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Basketball Lady Bucs overcome poor first half to down Pendleton County 63-38 in 2023-24 opener

TENNERTON – Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Rob Kittle called the first half of his Lady Bucs’ opener with Pendleton County Wednesday evening one of the worst he has ever seen.

The Lady Bucs turned it over 12 times, saw a couple of starters get into foul trouble with three fouls, and led the Class A Wildcats by just a 24-22 score at the intermission, who were coming off a 77-28 loss to Tucker County the day before.

The second half was a different story as the Lady Bucs pulled it together and outscored Pendleton County by a 39-16 margin en route to a 63-38 victory.

“I gave the team a nice half-time speech,” remarked Kittle. “We weren’t doing anything right in that first half or anything that we went over prior to the game. It was probably the worst half of basketball a team has ever played for me. It was disheartening the way we came out. It was more about our lack of execution than anything Pendleton was doing. The second half we started doing our job. We quit reaching and getting silly fouls and started moving our feet and getting in position to grab some rebounds and the things we were supposed to do. It just wasn’t a great effort from us in the first half, but I am glad we found a way to win.”

The Lady Bucs trailed just once in the game, down 2-0 with 10 seconds gone in the outing.

B-U followed with a 10-0 run for a 10-2 advantage and led at the end of the first quarter by a 14-8 score.

A lay-up by Harley Dean gave the Lady Bucs a 24-16 lead with a minute remaining in the half, but the Wildcats closed the quarter on a 6-0 run shortening the B-U lead to 24-22 at the half.

Buckhannon-Upshur started the third quarter on fire with a 17-2 run.

It started with an 8-0 run getting two baskets from Brooklyn Smith, one from Casadie Lahman and one from Dean for a 32-22 lead forcing Pendleton County to take a time out at the 6:38 mark.

Following a Wildcat basket after the time out, B-U went on a 9-0 run with a Rosie Shackleford free throw making it a 41-24 contest with 3:19 left in the third.

Pendleton County ended the quarter on a 10-4 run making it a 45-34 game in favor of Buckhannon-Upshur heading into the final eight minutes.

The Lady Bucs scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter for a 54-34 advantage.

The Wildcats managed just one field goal and two free throws in the fourth quarter.

B-U’s biggest margin of the game was the final difference of 25 after Alyssa Abel hit a three-pointer at the buzzer.

Despite the Lady Bucs playing a much better second half, Kittle knows his team can’t play that first half again against many teams in hopes of being successful.

“With our schedule this year, if we play the way we did in the first half, it is going to be a very long year,” noted Kittle. “They are going to have to make up their minds when they come to practice tomorrow what type of season they want to have, because even though we won by 25, our execution and effort was inexcusable and very disappointing in that first half.”

The Lady Bucs shot the ball at a 56.0 percent clip making good of 28 of their 50 field goal attempts.

Dean led the Lady Bucs just missing out on a double-double with 18 points and nine rebounds coming off the bench.

Lahman added 12 points, seven steals and six rebounds and was a defensive spark I the second half with six of her seven turnovers coming in the final two quarters.

“Coach gave us a pretty good speech at half time that put into perspective that we were better than we were playing,” stated Lahman. “I know for me, I picked myself up in that second half, like the entire team did, and we started playing like we are capable of. When we were struggling offensively, it’s important for the defense to pick it up and help the offense. It means a lot to me as a senior and this team to get this first win under our belt. It was a bumpy start, but we were able to get the win.”

Smith was the other Lady Buc to reach double digits with 12 points while dishing out six assists.

Avery Townsend led Pendleton County with 10 points and eight rebounds.

Buckhannon-Upshur will be back in action at Lincoln on Tuesday with a start time of 7:30 p.m.

The boxscore:

Pendleton County 8  14  12  4 – 38

Buckhannon-Upshur 14  10  21  18 – 63

Pendleton County 38

Averey Townsend 4-14 2-4 10; Susan Vincell 3-5 3-9 9; Julia Mongold 2-10 2-3 6; Jameigh Miller 2-4 0-0 4; Jenna Smith 2-5 0-0 4; Jessica Parker 1-7 1-1 3; Nataley Hedrick 0-0 2-2 2; Kiera Heavener 0-1 0-0 0; Olivia Gonshor 0-1 0-0 0; Gabby Depue 0-7 0-0 0. Totals 14-54 10-19 38.

Buckhannon-Upshur 63

Harley Dean 9-16 0-2 18; Casadie Lahman 6-8 0-2 12; Brooklyn Smith 5-8 2-2 12; Alyssa Abel 4-11 0-3 9; Hodge’Nay Henderson 3-6 1-2 7; Rosie Shackleford 0-0 3-4 3; Kyndal Davis 1-1 0-2 2; Avi Travise 0-0 0-0 0; Makenzie Egress 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-50 6-17 63.

Three-point field goals – Pendleton County: Townsend 0-4; Mongold 0-3; Smith 0-3; Miller 0-1; Gonshor 0-1. Totals 0-12; Buckhannon-Upshur: Abel 1-1; Smith 0-3; Dean 0-1. Totals 1-5.

Rebounds – Pendleton County: Depue 8; Townsend 8; Parker 7; deadball 5; Vincell 4; Miller 3; Mongold 2; Smith 2; team 2; Hedrick 1; Heavener 1. Totals 43; Buckhannon-Upshur: Dean 9; Abel 7; Lahman 6; deadball 5; Davis 4; team 3; Henderson 2; Smith 2; Egress 1. Totals 39.

Assists – Pendleton County: Townsend 2; Mongold 1; Depue 1. Totals 4; Buckhannon-Upshur: Smith 6; Henderson 4; Lahman 3; Abel 1; Dean 1. Totals 15.

Steals – Pendleton County: Townsend 5; Mongold 2; Depue 1; Hedrick 1. Totals 9; Buckhanon-Upshur: Lahman 7; Abel 3; Henderson 3; Smith 3; Davis 1; Dean 1. Totals 18

Blocked shots – Pendleton County: None; Buckhannon-Upshur: None.

Fouls – Pendleton County: 17; Buckhannon-Upshur: 24.

Turnovers – Pendleton County: 24; Buckhannon-Upshur: 20.

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