BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – The Bridgeport girls were one of the surprise teams of the 2020 girls basketball state tournament.
The lady Indians took top-seed, North Marion, to the brink, and are looking to build off their late-season success from last year in spite of the long offseason.
“It does, it has motivated the girls,” head coach Herman Pierson said when asked about last year’s run to Charleston. “They want to prove that they can play. And, you know, they want an opportunity to show that they can play with the best. They did show that at the end of last year. It doesn’t get much better than a North Marion girls program. And they definitely feel encouraged, so we do have that enthusiasm and that encouragement from what we did last year.”
“Paige has definitely become an even better leader than she was last year, and she was a good leader last year. But on top of that, she has worked tirelessly on her game. Her perimeter game is vastly improved compared to what it was last year,” said Pierson.
Sophomore Gabby Reep, and Annamarie Pinti will also play key roles for Pierson’s group, which makes the jump to Class AAAA basketball this season. Pierson also adds two players who didn’t play last year or in year’s past, but are solid athletes.
“Even though we only graduated two seniors, we’re going to be playing some younger players. Some of the incoming freshmen are probably going to get some minutes. I’m gonna play a lot of sophomores. Obviously, I’ve got three or four seniors that are going to get some playing time, as well. So it’s going to be quite a blend,” said Pierson. “Ally Bender. Ally was out last year, but she had a knee that bothered her, so she ended up not playing. She’s out this year and she’s going to be able to help us.”
Bridgeport’s season begins with a contest against a familiar foe, Fairmont Senior, and there will be games with major sectional ramifications down the stretch.
It’s a new season, a new class, and a new world for the Indians, who are looking to make some noise once again in 2021.