WELLSBURG – There are upsets, then there are really big upsets.
The Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneers pulled off the latter Saturday evening in the championship game of the Brooke Holiday Tournament against the previously unbeaten and top-ranked Meadville (Pa.)Bulldogs.
Meadville entered the game 8-0 and was ranked No. 1 in Class 5A out of 107 other teams in Pennsylvania
The Bucs, down by 12 points late in the first quarter, rallied for a huge 66-53 victory over the Bulldogs for the most impressive victory by a B-U boys team in many years.
For Buckhannon-Upshur third-year head coach Travis Foster, the victory was the signature win he and the team have been looking for during this rebuilding process.
“This win is so big,” remarked Foster. “We have went through so much adversity these last couple of years trying to rebuild this program. We just keep working hard and telling the team to believe in themselves. For the people who have supported us and for the kids, this is what it is all about it. It means a lot. It makes a statement that we can play with anybody. It was a great way to end 2019.”
The Bucs had a slow start to the game falling behind 5-0 before Zach White put them on the board with a lay-up 1:07 into the outing.
The Bucs trailed by 12 late in the first quarter before White scored another lay-up and Noam Keith dropped in two free throws to close the gap to 20-12 heading into the second quarter.
After a free throw by Meadville to start the second quarter, the Bucs scored 10 unanswered points for their first lead, at 22-21, with 3:10 remaining in the half.
During the run, Ryan Hurst tapped in a put back, White had a lay-up, Hurst scored a lay-up and White and Ryan Strader scored from underneath.
With the game tied at 26-26, Reese Pero drained a three-pointer for Meadville but Ryan Hurst closed the half with a jumper in the paint to make it a 29-28 contest heading into the break.
With Meadville leading 37-34 at the 4:20 mark of the third quarter, the Bucs scored six straight points behind free throws from Strader and Keith and a basket by Josh Loudin as they took a 40-37 advantage.
A Loudin lay-up kept the Bucs ahead by five, at 44-39 with two minutes remaining, but Meadville closed out the quarter with an 8-0 run for a 47-44 lead heading into the final quarter.
The Bucs completely dominated the final quarter holding Meadville to just six points.
Loudin and Strader started the fourth quarter with a pair of baskets to return the lead back to B-U, at 48-47.
A pair of free throws by Meadville’s Sam Burchard gave the lead back to the Bulldogs, at 49-48.
It was the last lead the Bulldogs would own.
Lamar Hurst, who came off the bench in the fourth quarter to score nine points, made two baskets and Ryan Hurst uncorked a three-pointer as the Bucs took a 55-49 lead, with five minutes remaining.
Lemaro Husband gave Meadville a small spark with a dunk that closed the gap to 55-51, but the Bucs answered with six straight points for a 61-51 advantage with two minutes left.
Husband scored a lay-up with 1:46 remaining to make it a 61-53 game, but it was the last basket the Bulldogs would score as the Bucs closed out the game on a 5-0 run.
Pero led Meadville with 16 points while Husband had 14.
Ryan Hurst led the Bucs with a double-double with 19 points and 10 assists to go along with four steals.
White added 12 points and five rebounds while Loudin scored 10 and Strader put in seven points and grabbed seven rebounds.
Ryan Hurst and Strader were named to the All-Tournament Team and Hurst was tabbed as the MVP of the Tournament.
“Strader is a guy that never gets talked about,” noted Foster. “He came out and played well against Meadville after not performing very well against Brooke the night before. Strader is a huge key to our team. He gives us that blue collar effort. With Hurst, he is our quarterback out there. Being named the MVP of the tournament is huge for him, and I don’t think he is done yet.”
The Bucs, now 3-2 on the season, will visit Riverside today for a 7:30 p.m. tip.
Meadville 20 9 18 6 – 53
Buckhannon-Upshur 12 16 16 22 – 66
Reese Pero 7-15 0-0 16; Lemaro Husband 6-11 2-2 14; Sam Burchard 4-9 2-4 11; Dayvon Butler 2-12 1-2 6; Hayden Parks 2-3 0-0 4; Savior Hughes 1-2 0-0 2; Michael Bolden 0-2 0-0 0; Alex McElhinny 0-2 0-0 0; Brian Lopez 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-56 5-8 53.
Ryan Hurst 9-15 0-1 19; Zach White 6-10 0-0 12; Josh Loudin 5-6 0-1 10; Lamar Hurst 4-4 1-2 9; Ryan Strader 3-4 1-2 7; Noam Keith 1-5 3-4 5; Will McCauley 2-2 0-0 4; Tyler Sandreth 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 30-47 5-10 66.
Three-point field goals – Meadville: Pero 2-9; Butler 1-6; Burchard 1-2; L. Husband 0-2; McElhinny 0-2. 4-21; Buckhannon-Upshur: Hurst 1-4. Totals 1-4.
Rebounds – Meadville: Burchard 6; L. Husband 3; team 3; Butler 2; Pero 2; Bolden 2; Hughes 2; Parks 1; deadball 1. Totals 22; Buckhannon-Upshur: Strader 7; L. Hurst 6; Keith 5; White 5; R. Hurst 4; team 4; Sandreth 2; Loudin 2; McCauley 1; deadball 1. Totals 37.
Assists – Meadville: L. Husband 3; Burchard 3; Butler 2; Pero 2; Bolden 2; McElhinny 1. Totals 13; Buckhannon-Upshur: R. Hurst 10; McCauley 2; Sandreth 2; L. Hurst 2; Strader 2; Loudin 2. Totals 20.
Steals – Meadville: L. Husband 3; Burchard 3; Butler 2; Pero 2; Bolden 2. Totals 12; Buckhannon-Upshur: R. Hurst 4; Strader 2; McCauley 1; White 1; Loudin 1. Totals 9.
Blocked shots – Meadville: L. Husband 1. Totals 1; Buckhannon-Upshur: Strader 1; Loudin 1; L. Hurst 1. Totals 3.
Turnovers – Meadville: 12; Buckhannon-Upshur: 19.
Personal fouls – Meadville: 12; Buckhannon-Upshur: 6.