TENNERTON — The Buckhannon-Upshur girls’ varsity basketball team (6-2, 3-1 in Big 10 Conference Play), welcomed Liberty Mountaineers (6-4, 4-4 Big 10) to town last Tuesday, January 11 for a Big 10 Conference showdown.
The Lady Buccaneers set the tone early with their defense, holding the Mountaineers to only 5 points in the first quarter. Offensively, the Lady Bucs scored 15 points with sophomore guard Kenna Maxwell leading the way, with 5 points in the first period. Going into the second quarter, the B-U team led the Mountaineers by a score of 15-5. While the Mountaineers would adjust to the Lady Bucs defensive pressure in the second quarter, increasing their point production from just 5 in the first period to 12 in the second, they allowed the B-U ladies to score 16 points to extend the lead. Headed into the locker-room at halftime, the Lady Bucs had established a 14-point, bringing their lead to 31-17 over the Mountaineers.
Buckhannon’s Lady Bucs came out firing on all cylinders in the third quarter, outscoring the Mountaineers 19-10 in the period. Do-it all senior point guard Shelby McDaniels led the way with 8 points, complemented by freshman Alyssa Abel chipping in all 5 of her points on the night in the third. At the end of three, the Lady Bucs held a commanding 50-27 lead.
In the search for consistency, head coach Rob Kittle’s team didn’t ease up, putting together the complete game that they have been searching for, outscoring the Mountaineers 11-9 to close out a dominant outing with a 61-36 win.
McDaniels, one of the Lady Bucs senior leaders, exploded for 13 of her team-high 19 points in the second half to close out the Liberty Mountaineers. McDaniels had a stellar outing from the floor, showing her range offensively, knocking down a total of 4 2-point field goals and 2 3-point field goals in the contest to go along with 5-8 shooting from the free throw line.
Maxwell, a promising sophomore guard, saw 9 of her 13 points in the game come in a big first half, finishing the game second for the team in scoring. Maxwell approached the game with an aggressive mindset and proved to be a huge spark in helping the Lady Bucs build a comfortable first half lead. In total, Maxwell hit 5 2-point field goals and a single 3-point field goal on the night.
Junior forward Kendal Currence was the third Lady Buc to reach double-digit scoring numbers on the evening, ending the game with 10 points on 5 2-point field goals. Currence had an especially strong second quarter, coming away with a team-high 6 points in the period.
Sophomore wing Gabby Parke just barely missed out on being the fourth double-digit scorer for the Lady Bucs, ending the night with 9 points on 3 2-point field goals and a single 3-pointer. Parke played a critical role as another steady scoring option in their well-balanced attack.
A pair of Lady Bucs, forward Kyndal Davis and forward Alyssa Abel, scored 5 points apiece to round out the scoring for B-UHS against Liberty. Davis hit 2 2-point field goals and split a pair of free throws in her lone trip to the line, while Abel hit a single 2-point field goals and hit 3-4 free throws.
With the win, the Lady Bucs improve their mark on the season to 7 wins and 2 losses, with an outstanding 4-1 mark in conference play.