Lady Bucs season comes to an end with loss to Wheeling Park

TENNERTON — The #6-ranked Buckhannon-Upshur varsity girls basketball team (19-5) hosted the #3-ranked Wheeling Park Patriots (19-4) for the W. Va. Class-AAAA Region I championship game on Wednesday, March 2. Very successful seasons, from both teams, had led them to this point, only needing one more win to reach the WVSSAC State Basketball tournament. 

The game started as if it was going to be a defensive struggle, with both teams out of sync offensively for much of the first quarter. The Lady Bucs defense kept the game close early on, holding the Patriots scoreless in the early minutes of the first period. The Lady Bucs held an early 8-4 advantage before Wheeling Park put together a huge run, rallying to take a 15-8 lead into the second quarter.  

The Lady Bucs offense, that had stalled in the waning minutes of the first quarter, sprang back to life, scoring 14 points in the second quarter. Senior combo guard Shelby McDaniels carried the load offensively, scoring 12 of the team’s 14 points to bring her total to 18 by halftime. Heading into the locker-room, Head Coach Rob Kittle and his team faced a 15-point, 37-22 deficit. Junior forward Kendal Currence and sophomore forward Kyndal Davis accounted for the rest of the team’s first-half points, scoring 2 points each.

The second half was a masterful display of offense by the Patriots, outscoring the Lady Bucs 41-14 in route to a 79-36 loss. McDaniels finished the game with 24 points in a heroic, losing effort against the Patriots. While she could not quite power the team past the Patriots, McDaniels has done her best to be the heart and soul of this team, all year long. The senior ends her high school basketball career at B-UHS with well over 1,000 career points, placing her among some of Upshur County’s best players of all-time. McDaniels’ contributions to the program will be felt for many years to come. 

While the Lady Bucs season ended at the hands of an overwhelmingly talented team, this group of girls have nothing to hang their heads about, as they have accomplished big things this year, highlighted by wins against the likes of Musselman, Martinsburg, University and Bridgeport, as well an outstanding appearance in a two-game holiday hoop tournament hosted by California (Pa.) University. This is a team that finished with a 19-6 overall record, highlighted by an impressive 10-2 mark against Big 10 Conference competition. This allowed the Lady Bucs to finish the regular season ranked sixth in the final W. Va. High School Class-AAAA girls basketball rankings, which ultimately clinched home-court advantage throughout both sectionals and regionals.

The 2021-2022 team ends the season as one of the winningest in program history, next year the Lady Bucs and coach Kittle will have to find a way to replace the team’s three departing seniors, McDaniels, guard Olivia Ellis and forward Kiara Woods. Despite the loss of three key players, the Lady Bucs can expect a solid core of returning veterans, led by Currence, junior guard Kenna Maxwell, sophomore Gabby Parke and talented freshman Alyssa Abel. 

The boxscore:











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