Lady Bucs look to build off last season
Three of the top four scorers return, including leader McDaniels
TENNERTON — The Buckhannon-Upshur High school girls basketball team hopes to build on last season’s success as three of the top four scorers are back.
The Lady Bucs navigated a tough schedule to finish the 2019-20 campaign with a 13-10 mark.
They compiled an impressive 11-3 record in the ultra competitive Big 10 Conference, including wins against state-tournament qualifiers Bridgeport and Lincoln.
Only two starters were lost from that squad in Brooklyn Maxwell and Kassidy Wilfong.
Maxwell, who is now a key contributor for Davis & Elkins College, was the last of the Lady Bucs who saw game action in the 49-47 loss to Parkersburg in the 2018 Class AAA state championship game.
Maxwell averaged 10 points and was the team’s leading rebounder with nearly seven caroms per game, while knocking down a team-best 25 3-pointers.
Led by the return of leading scorer and all-state second-team selection Shelby McDaniels, B-U hopes to once again make another deep postseason run under third-year coach Rob Kittle.
McDaniels scored 14 points per game last season as a sophomore. The versatile guard also dished out 74 assists and collected 77 steals.
Senior McKenzie Reynolds, a 5-10 forward, also returns to the fold. She averaged 7.4 points and 6.2 rebounds last season.
Kendal Currence, meanwhile, made a mark on the team as a freshman in 2019-20. She scored 5.5 points per game and was third on the squad in rebounding with 4.0 per contest.
Unlike last season, B-U’s projected to have several seniors on this year’s roster including Kennedy Samargo, who brings great experience in the backcourt. She averaged 3.2 points last season.
Kiara Woods is another holdover senior expected to provide leadership.
“Several (incoming) freshmen will also see a lot of varsity time,” Kittle added.
The COVID-19-delayed 2020-21 high school basketball season in West Virginia will bring a change in classes.
There will be four classifications in place — Class AAAA, AAA, AA and A.
B-U will compete in AAAA, as well as fellow Big 10 members Bridgeport and Preston.
The Lady Bucs will be in the Class AAAA, Region I, Section 2 with Bridgeport, Preston and University.
Region I, Section 1 schools include Brooke, John Marshall, Morgantown and Wheeling Park.
“The girls are working hard and ready to get started,” Kittle said. “It’s definitely going to be a different year.
“We will play 16 games in 34 days. It will be a physically demanding year as well as mentally demanding.”