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Bridgeport downs Lincoln again

By D.J. Williams

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Lincoln and Bridgeport were no strangers to each other when both took the court Thursday afternoon at the Civic Center.

Prior to Thursday's Class AA girls state tournament quarterfinal, they collided three times during the regular season, with Bridgeport winning each matchup by at least 15 points.

Therefore, when Lincoln went into halftime trailing just 22-19, it seemed as though the fourth time may be the charm. However, it was evident after a couple of minutes in the third quarter there would be no upset.

No. 2 seed Bridgeport used a 16-5 run in the third quarter and senior guard Miki Glenn scored 19 of her game-high 33 points in the second half as the Indians (23-2) defeated the No. 7 Cougars 54-34.

Bridgeport will face No. 3 seed Nicholas County in a semifinal at 11:15 a.m. today. Nicholas County (21-3) defeated North Marion 47-42 earlier Thursday.

The Indians will face a tall challenge in Nicholas County's 5-foot-11 all-stater Shealyn Shafer and fellow starter Nicole Hamilton, a 6-footer. Bridgeport's tallest player is 5-7 reserve Sarah Randolph.

"We have played against teams taller than us for a month and a half now," said Bridgeport coach Dave Marshall. "There is nothing we can do about it. We will try to pressure the basketball the best we can. We will try to help each other out on defense. We are going to have to box out because I watched [Nicholas Thursday] morning. Those girls [Shafer and Hamilton] can really play."

Before that, Bridgeport had to get past a scrappy Lincoln squad.

The Cougars (16-10) fell behind 12-5 early but kept sending two and sometimes three players at Glenn. The strategy paid off as they were able to close the first quarter on a 10-3 run.

"I was expecting something different than what they had been playing [in previous games]," Glenn said of Lincoln's defense. "They went to a triangle-and-two and I have confidence that my teammates can make their shots. It was just about working the ball around, attacking them, setting good screens and getting open. It was about making shots in the end."

Unfortunately, early on those shots weren't falling for her teammates. Glenn, who also had 11 rebounds and six steals, scored 14 of her team's 22 first-half points, including all of the Indians' seven points in the second quarter. While Glenn shot 5 for 8 from the field in the first half, her teammates struggled, making just 2 of 15.

"I wasn't really worried about our shooting at halftime," Marshall said. "I know that might sound crazy because we shot horribly but we were taking good shots."

Marshall was also comforted that he had Glenn, a state player of the year candidate, on his side.

"I know I'm biased but if Miki Glenn is not the best player in the state of West Virginia then I would like to see some of those players," Marshall said. "I have told her before that there are some players that if it was a one-on-one tournament then she may be in trouble. But when it comes to playing team basketball, the intelligence that goes along with the game, when to get the foul and how to finish, I have coached a long time and I haven't seen any player who does those things better."

Glenn scored 10 of the team's 16 points during the run in the third quarter.

"Early on, we were making our shots," Glenn said. "But, I knew eventually they would fall. We just needed to get a better offensive flow. We tried to push the ball up the floor. We got a couple of breakouts and I got to the [free throw] line a couple of times. I think that really helped us."

Not only did Glenn get to the line, but she got there often and finished. Glenn finished the game 19 for 23 from the line.

"When she gets into a big-time situation, she doesn't rattle," Marshall said.

Kaci Linville led the Cougars with seven points while Knight contributed with two points and nine rebounds.


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