ELKINS — The Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School boys varsity basketball team traveled to Elkins for a rivalry game back on Monday, February 7. After a tough start to the 2021-22 season, the Little Bucs have grown by leaps and bounds over the last couple of weeks. Under guidance of head coach Jason Westfall, the Little Bucs have begun to learn how to win; the trip to Elkins being a significant testament of the team’s growth.
Against Elkins, the Little Bucs competed at a high-level for a full four quarters, keeping the game within striking distance before making their move in the fourth quarter, to claim a thrilling 28-27 victory.
The team’s defensive intensity, and early effort, pushed them out to 7-4 lead by the end of the first quarter. The Little Bucs offense stumbled, allowing Elkins to get out in front by halftime. Heading into the locker-room, Elkins held a 1-point, 10-9, advantage over Buckhannon.
B-UMS struggled to generate points in the third quarter, only managing to score 4 points. The team kept themselves in the game with solid defense. Going into the fourth quarter, B-U faced a 6-point, 19-13 deficit. Knowing they would have to play some of their best basketball of the season to steal the win, the Little Bucs collected themselves and began to chip away at the lead. Coach Westfall said, “About a minute into the fourth quarter, we started to make our move,” and they did, as the Little Bucs outscored the Little Tigers 15-7 in the fourth quarter, escaping with a 28-27 win.
Westfall offered thanks to those he leans on most to help lead his team, the coaching staff and his team captains, saying, “I must credit my assistant coaches and my team captains for staying positive. They helped us lead us through some adversity when it seemed as if Elkins was going to run away with it.”
When asked about the significance of the win, Westfall said, “This was a big win for us. To go into a rowdy, hostile road environment and earn a win over a rival was an awesome experience. Our team is starting to piece it together, learning how to win games; I’m so proud of the effort they have put in.”
Jerin Westfall was the only Little Bucs that reached double-digit scoring numbers against Elkins, pacing the team in scoring with 10 points. Before even reaching high school, Westfall has already proven to be a versatile three-level scorer. He put his offensive arsenal on display against Elkins, hitting both a 2-point field goal and a 3-point field goal to go along with a flawless 5-5 (100%) shooting mark from the free throw line. When his team needed him the most, Westfall stepped up, hitting his 3-point field goal in the fourth quarter to help seal the deal for the team.
Levi Posey was a force in the middle, providing a consistent post presence for the Little Bucs. On top of being a key interior defender and rebounder, Posey was the team’s second-leading scorer against Elkins, finishing the game with 6 points on 2 made 2-point field goals and a 2-4 (50%) shooting mark from the free throw line. Offensively, Posey did most of his damage in the game’s opening quarter, scoring 4 early points to help get the Little Bucs build an early lead.
Jaxon Spratt finished the game with 4 points, hitting a 2-point field goal and shooting 2-4 (50%) from the free throw line. Julian Stevens also ended the game with 4 points, hitting 2 2-point field goals. Both Spratt and Stevens saved their best for last, scoring all their points during the Little Bucs fourth quarter surge. Both players played big minutes for Coach Westfall’s team. Their scoring was a much-needed boost helping lift the Little Bucs to the win.
Jacob Frye and Dawson Tenney each chipped in 2 points each, both hitting a single 2-point field goal to wrap up the scoring numbers for B-UMS.