By Dan Stillwell
Register-Herald Sports Writer
Nothing was going to stop Miki Glenn.
Nicholas County’s height was no roadblock. Nor was its numerous defenses and taunting crowd.
Even an ankle injury failed to slow the Bridgeport dynamo as she scored a record 40 points Friday in the Indians' 57-48 victory over Nicholas County in a Class AA semifinal game of the girls basketball state tournament.
“It was hard to guard her,” Lady Grizzlies guard Mykenzie Martin said. “She's probably the best player in the state. I was pretty frustrated.”
Glenn’s 40 broke the old AA record of 37 held by both Missy Spangler of Ritchie County (2001) and Makenzie White of Scott (2011).
She seemingly penetrated at will to the basket, usually scoring and drawing a foul. Late in the game, when Nicholas was forced to foul to regain possession, she was a perfect 6 for 6 at the free throw line.
In all, Glenn hit 17 of 18 free throws, nearing the record 19 she made against Lincoln in this year's quarterfinals. She took 23 shots in game game, breaking the old record of 19 attempts by Baileysville's Donna Bailey in 1992.
“Seventeen for 18 is pretty good,” Nicholas coach Tom McGirl said. “We let her get too deep into the lane, and she's a good free throw shooter.”
Nicholas (21-4) was playing in its first state tournament since 2001, and the game was billed as a battle of all-staters Glenn and Shealyn Shafer, the Lady Grizzlies’ 5-11 center.
Shafer scored the first four points of the game on a jumper from the lane and two free throws. Glenn came back with a trifecta, two foul shots and another basket to make it 7-4.
Shafer answered with four consecutive foul shots, setting the stage for a tight game until midway through the second quarter.
Hope Chalfant hit two 3-pointers, and in between them, Glenn scored nine straight points. The half ended with Bridgeport up 26-17.
Two Glenn buckets upped the count to 30-19 early in the third. But any chance of a quick Bridgeport blowout ended as Nicholas began getting the ball in to Shafer.
She hit three baskets and two foul shots as the Lady Grizzlies cut the deficit to five points, 42-37, by the quarter's end.
“We had breakdowns, and every time we'd have one, Nicholas took advantage of it,” Bridgeport coach Dave Marshall said. “They've got a great team.”
Nicholas' fans chanted, “One-man team,” at Bridgeport. Chalfant quieted them when she drained her third trey of the game to open the fourth quarter. Following a jumper by Glenn, Tori Coulter also hit a 3, and the lead was back out to 13 with 6:32 left in the game.
The Grizzlies never recovered. They trailed by as many as 1 points before a late flurry of foul shots by Shafer, Lauren Young and Whitney Robinson cut the final score back to nine.
Shafer concluded with 26 points and 12 rebounds as she concluded four good seasons with an appearance at states.
“We put in a lot of hard work and it finally paid off,” she said. “You can't replace that feeling.”
Young had five rebounds, four points and three steals. Martin scored six points, all on 3s.
“It's disappointing our season came to an end, but I'm proud of what the girls accomplished,” McGirl said. “They have a lot of character. They played 32 minutes every night.”
Bridgeport (24-2) will play either Westside or Fairmont Senior at 2:30 p.m. today for the state championship.
Marshall knows he'll get another strong effort from Glenn.
“I know I'm biased, but if Miki is not the best player in West Virginia, then, wow! Hats off to whoever it is,” he said. “I wouldn't trade her for any two out there.”
— E-mail: dstillwell