FAIRMONT – To say that Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Rob Kittle wasn’t pleased with the play of his Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Bucs in the first half of their game with East Fairmont Tuesday night might be a bit of an understatement.
The first half saw the Lady Bucs continue to struggle from the floor missing some easy looks, as they trailed at the break by a 27-26 score.
Following a half-time pep talk from Kittle, the Lady Bucs dominated the rest of the game, including an 18-4 third quarter, en route to a convincing 58-39 win.
“We lit into them a little bit during halftime about their execution and giving up 27 points in the first half,” remarked Kittle. “That isn’t the way we play basketball. We held them to 12 points in the second half and that is more the way we want to play. In the second half, we communicated better, we executed better and did a better job of sharing the ball. We really challenged them at the half, and I couldn’t be happier with how they responded.”
With the Lady Bucs down 3-0 early, Kassidy Wilfong scored on a lay-up and Shelby McDaniels made two free throws to give the visitors their first lead of the game, at 4-3.
A 6-2 run by East Fairmont gave them a 9-6 lead, but McKenzie Reynolds put in a rebound and McDaniels turned in an old-fashioned three-point play to return the lead back to the Lady Bucs, at 11-9.
Somer Stover made a hoop for East Fairmont to make it an 11-11 contest at the end of the first quarter.
An 8-2 to start the second quarter treated the Bees to a 19-13 lead.
Kendell Currence put in a lay-up and McDaniels turned in a three-point play to bring the Lady Bucs to within one, at 19-18, with four minutes left in the half.
Down 21-18, the Lady Bucs went on a 6-0 run behind a short jumper by McDaniels, two free throws by Brooklyn Maxwell and a lay-up by McDaniels.
That gave the Lady Bucs a 24-21 advantage with 1:16 remaining in the half.
East Fairmont’s Kierra Bartholow sandwiched two three-pointers between a basket by Currence to give the Bees a 27-26 advantage at the half.
A basket by Kianna Casuccio to start the third quarter gave East Fairmont a 29-26, but the Lady Bucs took over the game with a 12-0 run.
Five different players scored during the run which gave the Lady Bucs a 38-29 lead with 1:18 remaining in the third quarter.
Mackenzie Tennant ended the run with a lay-up for East Fairmont, but the Lady Bucs ended the quarter with a 6-0 run behind a basket by Kiara Woods and two lay-ups by McDaniels giving Buckhannon-Upshur a 44-31 lead heading into the final stanza.
Currence scored on a lay-up and Maxwell put in two free throws to up the B-U advantage to 48-31 to start the fourth.
After a basket by Somer Stover for East Fairmont, the Lady Bucs scored eight straight points to put the game away.
McDaniels had two straight lay-ups, Reynolds put in a baseline jumper and Wilfong made a lay-up to own their biggest lead of the game, at 23, at 56-33, with 3:12 left in the contest.
East Fairmont closed the game on a 6-2 run.
The Lady Bucs shot 52 percent for the game.
McDaniels led the Lady Bucs with 22 points and added four steals and three rebounds.
“She is a competitor,” stated Kittle about McDaniels’ performance. “She plays as hard as anybody out there. She puts in the effort in practice. Everything she gets on the court is because of her hard work.”
Reynolds, Currence and Maxwell each had eight points for the Lady Bucs.
Stover led East Fairmont with 10 points.
East Fairmont dropped to 6-8 overall and 2-5 in the Big 10 Conference.
The Lady Bucs improved to 7-5 overall and 6-3 in the Big 10 Conference.
With the season now more than halfway over, Kittle feels with the way his team plays defense, they can beat anybody on their schedule but wants to see the offense become more consistent.
“I think defensively we can compete with just about anybody right now,” concluded Kittle. “We have to get better on the offensive end though. We are still missing way too many easy shots and not getting to