TENNERTON — The Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School girls varsity basketball team won a home game thriller on Thursday, February 3, against the Washington Irvin Middle School (Clarksburg) Hilltoppers. The Little Lady Bucs fought to a close one-point, 25-24 victory. Shaylee Hebb hit the game-deciding shot as time expired, to lift the Little Lady Bucs to victory.
The Little Lady Bucs varsity team got off to a slow start offensively against W.I. getting outscored, 7-5 in the first quarter. Avery Hamer and Jaelyn Burch combined to account for all the Little Lady Bucs points in the opening period, with 2 and 3 points respectively.
The Little Lady Bucs tightened up defensively in the second quarter, only allowing the Hilltoppers to score 3 points in the period. Their outstanding defensive performance opened an opportunity for the Little Lady Bucs to make a run at the lead, scoring 7 second quarter points to push themselves into a 2 point, 12-10 lead heading into the locker-room for halftime. Hebb scored 5 points in the period to provide the Little Lady Bucs’ a timely offensive boost.
Coming out of halftime, the two teams played to a 6-6 tie in the third period, allowing the Little Lady Bucs to maintain an 18-16 lead going into the fourth and final quarter. After a back-and-forth final period, the two evenly matched teams were neck and neck heading into the waning minutes. W.I. took a brief lead with their final possession, giving the Little Lady Bucs’ offensive one more shot to win the game. With time expiring, Hebb confidently knocked down a game-winning buzzer beater, closing out the game for the Little Lady Bucs in style, winning by a final score of 25-24.
B-UMS girls varsity head coach Sheena Westfall was overjoyed with her team’s performance against W.I., stating, “What an awesome night! The girls love to keep everyone on the edge of their seats. Our girls never gave up tonight, there wasn’t one point in the game in which I thought we were out of it. The girls believed in both themselves and each other. The parents in the stands and the cheerleaders on the sideline kept the atmosphere intense all game long, which really helped pump up our girls. We appreciate the boys team for letting us use their locker-room for our first water victory celebration.
The co-head coaches, Westfall and Egress, style and approach has sparked a fire in the girls. The coaches chose to focus more on individual development and improving team chemistry, as opposed to chasing wins and losses. This has led to the team growing by leaps and bounds over the course of the 2021-22 season. This win is a major boost for the girls who have put in the work, regardless of their overall record.
Hebb scored 13 total points to pace the Little Lady Bucs varsity team in scoring. In the win over W.I., hit 4 2-point field goal, including the game-winner, to go along with a solid 5-10 (50%) mark from the free throw line. Hebb acted as a focal point for the Little Lady Bucs’ offense, staying aggressive, getting to the line, and creating shots for both herself and teammates.
Hamer ended the game with 5 total points, including her 2 early first quarter points that helped get the Little Lady Bucs started. Thursday night, Hamer made 2 2-point field goals and posted a 1-6 (16%) mark from the charity stripe. Jaelyn Burch ended the game with 4 points, including her 3 early first quarter points. Burch made a single 2-point field goal and recorded a 2-5 (40%) mark from the free throw line.
Taylor Parke scored 2 points, hitting a 2-point field goal in the game’s second quarter, Bralynn Guady finished with 1 point, splitting a pair of free throws during her only trip to the line while posting a 1-2 (50%) overall mark from the free throw line.