Shelby McDaniels tops 1,000 career points in win over RCB; only third Lady Bucs to do so

#1 Shelby McDaniels topped 1,000 career points on this shot against the Robert C. Byrd Eagles. Following the win, McDaniels took time to pose with her head coach and family holding the ball that she scored the milestone bucket with. PHOTO SUBMITTED

TENNERTON — Saturday, January 22, the Buckhannon-Upshur High School basketball improved their record to 9-3 with a dominant 44-29 win over the Robert C. Bryd Eagles. As has been the case so many times before over these last four years, the Lady Bucs were led by senior guard Shelby McDaniels. The conference win over RCB held an extra sense of purpose for the Lady Bucs star as she topped 1,000-career points. 

By scoring 1,000 career points, McDaniels becomes just the third Lady Bucs to ever accomplish the feat. B-UHS varsity head basketball coach Rob Kittle was proud of his star, saying, “The team and I are extremely proud of Shelby! This achievement is well-deserved. She is such a hard-working kid; we couldn’t be happier for her!”

After getting her prolific scoring career with the Lady Bucs over the last four years off to a quick start by scoring over 250 points as a freshman playing varsity basketball. At the time, reaching the 1,000-point mark was a distant goal, but was a topic that would come up from time to time, with McDaniels saying, “I remember after my freshman year, my first year playing varsity, I finished with roughly 250-280 points on the season. That offseason, while talking to my dad (Matt McDaniels), he jokingly mentioned that I was on track for 1,000 points.  It was one of those things that were like eye opening to do something big, so at that point it had become a goal of mine to get 1,000 career points.”

That small offseason conversation with her dad, sparked McDaniels chase for the ever elusive 1,000-point milestone. After a strong sophomore campaign that kept her right on track to reach her goal, McDaniels had her junior season shortened due to complications with the COVID-19 pandemic. On the adversity she faced her during her shortened junior year, McDaniels stated, “After getting through my sophomore year and still being on track for 1,000, I entered my junior year ready for a big year. Then things got hectic that season as we dealt with COVID. I guess the thought of 1,000-point milestone kind of slipped my mind. It was a lot to take in, with the heartbreak of the season being shortened, on top of all the confusion, it brought things into perspective. Everything going on made that goal feel small.” 

Entering her senior season, the talk of the 1,000-point goal had quieted. Instead, larger team goals loomed entering her last dance as a Buccaneer. Going into her senior year, McDaniels had lost track of where she sat in terms of progress towards reaching the 1,000-point mark, saying, “Going into this year, I honestly had no idea how many career points I was sitting at after my 3 varsity seasons. I didn’t keep track, but my parents did. I knew they kept track of my points, but they never told me what number I was sitting at and I never really asked. For as long as I could remember, the 1,000-point goal was a long-term personal goal. Any of my personal goals always come second to the automatic team goal of going to Charleston and reaching states. Coming this season if our team was to reach our goal, I knew that I would have to play a big role in that success. If we were going to make it to states, I was going to have to put up good scoring numbers, so I knew that my personal goal would come during our push for states.”

As it turns out, McDaniels was spot on as she crossed the 1,000-point threshold, scoring 20 points in a 44-19 victory over the Eagles, bringing her dreams of leading her team to Charleston one step closer to being a reality. When asked how it felt to finally cross the 1,000-career point mark, McDaniels reflected on the work it took to get there, saying, “Finally reaching the 1,000-point mark is truly a surreal feeling for me because it’s something I was chasing. I wanted to have that title of “1,000-point scorer” to myself. It’s crazy to look back at all the work I’ve put in. I really can’t put into words how blessed I am to have played with amazing teammates and for coaches. They have put me in situations that gave me the opportunity to accomplish such a big personal goal of mine. It was an amazing feeling finally accomplishing this goal and to have it happen during my senior made it that much sweeter. Going forward, I want to build off all the hard work my teammates and I have put in and shoot for our team’s goal this year. I think it will be a big year for all of us. None of it would be possible without God or my parents (Matt and Becky McDaniels). God gifted me with the ability to go out and do what I love, and my parents have supported me in the chase of my basketball dream.”

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