Roane County girls ousted by Bridgeport in regional co-final

Bridgeport’s Emily Riggs goes up for two of her game-high 37 points as Roane County’s Silken Harlan looks on during the Indians’ 67-45 Class AA, Region II co-final triumph Thursday night against the Raiders, who concluded their campaign at 15- 11. Photo by Kyle Jenkins

TENNERTON, W.Va. — Bridgeport’s Emily Riggs usually brings an aggressive style of play to the hardwood.

In Thursday’s Class AA Region II co-final against Roane County at Buckhannon-Upshur High School, Riggs took her aggressive nature to an entirely new level. The junior consistently attacked the basket and made the most of her penetration, scoring 37 points on 15 of 21 shooting to send the Indians back to the state tournament with a 67-45 victory over the Raiders.

“I always have an aggressive mentality. You just have to attack the basket. I have confidence in myself and whenever I attack the basket not many people can stop me,” Riggs said. “So I have to have an aggressive mentality to get to the basket and do whatever benefits my team the most.”

Moments after completing the 22-point win, Bridgeport found out it is the No. 4 seed and will battle fifth-seeded Frankfort on Wednesday in a quarterfinal at the Charleston Civic Center.

Riggs scored 13 points in each of the first two quarters and her conventional three-point play gave the Indians (18-7) an early 5-4 lead and started a decisive 17-0 Bridgeport run.

After Bria Jacobs scored inside to put the Tribe up 9-4, Riggs accounted for consecutive field goals, forcing the Raiders to call timeout as they faced a 13-4 deficit with 2:56 left in the opening quarter.

But the break in the action did nothing to slow down BHS, which got another layup from Jacobs, followed by another inside bucket by Riggs and then a Paige Humble basket to increase its lead to 19-4.

Lucille Westfall, who scored all five of Roane’s first-quarter points, made 1 of 2 free throws to end the 17-0 run and send the Raiders into the second quarter facing a 19-5 deficit.

Riggs continued to carry the lead for the Indians in the second, scoring the team’s first eight points of the frame, including a pull-up jumper that increased the advantage to 27-7.

The final points of the opening half from Riggs came on a mid-range jumper that put Bridgeport up 37-11, but Roane closed the half on an 11-2 run that featured baskets from Silken Harlen and Danielle Godbey, who had 10 points, in the late stages of the quarter.

Riggs made 11 of 14 shots through two periods, while Westfall scored 13 of her team’s 22 first-half points. Westfall finished her final career game with 28 points and eight rebounds.

“We just struggle to score. We can’t shoot outside and Lucille gets hers and other people have to step up and we just don’t have it,” Roane coach Frank Farrar said.

Westfall picked up where she had left off in the second half, registering her team’s first seven points of the third quarter. She had a three-point play and a jumper from 10 feet that trimmed Bridgeport’s lead to 14 on separate occasions, the latter of which was 43-29.

But Lauren Riffle responded with an inside bucket and Riggs had two field goals late in the quarter, including a layup that allowed the Tribe to take a 50-33 lead into the fourth quarter.