KINGWOOD — The Buckhannon- Upshur High School girls varsity basketball team opened their 2021-22 season with a trip to Kingwood for a conference game against Preston. Led by head coach Rob Kittle, the Lady Bucs were fired up and ready to start their season off on a positive note, with a win.
The game was one that hardly ever in produced doubt. The Lady Bucs smothering defensive pressure forced Preston’ offense into bad situations quite early and frequently, jumping out to a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. After surviving a small run by Preston at the start of the second quarter, the team took a comfortable 30-21 lead going into the locker-room at halftime.
In the second half, the varsity team worked hard to ensure they never relinquished the lead built, keeping Preston at arms-length at the end of the third quarter, up 44-35. The fourth and final quarter saw the Lady Bucs ratchet up the defensive pressure on the Knights again, only allowing 11 points in the final frame to win, 59-46.
Steady senior combo guard, Shelby McDaniels, led the team offensively, scoring 16 points. Junior Kendal Currence had a solid season opener, netting 15 points to finish the night as the team’s second leading scorer. Freshman Alyssa Abel played big minutes in her first high school basketball game, scoring 13 points. Both sophomores, Kenna Maxwell and Gabby Parke, narrowly missed out on reaching double-digit scoring numbers, each finishing with 8 points to round out the scoring for the Lady Bucs against Preston.
As a team, the Lady Bucs were able to come out with the win due to their defensive effort and efficient performance from the line covering up for an off-shooting night from the field. The Lady Bucs forced Preston into a large number of errors and contested jumpers, while shooting 19 for 25 from the charity stripe, which proved to be the difference in the game.
“I thought we came out and played with a great amount of energy. I was very happy with the way we defended, although offensively I think we can tweak somethings going forward. We didn’t really shoot the ball as well as we normally do, but we were very good from the foul line,” said Coach Kittle on his team’s performance in the season opening win.
“It is always good to win the opener, especially when it’s against a conference and sectional opponent. This was a very good team win,” concluded Kettle.