MORGANTOWN – The Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Bucs could never get over that hump against the University Hawks in their sectional championship game last Friday at University High School.
Despite keeping the game close throughout, the Lady Bucs never led in the game and dropped a 54-46 decision.
The Lady Bucs were their own worst enemy at times, committing 22 turnovers in the loss including four in the crucial last three minutes of the game.
The Lady Bucs went down early, 7-2, but McKenzie Reynolds scored on a lay-up, and after a University basket, Shelby McDaniels uncorked a three-pointer to make it a 9-7 contest with 4:17 left in the first quarter.
University closed the quarter on a 6-3 run keeping the Lady Bucs down by a 15-10 score.
Kenna Maxwell started the second quarter with a three-pointer, and after a free throw by the Hawks, McDaniels put in a free throw and Gabby Parke scored from underneath tying the game at 16-16.
It was the only time the contest was tied.
University responded with a 7-0 run taking a 23-16 lead, but the Lady Bucs countered with a 5-0 run behind a basket from Kennedy Samargo and three foul shots from McDaniels making it a 23-21 game.
The Hawks went on another 7-0 run before Kendall Currence ended it, and the half, with a lay-up to bring the Lady Bucs back to within seven at the intermission, at 30-23.
A basket by University’s Lilly Jordan put the Hawks up 34-26, but Parke uncorked a three-pointer, McDaniels scored on a short jumper and Currence nailed a baseline jumper bringing the Lady Bucs to within one, at 34-33, with 3:48 left in the third quarter.
Again, the Hawks would find a way to pull away as they went on a 6-2 run for 40-35 lead.
Parke went underneath for a basket to wrap up the third quarter, leaving the Lady Bucs down by three, at 40-37.
The Lady Bucs were down 46-41 when Maxwell fired in another three making it a 46-44 contest with just under three minutes remaining.
B-U couldn’t get any closer as they made just one field goal the rest of the game, a basket by Currence, while University was crisp at the free throw line going 8-for-10 in the final three minutes to secure the win.
McDaniels led the Lady Bucs in scoring with 15 points while Currence added 10 and Maxwell nine.
Lauren Dean paced University with 18 points.
In the Region I co-finals, University (11-7) will host Wheeling Park (14-3).
The Lady Bucs (9-6) will travel to Morgantown (10-2).
Both games will be played Wednesday at 7 p.m.