Bucs fall to Elkins

Will visit Preston tonight, host Lewis County Saturday

TENNERTON — Despite placing three players in double figures, the Buckhannon-Upshur High School boys basketball team dropped a 54-49 decision to Big 10 Conference rival Elkins on Wednesday night.

The Bucs are now 4-12 overall and 3-6 in Big 10 games. They will visit Preston today and then host Lewis County on Saturday for a makeup contest. Both Big 10 games are scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

B-U trailed throughout the second half and by as many as eight, at 44-36, in the fourth quarter before making a 9-0 run.

Holden Edwards had four points during the surge and Taylor Whitehair accounted for five, including a 3-pointer that gave the Bucs a short-lived 45-44 advantage with 5:30 left in regulation.

The Tigers never trailed again, however, after Luke Swecker bucketed a goal and Donovan Wiles drained a 3-pointer to give the visitors a 49-45 advantage.

B-U got within three points twice down the stretch and remained within striking distance after a pair of free throws from sophomore Greyson Shepherd cut the Elkins lead to 52-49 with :17 left.

But Elliot White and Read Schumacher each knocked down a free throw to allow the Tigers to pull away for the five-point win at the final horn.

First-year Buccaneer coach Travis Foster’s game plan coming into the matchup was to force Elkins to hit from the outside. The Tigers did some damage from beyond the arc, hitting six treys on the evening.

“We had been finding some success the past few games with our 2-3 zone,” Foster said. “We struggle on the back side with our man-to-man defense and scouting Elkins, we saw they struggled shooting the ball from beyond the [3-point line]. But they hit more shots from behind the arc tonight than they probably have all season.”

Foster was also disappointed with his team’s mistakes on the offensive end.

“If we continue making 20 turnovers it doesn’t matter what plays we run, who is in the game or who we are playing, we’re not going to be successful,” he said. “We need to teach these kids the game, from the [Stockert Youth League] to [Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School] to B-UHS and instill a winning mind-set early. More importantly, all the coaches in these programs all have to be on the same page and all give the same effort if things are going to change.”

“As long as I’m the coach, I promise you these kids in the community will get the best I can give them 365 days out of the year. I’m honored to coach these kids this year and I wish I had more time with the seniors to help develop them.”

Drew Heatherly tallied 14 points, Brayden Cutlip had a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds and Shepherd netted 11 points to lead the Bucs. Whitehair added five points, nine rebounds, three assists and four steals.

Donovan Wiles fired in 22 points, including four 3-pointers, and White added 15 for the Tigers (9-8).

“Nobody likes losing to Elkins,” Foster said. “But my hat’s off to them for coming in and taking care of business. They shot the ball very well, made their free throws and out-hustled us at crucial times.”

B-U led by two, at 15-13, after one quarter but Elkins held a 19-13 scoring advantage in the second quarter to lead 32-28 at the intermission.

Both teams struggled putting the ball in the basket in the third quarter as the Tigers held a 9-8 scoring edge.

The boxscore:

Elkins (9-8, 5-6 Big 10)

Donaovan Wiles 9 0-0 22, Elliot White 5 3-4 15, Luke Swecker 3 1-1 7, Read Schumacher 1 1-3 3, Matthew Gainer 1 0-0 2, Tyler Monk 2 1-2 5, Ean Winans 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 6-10 54

Buckhannon-Upshur (4-12, 3-6 Big 10)

Drew Heatherly 5 3-4 14, Taylor Whitehair 2 0-0 5, Holden Edwards 2 0-0 4, Greyson Shepherd 3 3-4 11, Brayden Cutlip 5 2-6 12, Logan Hitt 1 0-0 3, Ryan Hurst 0 0-0 0, Dawson Lilly 0 0-0 0, Jacob Loudin 0 0-0 0, Austin Bowen 0 0-0 0, Zach White 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 8-14 49

Elkins                            13  19  9  13 — 54

Buckhannon-Upshur  15  13  8  13 — 49

3-point goals — EHS 6-20 (Wiles 4-8, White 2-7,  Swecker 0-2, Schumacher 0-1,Winans 0-1, Gainer 0-1), B-U 5-18 (Shepherd 2-5, Heatherly 1-1, Whitehair 1-8, Hitt 1-2, Edwards 0-1, Lilly 0-1). Fouled out — Heatherly. Rebounds — EHS 31 (Monk 9), B-U 43 (Cutlip 12). Assists — EHS 9 (White 4), B-U 6 (Whitehair 3). Total fouls — EHS 11, B-U 16

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