Bucs overcome horrid third quarter to earn 68-58 win over Lincoln

TENNERTON – The Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneers turned what appeared to be a sure win into almost a bad loss before pulling it out in the end against the Lincoln Cougars Wednesday night at the high school gym.

The Bucs led by a 38-27 score at the break, but trailed by a 41-40 score late in the third quarter before pulling out a 68-58 win.

The rollercoaster victory left Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Travis Foster perplexed as to how his team could dominate for three quarters yet get outscored by a 15-4 margin in the third quarter which allowed the Cougars to stay in the game and even grab the lead for a short spell.

“I wish I could explain that third quarter,” remarked Foster. “We are trying to fix it. This has been an issue, of not playing well coming out of the half, since last year. It’s our downfall right now and we just have to try to fix it. We have to get better in that third quarter. To score four points is unacceptable.”

The Bucs started fast with a 10-0 advantage and built their lead up to 13 at the end of one quarter of action, at 21-8, after a Mason Hyre baseline jumper.

Four of the five B-U starters picked up their second fouls early in the second quarter resulting in Foster turning to his bench for most of the stanza.

The non-starters played well for Foster as an Oliver King jumper kept the Bucs ahead by 11 at the intermission, at 38-27.

Then the third quarter happened where the Bucs managed just four points — baskets by Lamar Hurst and Hyre.

Lincoln took their only lead after a lay-up by Westin Heldreth, at 41-40, with 2:41 left in the third quarter.

B-U’s Shawn Blandino answered with a putback, but Easton Gibbs ended the quarter with a free throw for Lincoln, leaving the contest tied at 42-42 heading into the final stanza.

The Bucs went back to controlling play at the start of the fourth quarter as Hurst made a jumper in the paint and Ian Strader knocked down two free throws to give the team a 46-42 advantage.

Hurst made a lay-up and then knocked down two free throws on B-U’s next possession to give the Bucs at 52-45 lead with 5:28 left to play.

Lincoln was never able to get closer than five points the rest of the way.

Lincoln cut the lead down to six, at 62-56, with just under two minutes remaining, but Jaden Westfall scored from underneath and Strader scored in the paint to put B-U up 64-56 with 1:33 remaining as they went on to finish with their 10-point win.

“We get our heads down when we don’t play well, and then we try do things that aren’t within our offense and scheme,” stated Foster about that third quarter. “Then it just snowballs and we get frustrated. We just have to get better or we won’t win many more games playing like that.”

Foster said he was pleased that his team was able to shake off that disastrous third quarter and reclaim their footing in the fourth quarter.

“In the fourth quarter we calmed down and started hitting our spots and our spacing on the floor got better,” noted Foster. “When we got down by one, we had to play from behind and I felt we focused in on the game a little bit better.”

Hurst led the Bucs with 19 points.

The B-U bench was responsible for 27 points as Blandino scored 11, Strader eight, Westfall six and King two.

“Our bench has really been saving us,” noted Foster. “I have been proud of my bench all season. We have very little varsity experience on our bench, but they are a big reason why we have two wins right now. All four players gave us great minutes tonight.”

Lincoln was led by Heldreth with 23 points.

The Cougars dropped to 0-1 overall and 0-1 in the Big 10 Conference.

The Bucs improved to 2-1 on the season and 1-0 in the Big 10 Conference.

Their contest with Preston on Friday was postponed as the Knights are dealing with COVID-19 issues.

The Bucs will now play at Lewis County on Wednesday, Dec. 22.

That game will tip at 7:30 p.m.

The junior varsity contest with the Cougars, prior to the varsity outing, was cancelled and will not be rescheduled.

The boxscore:

Lincoln 8  19  15  16 – 58

Buckhannon-Upshur 21  17  4  26 – 68

Lincoln 58

Westin Heldreth 8-13 4-7 23; Aaron Ramsey 5-7 2-2 12; Sammy Bart 5-14 0-2 10; John Lopez 3-6 2-5 8; Easton Gibbs 0-1 3-4 3; Jayce Brooks 0-1 2-4 2; Brayden Edgell 0-2 0-0 0; Manning Clark 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-44 13-24 58.

Buckhannon-Upshur 68

Lamar Hurst 7-10 4-5 19; Shawn Blandino 5-8 1-1 11; Mason Hyre 4-7 2-4 10; Harrison Walker 2-6 2-2 8; Ian Strader 3-3 2-2 8; Jaden Westfall 3-4 0-2 6; Zach Calef-Boring 0-4 2-2 2; Sterlin Thropp 1-3 0-0 2; Oliver King 1-1 0-1 2. Totals 26-46 11-15 68.

Three-point field goals – Lincoln: Heldreth 3-5; Brooks 0-1; Bart 0-3. Totals 3-9; Buckhannon-Upshur: Walker 2-3; Hyre 2-4; Hurst 1-3; Calef-Boring 0-1. Totals 5-11.

Rebounds – Lincoln: Bart 4; deadball 4; Edgell 3; Heldreth 3; Ramsey 3; Gibbs 2; team 2; Clark 1; Lopez 1. Totals 23; Buckhannon-Upshur: Hurst 6; Blandino 6; Strader 5; Westfall 4; Calef-Boring 3; Thropp 3; Walker 3; team 2; Hyre 1; King 1; deadball 1. Totals 35.

Assists – Lincoln: Bart 4; Edgell 2; Heldreth 1; Lopez 1; Brooks 1. Totals 9; Buckhannon-Upshur: Strader 4; Calef-Boring 3; Thropp 3; Hyre 2; Hurst 2; Blandino 1; King 1; Walker 1. Totals 17.

Steals – Lincoln: Bart 5; Lopez 3; Heldreth 2; Brooks 2; Clark 1. Totals 13; Buckhannon-Upshur: Strader 2; Hurst 2; King 2; Blandino 1; Calef-Boring 1. Totals 8.

Blocked shots – Lincoln: Ramsey 2; Heldreth 1. Totals 3; Buckhannon-Upshur: Strader 2. Totals 2.

Turnovers – Lincoln: 19; Buckhannon-Upshur: 23.

Personal fouls – Lincoln: 20; Buckhannon-Upshur: 23.

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