Bucs battle but fall to No. 6 Wheeling Park, 64-56

Ryan Strader (23) goes inside for two points in front of Wheeling Park’s De’Vaugh McWhorter (3) during the fourth quarter of their non-conference battle Saturday night. Strader scored 10 points going a perfect five-for-five from the floor and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds in the Bucs’ 64-56 setback.

TENNERTON – Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Travis Foster knew his Buccaneers were going to have to keep up with the No. 6 Wheeling Park Patriots in the rebounding battle if they were to have a chance to win.

Unfortunately for the Bucs they lost the rebounding battle by a 51-35 margin and lost the game by a 64-56 margin.

Twenty of Wheeling Park’s 51 rebounds came on the offensive side.

“We knew going in if Wheeling Park beat us on the board we would lose,” remarked Foster. “They were pretty heavy on the offensive glass and crushed us. We gave them way too many opportunities on the offensive end. You can’t give a team of their caliber that many chances. I thought defensively we did a good job on Wheeling Park but they beat us on the glass, especially in the first quarter.”

The Bucs never led in the contest but kept it close throughout.

Wheeling Park started the game with a 12-6 lead but Dawson Lilly, seeing his first action of the year, scored on a lay-up, and after the Patriots hit a free throw, Brayden Cutlip made one of two at the line to put the Bucs down by a 13-9 heading into the second quarter.

Wheeling Park scored 10 of the first 16 points in the second quarter to take a 23-15 lead with 3:28 left in the half.

Cutlip put in a jumper, after a Patriot basket, Ryan Hurst floated in a seven-footer at the 2:18 mark and made two free throws 18 seconds later to close the deficit to four, at 25-21.

Wheeling Park held a 29-24 lead at the break.

Wheeling Park opened the third quarter on an 11-3 run to take a 40-27 advantage.

The Bucs started to chip away at the lead as Jacob Loudin went inside for a lay-up, Zach White made a free throw and Ryan Strader scored on a lay-up as the Bucs cut the Patriot lead down to eight, at 40-32, with 3:01 left to play in the quarter.

Wheeling Park scored back-to-back baskets, but Jacob Loudin scored another lay-up and Cultip knocked down a put back to make it a 44-36 score heading into the final quarter.

With Wheeling Park holding a 47-40 lead, Loudin and Hurst both scored baskets inside to make it a 47-44 game with 5:16 left.

A Cutlip lay-up kept the Bucs down by three, at 51-48, with 3:08 remaining.

The Patriots scored five straight to open up a 56-48 lead but Cutlip canned a jumper from the paint to make it a 56-50 contest with 2:15 left.

The Bucs couldn’t get any closer than six points though as Wheeling Park pulled away late at the free throw line winning the game by eight.

“I give our kids credit, they never quit playing,” Foster stated. “We were down by 13 at one point in the second half and cut it to three. I think people are starting to see that we are fun to watch. We are certainly better than what our record shows at this point.”

The Bucs outshot Wheeling Park from the floor making 44.0 percent of their shots to Wheeling Park only shooting 37.7 percent, but because of the rebounding discrepancy they managed to get off 11 more shots than the Bucs.

Lilly led the Bucs with 13 points.

“Getting Lilly back is big for us and he played a lot of minutes for us,” Foster said. “He gives us a spark on the offensive end.”

Three other Bucs reached double digits as Cutlip and Hurst each had 11 and Strader had 10.

Strader just missed a double-double as he hauled down a game-best nine rebounds.

Jake Stakem led University with 19 points while Alex Vargo scored 18.

Wheeling Park improved to 2-1 on the season.

The Bucs, who have now played three teams ranked in the top six, are 2-4 on the season.

They will return to action Thursday when they visit Kingwood for a Big 10 Conference game with Preston.

The contest will start at 7:30 p.m.

The boxscore:

Wheeling Park          13  16  15  20 – 64

Buck.-Upshur         9  15  12  20 – 56

Wheeling Park 64

Jack Stakem 5-10 9-15 19, Alex Dunlevy 2-5 2-4 6, De’Vaughn McWhorter 2-8 1-2 6, Keondre King 3-10 0-0 7, David Croft 0-1 0-0 0, Alex Vargo 9-21 0-2 18, Xavier Morris 0-0 0-0 0, Donovan Goddard 2-6 4-6 8, Dustin VanSickle 0-0 0-2 0. Totals 23-61 16-31 64.

Buckhannon-Upshur 56

Ryan Hurst 4-15 3-5 11, Jacob Loudin 4-7 0-0 8, Will McCauley 0-0 0-0 0, Tyler Sandreth 0-1 0-0 0, Dawson Lilly 4-11 5-5 13, Zach White 1-2 1-3 3, Ryan Strader 5-5 0-0 10, Josh Loudin 0-0 0-0 0, Brayden Cutlip 4-9 3-4 11. Totals 22-50 12-17 56.

Three-point field goals – Wheeling Park: McWhorter 1-2, King 1-3, Croft 0-1, Vargo 0-1. Total 2-7; Buckhannon-Upshur: Hurst 0-5, Lilly 0-4, Sandreth 0-1. Totals 0-10.

Rebounds – Wheeling Park: Vargo 9, Dunlevy 8, Stakem 7, King 7, Goddard 4, McWhorter 2, Croft 1, Morris 1, VanSickle 1, team 4, deadball 7. Totals 51; Buckhannon-Upshur: Strader 9, Cutlip 6, Hurst 5, White 5, Jacob Loudin 4, Lilly 1, McCauley 1, team 3, deadball 1. Totals 35.

Assists – Wheeling Park: Stakem 2, McWhorter 2, Vargo 2. Totals 6; Buckhannon-Upshur: Hurst 3, Jacob Loudin 1, Lilly 1. Totals 5.

Steals – Wheeling Park: Vargo 4, Stakem 2, Goddard 2, Dunlevy 1, McWhorter 1, King 1, VanSickle 1. Totals 12; Buckhannon-Upshur: Hurst 2, Sandreth 1, Strader 1, Josh Loudin 1, Cutlip 1. Totals 6.

Blocks – Wheeling Park: King 1, Vargo 1. Totals 2; Buckhannon-Upshur: Cutlip 2, Lilly 1. Totals 3.

Personal fouls – Wheeling Park: 20; Buckhannon-Upshur: 25.

Turnovers – Wheeling Park: 11; Buckhannon-Upshur 16.


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