BHS Puts up Good Effort, but Falters on Road to State's No. 1 'AAA' Team in Face of Myriad of Injuries

By Jeff Toquinto on February 05, 2018 via

Bridgeport saw its five-game win streak come to an end this past Wednesday. The Indians fell to Class AAA No. 1 Buckhannon-Upshur by a 52-34 score in Tennerton.
The loss by the Tribe, who went into the game extremely short-handed and departed with fewer players than they began with, left them at 12-6 on the season. The Buccaneers moved to 17-1.
Coach Dennis Hutson knew it would be a tall task to go on the road and beat their highly regarded hosts. The Indians went into the game without standout Rory Marple due to injury, still in concussion protocol, and were without Sarah Haynes missing due to the flu.
The Tribe did welcome back leading scorer Emily Riggs who had missed several games due to a knee injury. And for a good portion of the opening half, Riggs playing limited minutes and her teammates held their own.
Bridgeport managed to notch an 8-8 tie after one period play as B-U couldn’t shake its opponent early. Things started changing in the second frame when the Bucs ended up leading 26-16 at the intermission.
“Defensively we were pretty good early on and that’s what kept us in the game,” said Hutson. “The biggest problem we had in that game was our offense turned into their offense. We kept throwing the ball to them, particularly from the second quarter on, and that led to at least a half a dozen uncontested layups.”
Hutson said B-U only shot 30 percent when facing Bridgeport’s half-court defense. The number soared much higher when the layups were added in.
“You can’t do that against most teams and have a chance, let alone the top-ranked team in the state,” said Hutson.
Bridgeport’s hopes completely faded due to its defensive shortcomings in the final two period. And those hopes also faded on yet another injury.
Hutson said starting guard Bronlie Jacobs went down with a knee injury at the outset of the second half. He said the team never bounced back.
“That just took the wind out of our sails and we just fell apart,” said Hutson. “We did have Riggs back, but we played her sparingly so we were really shorthanded.”
Hutson said he believes Jacobs’ injury is a sprain. He wasn’t sure of the status or when Jacobs would return.
“We got it down to seven points (27-20) in the third and that was it,” said Hutson. “The effort was there, which I’m pleased with. We just didn’t take care of the ball.”
Hutson’s assessment was correct. The Tribe had 23 turnovers.
Senior Kaitlin Smith continued to lead the Indians as they play shorthanded. She finished with 12 points. Paige Humble added eight points.
Hutson is hoping Riggs will be able to play more minutes when Bridgeport returns home to face Lincoln this Tuesday. He said Marple will be out for sure due to her injury and doesn’t anticipate Bronlie Jacobs playing either. He is hopeful Haynes will be back from the flu.
“When we get everyone back healthy, we should be fine,” Hutson said. “Injuries and illness is something everyone has to deal with, but I don’t know if I’ve ever had to deal with this much in my coaching tenure. We’ve certainly had more than our share so we’ll just try to weather the storm.”
BHS’s game at home vs. Lincoln will tip at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday The team will also visit Elkins Thursday and play at the same time, while a Saturday contest with Lewis County is set for roughly 4:30 p.m. in Weston.
Editor's Note: Top photo shows Bria Jacobs bringnig the ball up the court with her sister Bronlie trailing, while the second photo shows Maddie Wilson looking to pass. Bottom picture shows Coach Dennis Hutson working with the team during a break in the action. File photos by Tyler Maxwell of

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