GRAFTON – Kennedy Samargo nailed a huge three-pointer and then the Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Bucs watched Grafton self-implode in a thrilling 51-44 victory in Big 10 Conference action Thursday night.
The Lady Bucs, who overcame a poor shooting first half, led Grafton by one, at 41-40, with just over two minutes remaining in the game.
Samargo stepped up and drained a key three-pointer to give the Lady Bucs a 44-40 lead with 2:15 remaining.
Grafton’s Meredith Maier responded with a lay-up to make it a 44-42 game with 1:56 left, but the Bearcats had only committed three fouls at this point of the game.
The Lady Bucs ran 90 seconds off the clock playing keep away before they were finally put at the line in a one-and-one situation with 33 seconds remaining.
Shelby McDaniels made one of two at the line to give the Lady Bucs a 45-42 lead with 33 seconds remaining.
Grafton forced the ball up court and Maier collided with Lady Buc Kassidy Wilfong knocking the ball free. B-U picked up the ball and gave an outlet pass to McDaniels for an uncontested lay-up to make it a 47-42 game with 20 seconds remaining.
At this point, Grafton head coach Andrew Moore was called for two technical fouls over the non-call on the collision resulting in an ejection.
McDaniels put in three of four at the line shooting the technical free throws putting the Lady Bucs up 50-42.
With the Lady Bucs having possession of the ball after the technical free throws, Grafton fouled McDaniels again and she made another free throw to put B-U up by a 51-42 score.
Grafton’s Tori Jackson put in a basket at the end of the game to wrap up the scoring.
“Samargo’s three-pointer was a game changer,” remarked Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Rob Kittle. “It was big for her confidence and the team’s confidence. After she made that shot, I really felt that we had the game won. For her to step up and make the shot was huge.”
The Lady Bucs suffered through a 7-for-31 shooting first half.
They fell behind by an 8-2 score before McDaniels hit a three-pointer and Lexi Kelley put in a lay-up to close it to an 8-7 score.
B-U trailed after one quarter by a 10-9 score.
Grafton scored the first two points of the second quarter for a 14-9 lead but Brooklyn Maxwell drained a three-pointer and McDaniels scored on a lay-up to deadlock the game at 14-14 with 4:44 remaining in the half.
Grafton ended the half on a 10-5 run for a 24-19 advantage at the break.
The Lady Bucs grabbed the momentum starting the second half with eight straight points for a 27-24 lead.
During the run, Kendall Currence scored four points and McDaniels and Samargo two each.
After a 5-0 run by Grafton that gave them the lead back at 29-27, McDaniels scored four straight points to give the advantage back to B-U, at 31-29.
Grafton scored six straight points for a 35-31 lead before Samargo wrapped up the third quarter making it a 35-33 game heading into the fourth quarter.
Grafton extended their lead to 39-35 before Wilfong made a lay-up, McDaniels flipped in two foul shots and Samargo went inside for two points for a 41-39 lead.
Bailey Toothman knocked down a free throw for Grafton to make it the 41-40 game before the dramatic finish.
“I thought our effort and execution were much better in the second half,” stated Kittle. “We just never got in sets and were all over the place in the first half. At halftime, I told them to calm down and let’s run the offense. Plus, we let Grafton speed us up and we were rushing and taking some bad shots. We weren’t taking quality shots in the first half.”
Kittle said he was proud of the way his team responded after going down by four in the fourth quarter.
“Every game has been a dogfight for us,” concluded Kittle. “We have been in these types of situations every game this year, so I think that has helped. The girls just find a way to push through and win and make the plays when the need to.”
McDaniels scored a game-high 22 points for the Lady Bucs while Samargo had nine points.
Maier led Grafton with 14 points.
Grafton dropped to 5-2 overall and 1-1 in the Big 10 Conference.
The Lady Bucs improved to 5-3 overall and 4-2 in the Big 10.
Buckhannon-Upshur will return to action on Monday hosting Morgantown at 7:30 p.m.
They will remain at home on Tuesday entertaining Liberty at 7:30 p.m.
Buckhannon-Upshur 9 10 14 18 – 51
Grafton 10 14 11 9 – 44
Shelby McDaniels 6-16 9-12 22; McKenzie Reynolds 0-6 0-0 0; Kendall Currence 2-5 0-1 4; Kennedy Samargo 4-11 0-0 9; Lexi Kelley 1-3 0-0 2; Brooklyn Maxwell 2-10 1-2 8; Kiara Woods 0-0 0-0 0; Kassidy Wilfong 3-6 0-0 6. Totals 18-57 10-15 51.
Tori Jackson 3-5 0-0 6; Meredith Maier 6-14 2-2 14; Bria Jacobs 3-8 1-1 7; Alyssa Satterfield 2-10 0-0 6; Bailey Toothman 2-7 1-2 4; Fredrique Maloley 2-3 0-0 5; Jocelyn Countryman 0-2 0-0 0; Mia Chambers 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 19-52 4-6 44.
Three-point field goals – Buckhannon-Upshur: McDaniels 1-4; Maxwell 1-3; Samargo 1-1; Reynolds 0-1. Totals 3-9. Grafton: Satterfield 2-3; Mainer 0-1; Jacobs 0-2. Totals 2-6.
Rebounds – Buckhannon-Upshur: team 10; Wilfong 8; Maxwell 7; McDaniels 3; Samargo 3; Currence 3; Kelley 3; deadball 2; Woods 1. Totals 40; Grafton: Maier 9; Jackson 6; Toothman 6; Jacobs 6; Maloley 5; team 5; Satterfield 2; Countryman 1; Chambers 1. Totals 41.
Assists – Buckhannon-Upshur: Maxwell 4; Currence 3; McDaniels 2; Samargo 1; Wilfong 1; Reynolds 1. Totals 12; Grafton: Maloley 3; Satterfield 2; Jackson 1; Maier 1; Toothman 1; Countryman 1. Totals 9.
Steals – Buckhannon-Upshur: McDaniels 6; Maxwell 3; Currence 3; Samargo 2; Wilfong 2; Reynolds 1; Kelley 1; Woods 1. Totals 19; Grafton: Maier 3; Jacobs 2; Maloley 2; Satterfield 1; Jackson 1; Countryman 1. Totals 10.
Blocked shots – Buckhannon-Upshur: Currence 3; Maxwell 1; Reynolds 1. Totals 5; Grafton: Maier 2; Jacobs 2; Toothman 2. Totals 6.
Turnovers – Buckhannon-Upshur: 16; Grafton: 23.
Personal fouls – Buckhannon-Upshur: 11; Grafton: 17.