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Bridgeport Girls Move to 6-0

By RICK THORP For The Intelligencer

December 12, 2013
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

CONNORVILLE - Through the first five games of the season, Bridgeport girls' basketball coach Rob Zitzelsberger still wasn't 100-percent satisfied with his team's performance, even though the Bulldogs came through the stretch unblemished.

After watching his team Wednesday night, he's becoming more of a believer.

''We played a little bit of basketball didn't we?'' Zitzelsberger asked after watching the Bulldogs put a 72-33 pasting on a young Buckeye Local unit on the Panthers' home boards.

''We did a lot of nice things. We made a lot of nice passes ... we just played really well.''

So what's changed the past week or so with his now 6-0 squad?

''We've gotten better on shot selection,'' Zitzelsberger noted. ''We've gotten a lot better at passing the ball and making sure we don't throw 30-foot passes.

''If you noticed, (Wednesday) we had a lot of nice backdoor cuts. We've got Madonna (on the road tonight) and they'll be a quality team on a small floor.''

To make a long story short, Bridgeport is starting to do the small things well.

No one noticed that more than Panthers head coach Tom Figurski, who watched his team fall to 0-3.

''We're a building in process, is a good way to put it,'' he said. ''We've taken our lumps from two of arguably the best teams in the valley (Indian Creek and Bridgeport) and we've learned a lot from it.

''I'm proud of the girls for competing and it will only make us better in the long run.''

All 10 players that played for Bridgeport scored, led by Maclaine Murad's 18. Caitlyn Kroll added 15, while Nicole Smolenak had 10.

All three players had a hand in the Bulldogs' 9-0 run to open the game. Bridgeport pressured the Panthers immediately, turning many a turnover into points and taking control of the game right away.

''That hurt them real quick,'' Zitzelsberger said. ''We did a lot of things (Wednesday) we don't normally do in a game, but we have to work on them in case things get close.''

Becky Zeroski paced the Panthers with 16 points.

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