Local Sports, Trinity Christian

Trinity’s Sharp leads all-area girls’ hoops team

MORGANTOWN — When the final buzzer sounded at Trinity Christian on Feb. 28, the Warriors stormed the court, jumping and smiling. They were the first Trinity girls’ squad to advance to the WVSSAC Class A state tournament in six years. They finished with a 13-13 record and a state quarterfinal loss to eventual champ Wheeling Central.

According to Regan Sharp, it was the culmination of a season-long focus.

“We had a goal at the beginning of the year to play in Charleston,” Sharp said. “We got together before sectionals and realized that our goal was still in sight, but we would have to take it one game at a time. We fought through each game with a new level of determination I’m not sure we had before.”

When the Warriors zoned in on the goal, it was nothing for Sharp to take charge and lead her team through a vigorous post-season stretch, just as she had through the up-and-down regular season.

Sharp averaged a well-rounded 18.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 4.2 steals per game for Trinity, and also joined the 1,000 points club, proving an all-around asset with a natural ability to step up in clutch situations.

“She showed a desire and need to win that was unmatched,” Trinity coach Mike Baldy said. “I can’t tell you how often opposing coaches would tell me, ‘We had you beat, but we just couldn’t stop Sharp in the fourth.’ ”

She was named third-team Class A all-state and first-team all-Mason Dixon Conference (MDC), and has now been named the recipient of The Dominion Post All-Area Player of the Year honor.

“It’s such an honor,” Sharp said. “There are so many talented players throughout the area that I’m proud to even be considered for the award.”

If you ask Baldy, though, he’ll tell you that he knew Sharp had it in her all along. He describes her as having the “heart of a lion,” and she became his go-to when he needed someone to step up and perform.

“Reagan is extremely deserving of this award and I couldn’t be more proud of her,” he said. “She works hard year-round to be the player that she is. It means a lot to our program that Reagan won this award.” ALL-AREA TEAM

— Makenzie Friend, senior, Preston: Friend provided needed senior leadership to a young, inexperienced team. Her prowess on the court was rarely matched, and opponents would often focus their game plans around her.

Despite her tendency to draw double-teams early and often, Friend still led the Knights to an 11-12 record while averaging an impressive 16.4 points and 9.8 rebounds per game and becoming the first female Knight to earn 1,000 points in a career.

Her tenacious play turned many heads across the state, as she earned third-team Class AAA all-state honors, as well as first-team all-Big 10.

— Emily Saurborn, senior, Trinity Christian: Saurborn joined Sharp in piloting the Warriors to their impressive state tournament appearance, playing Robin to her teammate’s Batman.

Saurborn added 14.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game and solidified her spot as a 1,000 point scorer during the Trinity campaign before a devastating ACL injury in the regional finals brought her career to an end.

Saurborn was honored for her performance as Class A all-state honorable mention and first-team all-MDC.

— Sydni Clawges, junior, Morgantown: Clawges hit her stride in her junior year, evolving to be the most important cog of MHS coach Jason White’s system. She took charge of the Mohigans as they made their 18-7 run to a regional finals loss to Wheeling Park.

Clawges averaged 12 points and eight rebounds while shooting 53 percent from the field on the season. She was named second-team Class AAA all-state, as well as first-team all-Two Rivers Athletic Conference (TRAC).

— Zoe Murphy, junior, University: Murphy proved the perfect floor general for a young Hawks team as she led UHS to a 9-14 season that ended with a loss to crosstown rival Morgantown in the sectional semifinals. Murphy averaged 5 points and 3.4 assists per game and was named an all-TRAC honorable mention.

— Haley Barr, senior, Clay-Battelle: A four-year starter, Barr paced the Cee-Bees to a 15-8 campaign that came to an end against cross-county rival Trinity Christian in the sectional tourney. Barr led C-B in scoring (12.3 points per game), and added 3.2 assists and 3.2 rebounds en route to joining the C-B 1,000 point club. She was named first-team all-MDC.