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Carter Zuliani scored 20 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in a 66-59 upset win over No. 5 Wheeling Park Saturday afternoon (Bobbie Hatcher/My Buckhannon)

Basketball Bucs upset No. 5 Wheeling Park 66-59 behind double-doubles from Zuliani and Westfall

TENNERTON – The Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneers overcame a six-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Class AAAA No. 5 Wheeling Park Patriots for a 66-59 win Saturday afternoon.

With the Bucs down six, they went on an impressive 12-0 run over the next four minutes for a 53-47 lead with 2:41 left in the game.

Buckhannon-Upshur never relinquished the lead again pushing their lead out to eight on two occasions before settling for the seven-point win.

“This was a great team win and it shows them what they are capable of,” stated Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Jason Westfall. “I am proud of how we responded in this game after the Liberty loss Friday night We played a much better game defensively against Wheeling Park than we did against Liberty. We had some issues in different areas of the game, but we battled.”

A big reason for the upset win was a dominating performance on the boards as B-U held a 51-18 rebounding margin. Helping the rebounding cause for the Bucs was Carter Zuliani, who hauled down a game-high 18 rebounds to go along with a team-high 20 points for a double-double in the win.

Jaden Westfall also produced a double-double for the Bucs with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

“We had some big individual efforts in all areas by several different players,” said coach Westfall.

The loss dropped Wheeling Park to 8-3 on the season as it was just their second loss to an in-state team.

“Wheeling Park is well-coached,” stated coach Westfall. “They are very talented and athletic.”

Another key to the win for the Bucs was being clutch at the free throw in the fourth quarter, going 14-for-16 at the line in the final period.

“We made our free throws down the stretch,” said coach Westfall. “At points this season, I didn’t know if we would ever make any free throws, so it was nice to see them drop for us.”

The Bucs went down early 5-1 but Malaki Williams and Zuliani put in back-to-back baskets making it a 5-5 contest.

B-U trailed at the end of the first quarter by a 12-9 score.

A 6-0  run by Wheeling Park put them up by a 21-13 score with 4:44 left in the second quarter and they still led the Bucs by a 24-19 score with 2:40 left before the Bucs closed the half with a flourish.

B-U went on a 9-0 run with the highlight being a three-pointer from Bryson Johnston.

That staked the Bucs to a 28-24 lead, and they led by a 29-26 score at the break.

B-U started the third quarter with baskets from Jaden Westfall and Ian Strader for a 33-26 lead, but the momentum switched back to the Patriots after that as they outscored B-U 16-4 the rest of the quarter putting the Bucs down 42-37 heading into the final eight minutes.

A three-pointer from Wheeling Park’s Mykel Davis gave the Patriots their six-point lead, at 47-41, with 7:05 remaining.

Jerin Westfall started the B-U 12-0 run with a three-pointer.

Wheeling Park did close the contest to three points after a trey from Amare Johnson making it a 62-59 game with 21 seconds left, but Jaden Westfall secured the win with four free throws for the Bucs.

“We knew each play was going to matter so we tried to compete on each play,” concluded coach Westfall. “I am glad to see our hard work paying off and watching them win as a team.”

Aiden Davis led Wheeling Park with 29 points while Johnson added 17.

The Bucs improved to 7-3 on the season.

They will be back on the court Friday hosting East Fairmont at 7:30 p.m.

The Bees are currently ranked fifth in Class AAA with a 6-4 record.

The boxscore:

Wheeling Park 12  14  16  17 – 59

Buckhannon-Upshur 9  20  8  29 – 66

Wheeling Park 59

Aiden Davis 9-23 6-7 29; Amare Johnson 5-12 6-6 17; Mykel Davis 1-9 2-2 5; Ryan Linder 1-3 0-0 3; Kaiden Davis 1-3 0-0 2; Dante Strothers 1-2 0-0 2; Landon Lewis 0-1 1-2 1; JD Williams 0-0 0-0 0; Jacob Hays 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-53 15-17 59.

Buckhannon-Upshur 66

Carter Zuliani 7-15 6-9 20; Jaden Westfall 3-5 6-8 12; Jerin Westfall 2-6 5-8 11; Ian Strader 2-9 4-4 8; Malaki Williams 3-3 2-2 8; Bryson Johnston 1-1 2-4 5; Jevon Westfall 1-2 0-0 2; Nathaniel Ringer 0-1 0-0 0; Luke Yardley 0-0 0-0 0; Landon Marple 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-42 25-35 66.

Three-point field goals – Wheeling Park: A. Davis 5-12; M. Davis 1-5; Johnson 1-4; Linder 1-3; K. Davis 0-2; Totals 8-26; Buckhannon-Upshur: Jerin Westfall 2-5; Johnston 1-1; Strader 0-4 Totals 3-10.

Rebounds – Wheeling Park: team 5; Lewis 4; A. Davis 3; Johnson 3; M. Davis 2. Totals 17; Buckhannon-Upshur: Zuliani 18; Jaden Westfall 10; Williams 7; deadball 6; team 4; Strader 4; Johnston 2; Jerin Westfall 2. Totals 53.

Assists – Wheeling Park: A. Davis 2; Lewis 2; M. Davis 1; Johnson 1. Totals 6; Buckhannon-Upshur: Jaden Westfall 6; Strader 3; Williams 1; Zuliani 1. Totals 11.

Steals – Wheeling Park: M. Davis 5; K. Davis 3;  Johnson 3; A. Davis 2; Linder 1. Totals 14; Buckhannon-Upshur: Jaden Westfall 2; Johnston 1; Strader 1;  Zuliani 1. Totals 5.

Blocked shots – Wheeling Park: M. Davis 1; Lewis 1. Totals 2; Buckhannon-Upshur: Jerin Westfall 1. Totals 1.

Turnovers – Wheeling Park:6; Buckhannon-Upshur: 19.

Fouls – Wheeling Park: 24; Buckhannon-Upshur: 15.

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