WESTON – Alyssa Abel had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds and Kendal Currence, and Shelby McDaniels both reached double figures as the No. 8 Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Bucs led from start-to-finish in a 55-36 Big 10 Conference victory against the home-standing Lewis County Minutemaids Thursday night.
Currence finished the game with 14 points and McDaniels just missed out on a triple-double with 10 points, nine rebounds and nine steals as the Lady Buc defense turned Lewis County over 29 times.
Despite the 19-point win, Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Rob Kittle felt the Minutemaids frustrated his squad into some lackluster play.
“We didn’t execute the way we need to, especially in the first half,” Kittle noted. “We forced way too much stuff. Lewis County was playing aggressively, and we let them frustrate us a little. We didn’t get into our sets in that first half. I thought the second half we did a much better job and were flying around to the ball and stepped up our defense and were able to get some easy transition baskets. We can’t let teams frustrate us and we let them get to us tonight. That is something we have to get better at.”
The Lady Bucs were also outrebounded by a 49-38 margin.
“We are getting into the bad habit of not making contact with people and trying to use our athleticism and trying to jump over people and that just doesn’t work against quality rebounders,” stated Kittle. “It is something we have to get better at.”
In a fast-paced and physical first quarter, the Lady Bucs led 6-4 before Abel put in a lay-up, Kenna Maxwell scored from inside the paint, Abel came back with a free throw, Olivia Ellis canned a short jumper and Abel wrapped up a 9-0 run with a lay-up, treating B-U to a 15-4 lead with two minutes remaining in the opening stanza.
Buckhannon-Upshur took a 20-10 lead into the second quarter.
The Lady Bucs struggled offensively in the second quarter, scoring just six points and Lewis County’s Hope Dever made a three-pointer at the buzzer, making it a 26-19 game at the intermission.
B-U got back on track to start the third quarter with Currence putting in four points and Abel two for a 6-0 run for a 32-19 advantage just two minutes into the canto.
Following a Lewis County basket, Abel and Currence struck again with baskets giving the Lady Bucs a 36-21 lead with 4:52 showing on the third-quarter clock.
A free throw at the end of the quarter by McDaniels gave the Lady Bucs a 44-28 lead.
Buckhannon-Upshur started the final stanza on a 5-0 run to put the game out of reach with a 21-point lead, at 49-28.
A McDaniels three-pointer treated the Lady Bucs to their biggest advantage of the game, at 54-31, with 4:59 remaining.
Lewis County closed the game on a 5-1 run.
“I told the team after the game that I was happy with the result, but we need to get better,” remarked Kittle. “We still have a monumental task in front of us with sectionals and regionals. We have to make sure we get better. I am not sure we did that in the first half. We probably did in the second half, but we have to come out every quarter and keep taking a step forward.”
Ellis came off the bench to contribute six first-half points to go along with three assists, two rebounds and two steals for the game.
The senior guard said coming off the bench is a role she embraces.
“For me personally, it doesn’t bother me that I don’t start because I know that I can come off the bench and help the team and that really is what it’s all about,” Ellis said. “It’s a team game and all about team effort. I couldn’t have had my first half without my teammates as they were able to get me the ball.”
Ellis said that team effort for the Lady Bucs is what has led them to success this season.
“I think a big part of our success is that we understand that this isn’t an individual game,” commented Ellis. “Lewis County forced us into rushing some shots, but it’s really about working the ball and getting that quality shot and getting the best shot we can for our teammates.”
Emma Pickeny came off the bench to lead Lewis County with 14 points and seven rebounds.
The Minutemaids dropped to 8-10 on the year and 5-6 in the Big 10.
The Lady Bucs won their seventh game in a row, hiking their record to 14-3 on the season. They are 8-2 in the Big 10.
They will be back in action Saturday hosting Parkersburg South in a non-conference game at 5:45 p.m.
Buckhannon-Upshur 20 6 18 11 – 55
Lewis County 10 9 9 8 – 36
Alyssa Abel 6-9 2-6 14; Kendal Currence 6-11 2-4 14; Shelby McDaniels 3-13 3-7 10; Kenna Maxwell 3-7 0-0 6; Olivia Ellis 3-7 0-0 6; Kyndal Davis 1-5 1-4 3; Gabby Parke 1-6 0-0 2; Brooklyn Smith 0-0 0-0 0; Rosie Shackleford 0-0 0-0 0; Casadie Lahman 0-0 0-0 0; Regina Petrokovich 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-58 8-21 55.
Lewis County 36
Emma Pickney 4-8 6-10 14; Hope Dever 2-7 1-3 7; Elleona Stump 2-6 1-2 5; Lillie Cayton 1-5 2-6 4; Lauren Wyatt 1-3 0-0 2; Emily Talbert 1-4 0-0 2; Maggie Wyatt 1-1 0-2 2; Emma Post 0-4 0-0 0; Haylee Lewis 0-0 0-0 0; Jaelyn Romans 0-0 0-0 0; Bo Probst 0-0 0-0 0; Bri Watson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 12-38 10-23 36.
Three-point field goals – Buckhannon-Upshur: McDaniels 1-4; Maxwell 0-3; Parke 0-3; Ellis 0-2. Totals 1-12; Lewis County: Dever 2-7; Cayton 0-2; Post 0-1; Talbert 0-1. Totals 2-11.
Rebounds – Buckhannon-Upshur: Abel 10; McDaniels 9; deadball 7; Parke 4; Davis 2; Ellis 2; team 2; Currence 1; Maxwell 1. Totals 38; Lewis County: team 10; deadball 7; Stump 7; Pinkney 7; Em. Post 6; Cayton 5; L. Wyatt 3; Talbert 2; Dever 1; M. Wyatt 1. Totals 49.
Assists – Buckhannon-Upshur: Maxwell 4; Ellis 3; McDaniels 3; Abel 2; Currence 2; Parke 1. Totals 15; Lewis County: Cayton 5; Em. Post 2; Lewis 1; Pickney 1; Stump 1; Talbert 1; L. Wyatt 1. Totals 12.
Steals – Buckhannon-Upshur: McDaniels 9; Abel 4; Maxwell 3; Parke 3; Currence 2; Ellis 2; Davis 1; Lahman 1. Totals 25; Lewis County: Stump 5; Em. Post 2. Totals 7.
Blocked shots – Buckhannon-Upshur: None; Lewis County: L. Wyatt 1. Totals 1.
Turnovers – Buckhannon-Upshur: 14; Lewis County: 29.
Personal fouls – Buckhannon-Upshur: 19; Lewis County: 14.