BUCKHANNON—After four straight road games in which three of those were in the eastern panhandle, the Grafton Bearcats boys’ basketball team hit the road again on Friday, this time heading to Upshur County to face off against Buckhannon-Upshur High School, winners of five of their last six games.
The JV’s would kick off the action and the game would not disappoint, as both teams were knotted at 11-all at the end of the first period, with all of Grafton’s points coming from sophomore guard Justin Spiker.
In the second period, the Buccaneers would pull ahead slightly to take a 30-26 lead going into halftime.
Buckhannon would come out in the second half and continue to increase their lead, outscoring Grafton 21-10 in the third period to take a 15-point lead into the fourth, 51-36. In the last period, B-U would outscore the Bearcats 14-9 to take the 65-45 victory.
Spiker would finish the contest with 23 points, and has now accounted for 59 points over his past two games. He was followed by Dante Owens (9), Aiden Hartley (5), and Andrew Gallo (3), Cayden Boylen (3), Mason Kinsey (2), and Carson Lambert (1).
In varsity action, the Buccaneers would lead the Bearcats after the first period by the score of 14-11 with both teams trading baskets for much of the quarter.
The Buccaneers would then go on a 19-4 run to take a 33-15 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Bearcats would fall behind by 21 at the end of the third with the Buccaneers leading 54-33.
Both teams would battle hard and the Bearcats would go on a run midway through the fourth, pulling to within nine, 50-41, before the Buccaneers would get a huge dunk by Josh Loudin with 1:03 left in the game to go ahead 70-58. Buckhannon-Upshur would hold off a furious Grafton rally and escape with a 73-63 win.
“It was a tale of two halves,” said Grafton head coach Michael and then we were just bad in the second quarter. We came out and we battled in the second half, we played well, we executed offensively and defensively, and we got some run-outs. If we would figure out that you have to put 32 minutes together and when you do that then you’re a good basketball team.”
Leading the way for the Bearcats was sophomore Ryan Maier, who connected on five three-pointers in the game on his way to scoring 22 points. Senior Jack Faulkner also had another solid game, scoring 20, with 15 of those coming in the second half. Rounding out the scoring for Grafton was Kaden Delaney (8), Matt Gallo (5), Joey Charlton (4), and Logan Beltner (2).
Buckhannon-Upshur (6-3) was led by Lamar Hurst’s 22 points and Ryan Hurst’s 19.
The Bearcats (4-4) will have a quick turnaround as they host Frankfort tonight at Grafton High School.
The JV game is scheduled to begin at 5:45pm while the varsity game will follow at 7:30pm.