Bucs drop double-OT thriller to RCB before knocking off Preston

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Pair of game-saving putbacks by Heatherly not enough in loss to Eagles

TENNERTON — Drew Heatherly’s heroics at the end of regulation and first overtime weren’t enough as Buckhannon-Upshur dropped a 79-72 decision to Robert C. Byrd in double overtime Thursday night in a Big 10 Conference encounter.
The Bucs bounced back at Preston on Saturday night, however, using a late run to pull out a 59-53 victory to move to 7-7 overall and 6-3 in the Big 10. They will return to action at 7:30 p.m. Thursday for a home encounter against Class AA, No. 5 Philip Barbour.
B-U led 35-28 at halftime of Thursday night’s game against RCB but the final two quarters and first overtime session were a back-and-forth tussle.
The Eagles used a 14-8 scoring advantage in the third frame to cut the deficit to 43-42 entering the final canto.
They eventually forged ahead in the fourth quarter, at 47-46, when Tre Junkins’ converted an old-fashioned 3-point play.
The Bucs answered on the other end to regain the lead on a basket by Brennan Frye before ties of 50-50 and 54-54 followed.
RCB then took the lead on another Junkins’ inside basket and after a B-U timeout, a missed 3-point attempt was tracked down by a hustling Heatherly, whose putback just before the horn sent the game into the first OT.
The Bucs took a 61-58 lead in the extra session on Frye’s trey with 1:25 left. The Eagles answered, however, behind the play of Tanner Kennedy, who scored four straight points to put the visitors ahead, 62-61, before Frye answered with a pair of free throws to give the Bucs a one-point cushion.
Kennedy, who had eight of his game-high 24 points in the first OT, was then fouled after converting a basket and his free throw allowed RCB to forge ahead, 65-63, with one minute remaining.
Heatherly was again “Johnny on the Spot” for B-U when his second game-tying putback, this time with 1.5 seconds left, knotted the score at 65-all.
The Eagles, though, owned the second overtime, as leading scorer Frye and Nathan Tolliver, who had 14 points on the night, were both missing from the lineup after fouling out.
RCB never relinquished the lead after a trey by Brice Roseborough to start the second overtime and after Heatherly’s basket on the other end cut the lead to 68-67, the Eagles eventually built a 10-point cushion, at 79-69, before Tristan Fulton hit a 3-pointer at game’s end.
The Bucs controlled the tempo early, racing out to a 19-15 lead after one quarter and eventually building a nine-point cushion, at 35-26, late in the second quarter after a pair of free throws from Fulton.
B-U’s lead was trimmed to seven at halftime after Logan Auvil’s basket with :20 left in the first half.
Frye fired in 23 points to lead four players in double figures for the Bucs. Tolliver added 14 and Fulton and Heatherly chipped in 10 each.
Tre Junkins followed Kennedy with 16 points for the Eagles. Roseborough also landed in double digits 10.
On Saturday night, the Bucs ended the game on a 6-0 run to knock off the Knights.
The contest was tied at 53-53 before Frye scored four straight points and Fulton added a pair of free throws with :15 to secure the win.
Frye finished the night with 25 points — 18 coming in the second half. Heatherly followed with 14 points and Fulton added six points and six assists.
Andrew Lantz paced Preston with 16 points.

The boxscore:

Robert C. Byrd (79)
Khori Miles 3 2-2 8, Will Collier 1 2-2 4, Tre Junkins 7 2-5 16, Brice Roseborough 4 0-2 10, Tanner Kennedy 5 12-13 24, Dana Phillips 1 0-0 2, Shaun Barnes 2 1-2 5, Nathan Helm 4 0-0 8, Logan Auvil 1 0-0 2. Totals 28 19-25 79
B-U (72)
Tristan Fulton 3 2-6 10, Drew Heatherly 5 0-0 10, Nathan Tolliver 6 0-0 14, Brennan Frye 10 2-3 23, Kobe Starnes 3 1-2 9, Riley Lamb 1 0-0 2, Kenny Jackson 2 0-0 4, Taylor Whitehair 0 0-0 0, Austin Bowen 0 0-0 0. Totals 30 5-11 72

RCB   15 13 14  14   9  14 — 79
B-U     19 16   8  13  9    7 — 72
3-point goals: RCB 4 (Roseborough and Kennedy 2), B-U 7 (Fulton, Tolliver and Starnes 2, Frye)

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