FARMINGTON — The Buckhannon- Upshur High School boy’s freshman team fell short during their game Tuesday, January 4. Their trip to North Marion did not quite go as planned, but the young Bucs showed a great amount of grit, fighting to the buzzer.
The freshman fell behind early, trailing by 5, 12-7 at the end of the first quarter. Jevon Westfall offensively carried the load for the Bucs early, scoring 5 of the teams 7 points, while Slaton Kowalski chipped in the other two. Westfall’s strong first quarter spilled in the second, adding another 5 points to his total. Despite this the Bucs narrowly got outscored by the Huskies 11-9 in the second. Jonas Barton got in on the action netting a couple of buckets and being a consistent presence on the boards, battling for 4 rebounds in the quarter. After a promising first half, the Bucs went into the locker-room within striking distance, down 23-16.
The young team came off the half struggling a bit on both sides of the ball, getting outscored 15-6 in the third quarter. Kowalski was the Bucs most consistent offensive option in the period, scoring 4 points. With one left to play, the Bucs faced a 16-point deficit, down 38-22.
The Bucs made some adjustments and picked up the intensity in the fourth quarter. Digging in and playing with heart, the Bucs played their best quarter of the game overall. They won the period, outscoring the Huskies 12-10 in the fourth. Jonas Barton saved his best for last, exploding for 8 points and adding 2 rebounds and 2 steals in the fourth. While they trimmed the deficit and kept competing, in the end the Bucs fell 48-34.
Head coach Roberta “Bobbie” Hatcher was proud of her team’s overall effort despite the outcome, stating, “We have grown so much as a team since our last game. North Marion is a tough, disciplined squad, credit to them, but we didn’t give up, we stayed in the fight and played good in the fourth quarter. Personally, I was encouraged by what I saw from my team tonight. I think that we have the potential to be a really good team, if we can work on some of the mental aspects of our game and just generally be more consistent on both ends of the floor.”
Barton finished the game as both the Bucs leading scorer and rebounder, recording a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Offensively, Barton showed a nice shooting touch, hitting 5 2-point field goals, one 3-point field goal, and a perfect 1-1 from the free throw line in the game to go along with his consistent effort on the boards and a touch of playmaking with 2 assists. Defensively, Barton was active in the passing lanes, recording 4 steals.
Westfall reached the double-digit scoring milestone, scoring 10 points on 2 2-point field goals and 2 3-point field goals. Westfall also recorded 3 rebounds and 3 steals. Slaton Kowalski scored all 6 by working the ball inside, hitting 3 2-point field goals to go along with 3 rebounds and a steal. Zikiyah Oliver scored all 3 of his points from the charity stripe, going 3-4 from the free throw line on the evening to round out the scoring for the freshman Bucs.
B-U- 7 16 22 34 7 9 6 12
North Marion- 12 23 38 48 12 11 15 10