CALIFORNIA, PA — The Buckhannon- Upshur varsity girls’ basketball team (4-0) traveled to the campus of California University of Pennsylvania to participate in the 2021 California (PA) Holiday Hoop Fest. Tuesday night, in their first of their two games of tournament play, the Lady Bucs found themselves facing a tough challenge, as they were pitted against the West Greene (PA) Lady Pioneers (4-1).
The Lady Bucs wasted little time establishing themselves as defensive force, outscoring the Lady Pioneers 10-5 in the first quarter. Offensively, senior guard Shelby McDaniels and junior forward Kendal Currence scored all 10 of the team’s first quarter points, while defensively the Lady Bucs length and aggressiveness clearly pushed the Lady Pioneers’ ball handlers out of their comfort zone.
As second quarter unfolded, the PA team found their footing offensively, keeping their composure and adjusting to the Lady Bucs’ unique brand of defense. While, the B- U girls still “won” the quarter, outscoring the Lady Pioneers, 17-12, the game’s intensity and competitiveness had clearly been turned up a notch. At halftime, the Lady Bucs led by 10, 27-17.
The defensive adjustments made by head coach Rob Kittle and staff at halftime proved to be absolutely devastating for the Lady Pioneers’ offense. In the third quarter, the Lady Bucs tightened the clamps on defense, holding the West Greene team to only a single point. The third quarter was essentially one long 14-1 run in favor of the Lady Bucs. This run was a dagger, snuffing out any hope that the Lady Pioneers had for a comeback. At the end of three, the B- U team was in firm control, leading 41-18.
With the game all but over, the Lady Bucs experimented by running some different sets and mixing up their rotation throughout the fourth quarter. The Lady Pioneers played much better offensively in the fourth quarter, but still found themselves getting narrowly outscored by the Lady Bucs, 10-9. Currence, who had largely gone quiet after a strong first quarter, carried the load offensively down the stretch, scoring 8 of the 10 points in the fourth quarter to close out the game with an exclamation point.
With the win over the West Greene Lady Pioneers, the Lady Bucs picked up their fifth straight win to open the season. Winning the first game of the 2021 California Holiday Hoop Fest was huge for B- U, especially considering it came against a tough out-of-state opponent. The Lady Bucs look to be not only one of the best high school girls’ varsity teams in the state, but the entire region.
California (PA) Holiday Hoop Fest Game #1 B-U Team Stats
21 2-point field goals
1 3-point field goals
6-8 from the free throw line
California (PA) Holiday Hoop Fest Game #1 B-U Individual Player Statistics
Shelby McDaniels - 13 points, 4 2-point field goals, 1 3-point field goal, 2-2 from the free throw line
Gabby Parke - 7 points, 3 2-point field goals, 1-2 from the free throw line
Rosie Shackleford - 2 points, 1 2-point field goal
Alyssa Abel - 3 points, 1 2-point field goal, 1-2 from the free throw line
Kendal Currence - 16 points, 7 2-point field goals, 2-2 from the free throw line
Kyndal Davis - 10 points, 5 2-point field goals
California (PA) Holiday Hoop Fest Game #1 Box Score
B-U - 10 27 41 51
West Greene (PA) - 5 17 18 27