Lady Bucs host pre-season scrimmage against Oak Hill

Kenna Maxwell attempts a two pointer against the Oak Hill defensive players.

TENNERTON — The Buckhannon-Upshur High School (B-UHS) Lady Bucs Varsity and Junior Varsity (JV) Basketball teams opened their season by scrimmaging against the Oak Hill Red Devils on Saturday, November 19, 2022, at Buckhannon-Upshur High School led by Head Coach Rob Kittle and Assistant Coaches Chad Wilfong and Phil Abel.

The Lady Bucs opened with an impressive defensive showing, forcing several turnovers in the first two scrimmage periods. “I was fairly happy with our team’s execution today defensively,” said Kittle. “That’ll be our tone for the season, we’re looking to play up-tempo and execute on a defensive end.”

The Lady Bucs however struggled on the offensive end, missing several opportunities to convert throughout the scrimmage. “We just need to do better in executing on the offensive end. We have to do a better job at converting on those opportunities,” said Kittle.

The Lady Bucs closed out the first period with a 13-8 score, however, in the second period, things picked up when Kenna Maxwell and Gabby Parke connected on a steal and finish with 3 minutes left, putting the Lady Bucs up 11-3 on the Red Devils.

Maxwell would control the rest of the second period with a three pointer and hitting several clutch free throws down the stretch to extend the Lady Bucs lead to 11 (18-7) to cap off the second period.

“I think we played defense really well; we need to focus more on ball movement and finding open shots,” said Maxwell, who highlighted her team’s performance.

Maxwell is a junior at B-UHS looking to step up into a leadership role and continue to help contribute to the Lady Bucs’ defensive strength heading into the season.

Several highlights in the second half of play were by fellow junior Kendal Currence, who notched several steals. Maxwell continued her impressive performance getting to the line several times and converting a layup off a steal from Hodge’nay Henderson with :32 seconds left in the third period.

Capping off the fourth and final scrimmage period, the Lady Bucs outscored the Red Devils 9-3, Maxwell recorded a layup off a steal by Currence forcing a foul and converting the And-1 at the line with 8:30 left. Currence sealed the lead with :59 seconds remaining with a layup.

The B-UHS JV team also scrimmaged against the Red Devils’ JV girls’ team. In two periods, the JV Lady Bucs were outscored 7-20, however showing promise, which Coach Wilfong noted that they intend to tap into the potential the younger group possesses. “We have a lot of new girls this year, it’s a matter of getting them used to our system and the way we do things.” said Wilfong.

“They have to learn their position on the court in order to assist others, learning and growing as a team is important,” stated Wilfong. “Offensively, defensively, positioning is something we need to focus on, it’s a big jump from the middle school level to high school. The game is faster and they must adjust and learn the expectations we have of them.”

Coach Wilfong highlighted his thoughts on the Varsity team after their impressive showing, “I like our ability to play as a team. When we can turn up our defensive pressure that’s when we’re at our best.”

The Lady Bucs roster heading into their 2022-23 campaign consists of seniors Kendal Currence and Regina Petrokovich, accompanied by underclassmen Casadie Lahman (junior), Kenna Maxwell (junior), Hodge’nay Henderson (junior), Gabby Parke (junior), Rosaline Shackleford (junior), Kyndal Davis (junior), Alyssa Abel (sophomore), Brooklyn Smith (sophomore), Jaelyn Burch (freshman) and Avi Travise (freshman).

Alyssa Abel will be looking to capitalize on her impressive freshman campaign, where she averaged 8.6 points per game and 7 rebounds per game, which was a team high in 25 games last season for The Lady Bucs. Currence was second in points per game average with 10.2 and led the team in blocks with 32 on the season.

Last season The Lady Bucs finished 19-6 ranked #3 in Big 10 standings, including impressive playoff victories against Bridgeport and University (Morgantown) before falling to Wheeling Park.

The Lady Bucs will open their official season Wednesday, December 7, 2022, on the road against Fairmont Senior, with tip-off slated for 7:30 p.m. Their first home game will take place on Thursday, December 8, 2022, against Lincoln, with tip-off set for 7:30 p.m.

Kenna Maxwell attempts a two pointer against the Oak Hill defensive players.

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