Clay Battelle, Local Sports, Sports

Wesbter’s Sydney Baird captains Class A all-state girls’ team

CHARLESTON — Only one team gets to cut the nets down in Charleston and for the second-straight season it was the Cameron Dragons doing the honors in Class A.

Webster County, which lost 54-51 to the Dragons in the state semifinals, made quite a bit of history this year.

Not only did the Highlanders advance past the opening round of the state tournament for the first time ever, but on Tuesday senior Sydney Baird became the first WCHS player to be voted captain of the West Virginia Sports Writers Association’s Class A girls basketball all-state first team.

“It’s an honor. She is probably the best player I have ever coached, and not because she’s my daughter. She is the best player I have ever coached,” admitted Webster County boss Sharon Baird. “Day in and day out, her work ethic. She loves the game. When she gets on the floor it just amazes me how she reads the floor.

“Her IQ is unreal. She loves to give the ball up. She loves to dish the ball and the whole aspect of the game. We don’t look at all the points and stats. She wants to win and she wanted to be there to cut that net down. She had a good run this year. Playing Cameron the way we did this year, I couldn’t ask for anymore. Our team gave 110 percent and I think we went out on a good note.”

Baird, who finished her career with 2,510 points and was the first Highlander to ever win the Little Kanawha Conference’s Player of the Year award, led the Mid-Ohio Valley in scoring (31.1), assists (6.5), steals (4.7) and free-throw shooting (86.3%). She also grabbed 9.3 boards a game, averaged 1.3 blocks, 4.9 deflections and shot 55.4% from the field, and 39% from beyond the arc.

The Highlander was joined as a three-peat first-team honoree by Tucker County’s Kadie Colebank. The senior, who helped the Mountain Lions to a state runner-up effort, shot 60% from the floor and 76% at the line. She averaged a double-double with 16.9 points and 12.5 rebounds an outing, to go along with 3.2 assists, 1.6 steals and 2.9 blocks.

Cameron head coach Holly Pettit’s program saw Ashlynn Van Tassell repeat on the first team. The junior pivot proved to be tough to defend once again as evidenced by her averages of 19.5 points, 13.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.2 blocks. She also converted 53% of her shots and 69% at the free-throw line.

Making the top unit for the first time was Cameron junior point guard Kenzie Clutter, who put up 9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 2 steals and 1 block an outing. She shot 74% at the line and 47% from the field.

“It’s been a fun year,” admitted coach Pettit. “Just thankful we were able to get back to the state tournament and come out on top, especially with the pressure the girls had and everything. I can’t say enough about Kenzie. I think she gets overlooked a lot just because we have a great post player.

“They call her the general and she leads us, but she’s a team leader and keeps her cool. She has a great shot and makes smart decisions. She’s so fun to coach. We tried to beef up our schedule and she (Van Tassell) got to play against some high-quality post players. The older she gets the more she’s maturing.”

The only other repeat first-team honoree was Doddridge County senior guard Abby McDonough, who helped the Bulldogs knock off Gilmer County in the state quarterfinals before being eliminated by Tucker County. McDonough, who shot 46%, averaged 20.4 points, 8.4 caroms, 3.1 dimes, 3.7 thefts and 1.2 blocks.

Pendleton County senior Ana Young, who went off for 43 points in the Wildcats’ 79-59 quarterfinal loss to Cameron, earned a spot on the top unit. Not only did Young convert 78% at the line and 47% from the floor, but she averaged 28 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 4 four steals a game. She also drained 87 trifectas at a 38% clip.

The lone sophomore on the first team was Gilmer County’s Allie Ellyson. A year after the Titans graduated five starting seniors and finished state runner-up to Cameron, Ellyson helped head coach Amy Chapman’s program get back to Charleston. Ellyson ended her campaign by shooting 73% at the line and putting up averages of 16.5 points, 4.9 boards, 3.4 assists and 2.5 steals.

James Monroe senior Adyson Hines (14.9 ppg, 12.9 rpg, 3.0 apg, 6.0 spg, 2.2 bpg) also earned a nod on the first team.

Tolsia senior Autumn Block was named captain of the second team.

Also earning second-team all-state honors were Greenbrier West sophomore Preslee Treadway, Tucker County junior Macy Helmick, Doddridge County senior Carrie Lloyd, River View senior Trista Lester, James Monroe senior Maggie Boroski, Block’s senior teammate Kerrigan Salmons, as well as Gilmer County freshman Ava Dobbins.

Clay-Battelle had two girls named all-state honorable mention with Laikyn Dalton and Kenly Statler both receiving the honor. Dalton stuffed the stat sheet for C-B, averaging 11.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.3 steals per game. Statler averaged 8.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game for the Cee-Bees.

All-State honorees can obtain state-shaped, wood plaques with name, school, year and honor at or

By JAY W. BENNETT/The Parkersburg News & Sentinel

First Team
Ashlynn Van Tassell, Cameron, Jr.
Sydney Baird, Webster County, Sr. (Captain)
Kadie Colebank, Tucker County, Sr.
Abby McDonough, Doddridge County, Sr.
Adyson Hines, James Monroe, Sr.
Ana Young, Pendleton County, Sr.
Allie Ellyson, Gilmer County, Soph.
Kenzie Clutter, Cameron, Jr.

Second Team
Autumn Block, Tolsia, Sr. (Captain)
Preslee Treadway, Greenbrier West, Soph.
Macy Helmick, Tucker County, Jr.
Carrie Lloyd, Doddridge County, Sr.
Trista Lester, River View, Sr.
Maggie Boroski, James Monroe, Sr.
Kerrigan Salmons, Toslia, Sr.
Ava Dobbins, Gilmer County, Fr.

Honorable Mention
Jenna Baisden, Man; Ava Barclay, Greenbrier West; Kenzie Browning, Tug Valley; Laikyn Dalton, Clay-Battelle; Haven Deskins, Tug Valley; Addison Dudley, Richwood; Bayley Frashure, Gilmer County; Maddie Fields, Greenbrier West; Emily Gola, Doddridge County; Haley Hunnicutt, James Monroe; Niko Kaurmann, St. Joseph; Mary Beth Meadows, James Monroe; Shea McCoy, Madonna; Maci Neely, Cameron; Kierston Rozell, Meadow Bridge; Tenley Paugh, Doddridge County; Haylie Payne, River View; Charity Reichard, Meadow Bridge; Stevie Starsick, Gilmer County; Kenley Statler, Clay-Battelle; Brooklynn Tinnell, East Hardy; Olivia Vandevender, Pocahontas County; Fiona VanMatre, Wahama; Brylee Wetzel, Tucker County; Ericka Zink, Tucker County

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