Tribe Sees One Starter Return, Loses Yet Another as Regular Season Winds Down with Team at 12-7

By Jeff Toquinto on February 10, 2018 via

Bridgeport girls’ basketball Coach Dennis Hutson has been around long enough to know that in the sport you win some and you lose some. This year, when it comes to his players, he’s finding out that you gain some and you lose some.
The Indians’ revolving door of players impacted by injuries continued – and some for the good and some for the bad – in their last two games as the postseason nears. The Tribe managed to go 1-1 in their last two games with a 53-39 setback at home to Lincoln that was followed by a 54-40 victory against Elkins Thursday on the road.
Bridgeport is 13-7 with the postseason right around the corner.
The week didn’t start out as Hutson hoped. The Indians faced a Cougar team that has given the team fits in recent years and had to face them without junior standout Rory Marple and senior guard Bronlie Jacobs.
“What it boiled down to is that we had a hard time scoring,” said Hutson. “Of all the games where Rory was out, this was the one where I think she could have made a difference with her ability to score.”
Bridgeport managed just 15 points in the opening half, and never led throughout. The Tribe was down 15-9 after one period and trailed 31-15 at halftime. By the time the third quarter was over, the Indians were behind 43-23 and the game was also over.
“When you only have two kids scoring points for the most part, you’re going to have trouble,” said Hutson.
Hutson had just four players in the scoring column. Emily Riggs, still recovering from her own knee injury, led the way with 18 points. Kaitlin Smith finished with 15. Two other players combined for six.
“Their freshmen, particularly (Hannah) Ferris, hit some big shots. They had three freshmen score 30 points … It just wasn’t a good outing and was one of those nights,” said Hutson. “If you’ve only got two kids scoring for the most part that’s just not going to get it done.”
Against Elkins, Hutson was pleased to learn that Marple was back in the fold after missing several games due to a concussion. However, he was dismayed to learn that starting point guard and senior Jacobs is likely out for the season with a knee injury.
The game started out sluggish for both teams and remained that way for the entire first half. Bridgeport trailed 8-6 after one period of play before holding the Tigers to just two points in the second to lead 17-10 at the half.
Bridgeport’s offense improved in the third quarter, but so did Elkins’ offense. By the time the frame ended, the Tribe’s lead was cut to 34-30. It was in the fourth quarter where BHS finally put some breathing room between itself and its host, and they had Smith to thank for it.
The senior, who finished with 14 points, hit for eight of her team’s 20 points in the period. And Hutson said they were decisive points.
“Kaitlin caught fire in the fourth quarter and it couldn’t have come at a better time. She buried a couple of 3-pointers and hit a deuce in a short period that seemed to make the difference in the game,” said Hutson.
Smith was joined in double figures by Riggs. Riggs, who had her minutes curtailed a bit due to logging heavy minutes against Lincoln, finished with a team-high 15 points.
“We didn’t play really well, but I’m happy to get a win on the road,” said Hutson. “We did a little better offensively in the second half and reversed the ball, which we struggled to do in the first half and couldn’t execute because of it. To Elkins’ credit, they played really good defense.”
Hutson was pleased that the game saw the return of Marple. Hutson said she played “a little rusty,” but is going to be imperative if BHS is to make any noise in the postseason.
The team will also have to do better at the foul line. The game was closer than it needed to be as BHS took 35 free throws and only made 22. The number would have been worse if not for Riggs shooting 9-of-10 from the charity stripe.
The regular season is coming to a close with the first of the final two games this afternoon. The Indians will visit Lewis County at 4:45 p.m. The team will close the regular season Tuesday at home with senior night against Robert C. Byrd. The game tips at 7:30 p.m.
Editor's Note: Top photo shows Emily Riggs going strong to the basket against Lincoln, while Kaitlin Smith does the same in the next photo. Bottom picture shows the team huddling up prior to tipoff against the Cougars. Photos by Matthew S. DeMaria of

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