Pirates Continue Ascent

Porter Ridge wins UCW ­Super 7 girls basketball title

by Aaron Garcia

A third-round appearance in the Class 4A state playoffs buys you a lot of things. Most important, it gets you respect, which is a big deal for a program still carving out its place on the statewide scene.

But as the Porter Ridge girls basketball team learned this season, it also brings with it expectations and an extremely large target. And for the majority of the season, the Pirates didn’t just adjust to the spotlight – they excelled under it, ultimately being crown as Union County Weekly’s Super 7 girls basketball champions.

After truly establishing itself as a factor in the state landscape last season, the Pirates entered the 2011-12 campaign with loads of promise. But a few questions loomed. Chief among them was how they would replace standout forward Kelley Godbout.

However, thanks to dizzying offensive weapons such as Jasmine Huntley, Jada Huntley and Jade Jones, the Pirates didn’t need to replace Godbout. Instead they used strong shot selection to combat the lack of available rebounders. As the year progressed, so did some of the Pirates’ youngsters, especially in the post, as coach Ina Thompson’s team developed into a well-rounded, dangerous unit with the help of sophomore forward Bobbi Jones.

By the end of the season, the Pirates were a dangerous group that downed every other member of the Super 7 girls basketball rankings at least once and never strung together consecutive losses. That alone was worthy of their Super 7 championship.

But another third-round appearance in the state playoffs means it might not be their last.

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