1-3 14, Luke Pollack 5-9 7-10 19, Ben Underwood 7-19 2-2 20. Totals 27-69 11-19 73.
Three-point field goals – Buckhannon-Upshur: Hurst 1-6, Lilly 0-2, Hyre 0-1. Totals 1-9; East Fairmont: Underwood 4-10, Pollock 2-4, Slusser 1-1, Asterino 1-8, Marshall 0-1, Wilkerson 0-3. Totals 8-27.
Rebounds – Buckhannon-Upshur: Cutlip 13, Lilly 6, Strader 5, Josh Loudin 4, White 4, Hurst 3, Jacob Loudin 3, Hyre 2, team 6, deadball 2. Totals 48; East Fairmont: Underwood 13, Pollock 10, Asterino 4, Wilkerson 4, Linn 2, Harvey 1, Corley 1, Slusser 1, team 2, deadball 3. Totals 41.
Assists – Buckhannon-Upshur: Jacob Loudin 3, Lilly 3, Hurst 2, Hyre 2, Strader 1, Cutlip 1. Totals 12; East Fairmont: Slusser 6, Linn 2, Wilkerson 2, Harvey 1, Rogers, Asterino 1, Pollock 1. Totals 14.
Steals – Buckhannon-Upshur: Hurst 2, Jacob Loudin 2, Lilly 2, Strader 1, Josh Loudin 1. Totals 8; East Fairmont: Slusser 4, Pollock 4, Wilkerson 1, Rogers 1, Underwood 1. Totals 11.
Blocked shots – Buckhannon-Upshur: Jacob Loudin 1, Lilly 1. Totals 2; East Fairmont: Underwood 2, Marshall 1. Totals 3.
Personal fouls – Buckhannon-Upshur 19; East Fairmont: 19.
Turnovers – Buckhannon-Upshur: 20; East Fairmont: 16.