TENNERTON – The WVSSAC recently announced their two-year new high school basketball regional and sectional alignments for the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 seasons. Class AAAA, of which Buckhannon-Upshur is a part, remains unchanged from the previous two years.
The sectional for the Bucs and Lady Bucs will remain the same with Bridgeport, Preston and University while the other side of sectional/regional will also remain intact with Brooke, John Marshall, Morgantown and Wheeling Park.
The new Class AAAA will begin its third year this winter when the basketball season begins. Buckhannon-Upshur was one of the smallest schools student-wise to make the cut into the new classification.
“I really didn’t think the section or the region would change,” remarked Buckhannon-Upshur boy’s head coach Travis Foster. “I think overall adding Class AAAA to the mix was really good for the state in basketball. In saying that, did it help out Buckhannon-Upshur? I don’t think it did. It has put us in a toughest bracket in the state to get to Charleston, but that’s just the way it is.”
The regional remains one of the toughest in the state for head coach Rob Kittle and his Lady Bucs as well as Morgantown was the runner-up in AAAA title this year and Wheeling Park is one of the top teams in the state year and year out.
“It definitely makes it tough for us being in the section/region that we are in,” stated Kittle. “The AAAA classification is what it is. Schools like and Bridgeport and us are smaller schools in our region with only one feeder program where most other have 2-3 feeder programs at middle school level so it definitely hurts our numbers but I love the way girls are working and are looking forward to a successful season.”
Both Kittle and Foster said the way to combat the brutal sectional/regional is to player a tougher regular-season schedule to prepare their teams for the post-season.
“We are playing a very tough schedule again this year to hopefully figure out a way back to Charleston,” commented Kittle. “I think we can have similar success to last season (the Lady Bucs advanced to the regional final where they were beaten by Wheeling Park).
Foster added about B-U’s sectional and regional, “You just do your best. You learn to only work with things that you can control and we have no control over our placement, so you just gotta go after it. It is really a hard scenario to deal with so that is why from day one, I load our schedule playing the best in the state.”
“It’s the only way to prepare for the postseason,” he added. “We don’t want to schedule weak teams and pile up wins because at the end of the season, we are going to be chesting up with the best in the state and the only way to prepare for that is to play the best all season long, and that is what we have tried to do.
“So we just try to deal with what we can control. It is difficult when you are playing schools with double your attendance and those kids have facilities where kids can get inside and play, then it is tough to remain competitive. We don’t have those facilities and it makes it tough. The kids really don’t have anywhere to go and that needs to change in this community.”