Basketball: Sissies head into district – Bridgeport opens 9-4A with defending champs

By Reece Waddell | Published Wednesday, January 3, 2018
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Driving the Basket

DRIVING TO THE BASKET – Bridgeport guard Emily Vidal slashes to the rim against Dallas Christian. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Behind a suffocating defense and opportunistic offense, the Bridgeport Sissies have rocketed out of the gates for a 13-3 start to the season.

Bridgeport finished as the consolation runner-up at the Whataburger Tournament this past weekend, dispatching Dallas Christian and Stephenville before losing to Nazareth in the consolation finals.

When the latest Texas Association of Basketball Coaches’ rankings were released Monday, Bridgeport checked in at No. 19 in 4A.

With non-district and tournament play over, the Sissies will now turn their attention to District 9-4A play. Bridgeport has the immediate test of facing the defending 4A champions, Argyle, at 8 p.m. Friday at home.

Argyle fell to eventual champion Jim Ned in the quarterfinals of the Whataburger Tournament last week, 46-42.

“We want to be a top-tier basketball program, and this particular group of kids wants to see where we match up,” said Bridgeport coach Dallas Taylor. “[Argyle] has been there, done that.”

Bridgeport was romped by the Lady Eagles twice last season, losing 52-22 and again 65-15. Argyle finished 2017 with a state title and a staggering 38-2 mark, ending the year on an 18-game winning streak.

“It makes us better every time we play [Argyle],” said Bridgeport guard Emily Vidal. “Last year it was rough for us, but it made us better as a team.”

Vidal has been one of the Sissies’ leading scorers this year, frequently stuffing that stat sheet with double-digit scoring efforts. In contrast to last year when Vidal almost exclusively ran the point, Taylor has been using Vidal more off the ball.

Now able to run off screens and space the floor, Vidal is splitting point guard duties with junior Jolene Torres. Together, the duo has opened things up for their teammates, creating a dynamic offensive attack.

“Emily’s had some good games, but what we’ve liked more than anything is our balanced scoring,” Taylor said. “That’s aided in [Vidal’s] ability to have some good nights because of the threats.”

Defensively, Bridgeport has thrown a bevy of looks at opponents, switching between a frantic full-court press to anything from man to zone in half-court sets. Taylor said the variety of defenses often flusters teams. The Sissies are allowing just 41.9 points per game this year.

“I think a trademark of our team is our defense,” Taylor said. “I think people have to prepare for us. That’s always a scary thing for the opposing team when you have to spend 30 minutes of your practice preparing for Bridgeport’s defense.”

The Sissies finished last year with a 23-10 record before falling in the bi-district round of the playoffs to Ranchview. Along with Bridgeport, four of the six teams in District 9-4A all currently have winning records.

Although the Sissies have no seniors on the roster, they are confident in their ability as district play gets underway.

“I think the goal is state,” said junior post Delaney Ingram. “I think we can definitely make it there. We just have to keep pushing ourselves and practicing hard every single day.”

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