Local Sports, Sports, University

Hawks open season with ‘sloppy’ win over Buccaneers

MORGANTOWN — It wasn’t the prettiest basketball ever played, but the University Hawks got their season started on the right foot Tuesday night by defeating Buckhannon-Upshur 68-48 on their home court.

“It was very sloppy,” UHS coach Joe Schmidle said. “Typical things for your first game so we’re really going to have to work on getting some of that stuff cleaned up before Friday.” 

Both teams struggled with turnovers and missed shots early on. University’s full-court press defense was giving a young BU team fits while the Hawks were trying to play too fast for their own feet.

“We didn’t shoot the ball very well tonight, not compared to what I thought we would,” Schmidle said. “A lot of that is because we weren’t patient enough to take good shots. Everything was in a hurry, we kept forcing things.” 

UHS had a tough blow early on when sophomore James Fortney-Garbart picked up two quick fouls and spent much of the first half on the bench.

“He’s kind of what makes us go, him and (Kaden) Farrell,” Schmidle said. “When one of those guys are out, it makes it difficult when one of your top scorers is sitting on the bench.”

Fortunately for the Hawks, Farrell stepped up in Fortney-Garbart’s absence, scoring 12 of his 15 points in the first half to boost UHS to a 30-27 lead at the break.

“I thought Kaden Farrell was a big spark for us in the first half,” Schmidle said.

UHS put together a 10-0 run midway through the third quarter to fully pull away from their visitors, capped off by a three-pointer from Rafael Barcinas that put the Hawks up 48-34 entering the final frame.

Barcinas, a junior, turned in a consistent game, pouring in a game-high 17 points. Classmate Carson Ford came alive in the second half, scoring nine of his 12 points after the break. Fortney-Garbart scored all nine of his points in the second half.

Neither team could buy a three-pointer throughout the game as they combined to start 0-of-15 from range with only two makes each by the end. Ford scored his only points of the first half on the first triple of the contest two minutes before halftime. Of course, Buckhannon-Upshur’s Ian Strader responded immediately with the Buccaneers’ first three seconds later.

Strader finished second on BU with seven points, trailing Zack Calef-Boring’s 13.

UHS is set to host the BFS Shootout this weekend, a four-team tournament during which the Hawks will play Hurricane Friday night and Washington Saturday afternoon.

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University 68, Buckhannon-Upshur 48

BU 12 11 11 14 — 48

UHS 14 16 18 20 — 68

BU — Calef-Boring 6 0-1 13; Strader 3 0-1 7; Zuliani 3 0-2 6; Ja. Westfall 3 0-0 6; Williams 2 1-1 5; Jev. Westfall 2 1-2 5; Johnston 1 2-2 4; Jer. Westfall 1 0-0 2.

UHS — Barcinas 6 4-4 17; Farrell 6 3-4 15; Ford 4 3-4 12; Fortney-Garbart 2 5-8 9; Cool 3 0-0 6; Nemecek 1 1-3 3; Hudson 0 2-2 2; Thomas 1 0-0 2; Kleeh 1 0-0 2.

3 Pt. Goals — BU 2 (Strader 1; Calef-Boring 1). UHS 2 (Barcinas 1; Ford 1).