TENNERTON – It was just the type of win that Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Travis Foster was looking for from his Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneers with the sectional tournament lurking in two weeks.
The Bucs picked up their signature win of the year back in the last week of December when they toppled Pennsylvania powerhouse Meadville in the Brooke Holiday Classic.
But that was two months ago and Foster was looking for a win that would give his Bucs an edge with the season quickly wrapping up.
He got that win Monday night at home as his Bucs upset No. 12 Musselman by a 73-71 score.
The Bucs were aided by a huge first quarter that saw them race out to a 10-point lead.
Musselman made runs in the second half at the B-U lead and forced an overtime session, but the Bucs held on for the win due to some key free throw shooting in the extra period.
“We have really struggled winning that first quarter in many of our games this season,” remarked Foster about his team’s hot start to the game. “Tonight was one of those games we knew they were going to come and kick our butt if we weren’t ready to play. That first quarter really won us the game.”
The Bucs started the game on fire racing out to a 7-0 lead after Harrison Walker made a jumper in the paint, Noam Keith knocked down a baseline jumper and Ryan Hurst unleashed a three-pointer.
Musselman scored four straight making it a 7-4 game but Hurst nailed another three-pointer and hit a baseline jumper and Lamar Hurst scored a basket in the paint to treat the Bucs to a 14-4 lead at the end of the first.
B-U extended their lead to 14, at 18-4, a minute into the second quarter after Lamar Hurst put in two free throws and Ryan Hurst made a lay-up.
The Bucs biggest lead of the game was 15 points, on three different occasions. The last one being after Ryan Strader scored on a put back with 3:51 left in the half that gave the Bucs a 27-12 lead.
Musselman closed the half on a 6-2 run narrowing the gap to 11 at the break, at 29-18.
Josh Loudin put in two free throws to keep the Bucs ahead by nine, at 35-26, at the 4:06 mark of the third quarter, but the Applemen scored six straight points making it a 35-32 contest.
Foster called a time-out to slow down the Applemen and Lamar Hurst sank two free throws coming out of the break to give B-U a 37-32 lead.
Buckhannon-Upshur still held a five-point lead at the end of the third quarter, at 43-38.
The only scoring B-U managed in the first four minutes of the final quarter were a pair of free throws from Ryan Hurst as Musselman went on a 13-2 run taking a 51-45 advantage with four minutes left.
The six-point deficit was the largest of the night for the Bucs.
Strader came up big with an old-fashioned three-point play for the Bucs making it a 51-48 game with 3:32 left to play.
Musselman’s Brendan Dolelman made a free throw to keep the Applemen up by four, at 52-48, but Lamar Hurst scored on a lay-up, Strader scored from underneath, Walker put in a leaner in the paint and Ryan Hurst flipped in two foul shots to cap an 8-0 run for the Bucs giving them a 56-52 lead with 1:20 remaining.
Walker gave B-U a 59-56 lead after a free throw with 32 seconds remaining, but Isiah Horner put in a free throw for Musselman making it a 59-57 contest and the Applemen stole the inbound pass from the Bucs and Jayden Allen put in a rebound with nine seconds remaining to force an overtime session.
Musselman put in a basket to start the overtime period but Strader scored on a put back and then made two free throws giving the Bucs a 63-61 lead.
Musselman closed it to 65-64, but Ryan Hurst hit two key free throws to put the Bucs up 67-64.
Museelman tied it at 67-67 with a minute remaining, but Will McCauley drained a jumper with 48 seconds left giving the Bucs a 69-67 lead.
Doleman made a lay-up tying the game up again at 69-69 with 30 seconds left.
Hurst was fouled with 28 seconds left and again came up big with a pair of free throws giving the Bucs a 71-69 lead.
After a Musselman miss on their next possession Loudin found a hustling Strader underneath the basket for a lay-up giving the Bucs a 73-69 lead with eight seconds left.
Musselman scored a basket at the buzzer to account for the final score.
The Bucs were six-for-six at the free throw line in the overtime period and 14-for-15 combined in the fourth quarter and overtime period.
“We have probably lost two or three games at the free throw line this season,” noted Foster. “We knew they were going to make a run at us. They are a very good team, but we just kept attacking and getting to the free throw line and making our shots.”
Ryan Hurst led the Bucs with 23 points and seven assists while Strader added 15 points and nine rebounds.
Walker and Lamar Hurst also reached double digits as Walker scored 13 and Lamar Hurst 12 respectively.
Musselman was led by T. J. Stuckey scoring 12 points while Isaiah Horner tallied 10.
“Everyone stepped up their game tonight,” concluded Foster. “It didn’t matter who we put in, you never saw a drop off in our production on the floor. We made some mistakes down the stretch, but you get that with a young team. We just kept battling and I couldn’t be more proud of these guys. To get a win like that is huge.”
The Applemen dropped to 11-8 on the season.
The Bucs improved to 11-8 on the season.
They will host Parkersburg today at 7:30 p.m.
Parkersburg enters the game with a 7-12 record and are coming off three straight losses to George Washington, Spring Valley and St. Albans.
Musselman 4 14 20 21 12 – 71
Buckhannon-Upshur 14 15 14 16 14 – 73
T.J. Stuckey 5-10 2-3 12; Isaiah Horner 2-9 6-9 10; Caleb Hardy 2-11 4-7 9; Blake Hartman 3-4 3-6 9; Jourdan Branson 3-6 0-0 8; Logan Herring 3-3 2-3 8; Brandan Doleman 3-8 1-2 7; Jacob Hoffman 1-1 4-6 6; Jayden Allen 1-4 0-0 2; Jordan Holmes 0-2 0-0 0; Seth Busey 0-0 0-0 0; Ethan Northcraft 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 23-60 22-36 71.
Ryan Hurst 4-14 13-14 23; Ryan Strader 6-6 3-3 15; Harrison Walker 6-16 1-2 13; Lamar Hurst 4-11 4-6 12; Will McCauley 2-4 0-0 4; Noam Keith 2-3 0-0 4; Josh Loudin 0-2 2-2 2; Mason Hyre 0-2 0-2 0. Totals 24-58 23-29 73.
Three-point field goals – Musselman: Branson 2-2; Hardy 1-2; Doleman 0-1; Hartman 0-1; Holmes 0-1; Horner 0-5. Totals 3-12; Buckhannon-Upshur: R. Hurst 2-8; McCauley 0-1; L. Hurst 0-1; Walker 0-1; Hyre 0-2. Totals 2-13.
Rebounds – Musselman: Hartman 8; Stuckey 7; Horner 6; team 6; deadball 5; Doleman 4; Branson 2; Hardy 2; Herring 2; Northcraft 2; Hoffman 1. Totals 43; Buckhannon-Upshur: Strader 9; Hyre 7; McCauley 7; R. Hurst 6; L. Hurst 6; team 4; Walker 3, Loudin 3, deadball 3. Totals 48.
Assists – Musselman: Hardy 3; Horner 3; Branson 2; Doleman 1; Herring 1. Totals 10; Buckhannon-Upshur: R. Hurst 7; Loudin 5; Hyre 2; L. Hurst 2; McCauley 1; Walker 1. Totals 18.
Steals – Musselman: Horner 3; Hardy 2; Doleman 1; Branson 1; Hoffman 1; Hartman 1. Totals 9; Buckhannon-Upshur: Strader 4; Hyre 3; R. Hurst 2; L. Hurst 2. Totals 11.
Blocked shots – Musselman: None; Buckhannon-Upshur: Loudin 2; Hyre 1; L. Hurst 1. Totals 4.
Turnovers – Musselman: 18; Buckhannon-Upshur: 20.