CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Rivals Poca and Nitro have seen their girls basketball programs mired in mediocrity the past few years.
However, with both sporting first-year coaches, each are hoping to turn things around and get their respective programs back on the map.
They had their first opportunity of the season against each other, and despite Nitro knocking off Poca 47-38 at home, both teams left encouraged.
"I really think this team has potential," Nitro Coach Will Samuels said. "We have the right type of players. I saw a lot of things I liked. We just got to keep working and keep getting better."
The Dots played their first game of the season Thursday night after the program folded last December.
"Our girls played hard, and I'm very proud of them," Poca Coach Kenny Sayre said. "I love them to death."
Sayre believes he has the community behind him and the team, especially with the issues they faced last season.
"We have a lot of support this year," Sayre said. "We are getting the Poca family behind us. For a girls game, I was surprised at how many people were here tonight. We just took a big step, getting on the court, and playing like that. Hopefully we can turn this thing around."
Samuels feels the same about his program.
"We had a parent meeting and they say they have always heard a coach say, 'I'm going to be here.' I honestly, want to be here and we plan on trying to build here. We want to get into the middle school level, and make it better here."