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Basketball Bucs stun No. 8 Wheeling Park, 61-57

TENNERTON – The start of the 2021-22 basketball season couldn’t have gone much better for head coach Travis Foster and his Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneers.

The Bucs welcomed the No. 8 Wheeling Park Patriots to the high school as the Bucs earned a hard-fought 61-57 win in their opener.

“This was a huge win,” stated Foster. “It means that we are growing and getting better as a program. We have the program now to where we are competing with the best in the state. We are playing the best, competing with them and now being able to defeat them.”

The Bucs were led by Lamar Hurst and his 22 points, despite the junior forward getting into foul trouble in the third quarter and eventually fouling out of the game midway through the fourth quarter.

Harrison Walker added 14 points and Mason Hyre tacked on 12 for the Bucs.

The Bucs started quickly with a 9-2 lead that included a dunk by Hurst that brought the crowd to their feet early in the contest.

Wheeling Park closed the first quarter on a 10-6 run as the Bucs held a 15-12 lead after eight minutes of action.

Wheeling Park took their first lead of the game on an 8-0 run, at 20-19, with 3:59 remaining in the second quarter.

The Patriots held on to that one-point lead at the break, at 24-23.

Wheeling Park’s biggest lead came at the 2:38 mark of the third quarter when they owned a five-point advantage, at 36-31.

The Bucs, though, closed the third quarter on an 11-0 run with Walker closing the canto with a coast-to-coast lay-up, giving the hosts a 42-36 lead heading into the final stanza.

Following a pair of free throws by Walker, the Bucs built their biggest lead of the game at 10 points, at 55-45, with 4:07 left to play.

Wheeling Park made one last run, getting to within two points, at 56-54, with 1:15 remaining.

Hurst calmly went four-for-four at the free-throw line for the Bucs over the next minute increasing the B-U lead to 60-54 with 15 seconds left.

The Bucs committed a bad foul with three seconds left when they fouled Aiden Davis on his three-point attempt.

Davis made all three free throws to make it a one-possession game at 60-57, with three seconds remaining.

The Patriots quickly fouled Harrison, who made one of two at the line to make it a two-possession game at 61-57 and seal the win for the Bucs.

The Bucs saw two sophomores come off the bench and help in the win in Jaden Westfall and Ian Strader. Westfall played 13 minutes and had four points and four rebounds while Strader played 10 minutes and had two rebounds and a steal.

“We had some young guys really step up tonight,” stated Foster. “We had to take Hurst out because of foul trouble in the third quarter and guys like Westfall and Strader gave us some momentum and we actually got a little better on the court with that 11-0 run.”

While Foster was pleased with the upset win, he wants his team to understand it is just one game of 22 on the schedule.

“The win is great and the guys deserve it because we often get overlooked as a program,” remarked Foster. “It’s still just one game of 22. Win or lose it, it is back to work tomorrow and on to the next one.”

The next one will be a big early game for the Bucs as they host No. 1 Morgantown Friday at 7:30 p.m.

“I am very proud of how we played,” concluded Foster. “We are a young team, [so] to see them come together for a win like this, it’s something that doesn’t happen every day.”

The boxscore:

Wheeling Park 12  12  12  21 – 57

Buckhannon-Upshur 15  8  19  19 – 61

Wheeling Park 57

Cole Wilkinson 8-11 3-4 21; Brett Phillips 4-9 5-8 13; Aiden Davis 1-9 7-7 9; Brendan Richter 3-5 0-0 8; Darrae Goodwin 1-3 0-0 2; Xander Gibson 1-1 0-1 2; Mykel Davis 1-1 0-0 2; Keohn Stephens 0-0 0-0 0; Makel Galloway 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-39 15-20 57.

Buckhannon-Upshur 61

Lamar Hurst 7-14 8-8 22; Harrison Walker 5-11 3-4 14; Mason Hyre 5-9 0-1 12; Zach Calef-Boring 3-6 0-0 6; Jaden Westfall 2-4 0-0 4; Sterlin Thropp 1-3 0-2 2; Ian Strader 0-0 1-4 1; Shawn Blandino 0-0 0-0 0; Oliver King 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-47 12-19 61.

Three-point field goals – Wheeling Park: Richter 2-2; Wilkinson 2-4; Goodwin 0-1; A. Davis 0-3. Totals 4-10; Buckhannon-Upshur: Hyre 2-6; Walker 1-3; Hurst 0-2. Totals 3-11.

Rebounds – Wheeling Park: Wilkinson 12; Phillips 7; Gibson 3; team 3; A. Davis 2; M. Davis 2; Richter 1, deadball 1. Totals 31; Buckhannon-Upshur: Hurst 7; Westfall 4; team 4; deadball 3; Strader 2; Calef-Boring 1; Thropp 1; Blandino 1; Hyre 1; Walker 1. Totals 25.

Assists – Wheeling Park: A. Davis 6; Phillips 2; Richter 1; Gibson 1; Wilkinson 1. Totals 11; Buckhannon-Upshur: Walker 5; Hyre 4; Thropp 2; Westfall 2; Hurst 1; Strader 1. Totals 15.

Steals – Wheeling Park: Richter 2; Goodwin 1; Wilkinson 1. Totals 4; Buckhannon-Upshur: Calef-Boring 2, Hyre 2, Strader 1. Totals 5.

Blocked shots – Wheeling Park: Wilkinson 1. Totals 1; Buckhannon-Upshur: Thropp 1; Hurst 1. Totals 2.

Personal fouls – Wheeling Park: 22; Buckhannon-Upshur: 20.

Turnovers – Wheeling Park: 16; Buckhannon-Upshur 8.

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