Following a standout junior campaign, Trinity Christian’s Jenna Barnett has been named to the all-state second team by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
Barnett, a junior guard, stuffed the stat sheet this season by averaging 20.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 5.1 steals per game. Classmate SuCora Brown was named all-state honorable mention, averaging 12.1 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.
Maddie Clark has had big shoes to fill over the last two years.
The Wyoming East guard has taken the reins following the graduations of former Class AA all-state captains Gabby Lupardus (2016 and ‘18) and Skylar Davidson (2021), doing well for herself.
Coming into the 2022-23 season, the junior had already earned first-team all-state honors as a sophomore for a Lady Warrior squad that finished as the state runner-up last year.
But second best wasn’t good enough for the standout who reached the top of the Class AA mountain with the aforementioned Davidson in 2021.
More of an athlete than a basketball player in years past, Clark worked tirelessly through the summer to improve her game and it paid off as she helped East return to the Class AA state championship game where it defeated sectional foe Summers County 57-41.
For her efforts Clark has been named captain of the Class AA first-team all-staters by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
“Well my mouth just dropped,” Clark said when she heard the news. “This was a goal. This summer I tried to set goals for myself and being the captain was one of them and being a state champion again was obviously another. I worked hard on defense and offense because I knew I had to be able to score. I feel like I put a lot of work in over the summer and I got more comfortable with my teammates and just figured it out.”
Clark averaged 13.1 points, 5 assists and 3.2 steals per game prior to the state tournament.
Once she hit Charleston she took her game to a new level, leading all players in assists per game (7.3), field goals made (19), field goal percentage (67 percent) and 3-point field goal percentage (100 percent, 4 for 4).
That came in part because of the schedule East played, preparing her for the state’s best. The slate featured games against state-runner up Summers County, Mingo Central, Chapmanville, St. Marys, Frankfort, Charleston Catholic and Class AAAA schools Princeton and Spring Valley. In total Clark and Co. played 10 games against state tournament qualifiers prior to the event itself and three more against Mingo Central, a team that was ranked as high as No. 1 in the AP poll in February.
Flanking her along the way was teammate Cadee Blackburn, a sophomore who also earned first-team honors. Blackburn, East’s leading scorer, doubled her point production from 8.7 per game last year to 16.4 this year ahead of the state tournament. Once she got to Charleston she erupted with a 12-point outburst in the third quarter of the quarterfinals and followed it up with 30-point showing in the semifinals against Petersburg.
Blackburn becomes the fifth different Wyoming East guard since 2016 to earn first-team honors, joining Lupardus (’15-16, ‘18), Davidson (’20-21), Clark (’22-23) and Jazz Blankenship (’17 and ‘19).
“They’re all special in their own way,” East head coach Angie Boninsegna said. “I think Blackburn’s rebounding got a little bit better this year and she was a big scorer for us. Maddie, her entire game got better. Her offense got better and she was a better leader. She’s always been big on defense for us since her freshman year but she improved a lot everywhere else.”
Joining the Wyoming East duo on the first-team are six other players they played against this year in Addie Smith (Mingo Central), Gracie Harvey (Summers County), Addie Davis (St. Marys), Braylee Corbin (Petersburg), Alaira Evans (Chapmanville) and Rebekah Rupert (Ritchie County).
Smith, a sophomore making her second appearance on the first-team, helped the Miners reach new heights this season. She averaged 20.8 points and 4.7 assists per game, leading the Miners to wins over title game qualifiers Wyoming East and Summers County in the regular season. Her contributions helped Mingo reach the top spot in the AP poll for the first time in program history.
Harvey, a junior center, makes her first appearance on the first-team after earning second-team honors last year. She led the Lady Bobcats in scoring with 13.8 points per game on 50.3 percent shooting to go along with 9.8 rebounds per game. Her contributions helped Summers upset East in the sectional championship and take down Mingo Central at home in the regional round.
Addie Davis, a sophomore, is the third player on the list to earn first-team honors again. She averaged 12.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 4 steals per game for St. Marys, helping her team make it to the state tournament for the second consecutive season.
Braylee Corbin, a second-teamer last year, averaged 16.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game in her senior season. During her time in Petersburg she helped the Vikings to three consecutive Class AA semifinals where their losses were to the eventual state champions each year.
The final Region 3 name on the list is Alaira Evans of Chapmanville. In a year where the Tigers split with Summers and beat Mingo Central in the sectional championship, Evans, a junior, averaged 18.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and two steals per game.
Rounding out the list of first-teamers is Ritchie County’s Rebekah Rupert. The 6-foot senior was a force in the paint this year, averaging 15.1 points, 14 rebounds,2.9 steals and 1.8 blocks per contest as the Rebels eliminated defending champ Parkersburg Catholic in the sectional opener.
Summers County’s Sullivan Pivont was the captain of the second-teamers and was joined by teammate and fellow senior Liv Meador, Jenna Barnett (Trinity), Larae Grove (Frankfort), Mary Rushworth (Charleston Catholic), Faith Pickens (Williamstown), Hadleigh McGoskey (Ravenswood) and Faith Mason (Roane County).
All-State honorees can obtain state-shaped, wood plaques with name, school, year and honor at wvswa.org or bearwoodcompany.com.
BY TYLER JACKSON/Lootpress.com
Addie Smith, Mingo Central, Soph.
Maddie Clark, Wyoming East, Jr. (Captain)
Cadee Blackburn, Wyoming East, Soph.
Gracie Harvey, Summers County, Jr.
Addie Davis, St. Marys, Soph.
Braylee Corbin, Petersburg, Sr.
Alaira Evans, Chapmanville, Jr.
Rebekah Rupert, Ritchie County, Sr.
Jenna Barnett, Trinity, Jr.
Sullivan Pivont, Summers County, Sr. (Captain)
Larae Grove, Frankfort, Sr.
Mary Rushworth, Charleston Catholic, Fr.
Liv Meador, Summers County, Sr.
Faith Pickens, Williamstown, Soph.
Hadleigh McGoskey, Ravenswood, Jr.
Faith Mason, Roane County, Sr.
Kayley Bane, Wyoming East; Cara Brown, Bluefield; Sucora Brown, Trinity; Annie Cimino, Charleston Catholic; Madisyn Curry, Mingo Central; Sterling Kump, Moorefield; Zoe Davis, St. Marys; Valerie Downing, Wheeling Central; Brooke Edge, Wheeling Central; Haley Fleming, Chapmanville; Jayci Gray, Ritchie County; Maddie Hall, Roane County; Georgie Inman, Williamstown; Kennedy Kaposy, Petersburg; Riley Landis, Williamstown; Arin Lease, Frankfort; Avery Lilly, Summers County; Colleen Lookabill, Wyoming East; Jaiden Mahon, Chapmanville; Molly Messer, Charleston Catholic; Erica Nicholson, Braxton County; Abby Persinger, Summers County; Breanna Price, St. Marys; Emily Wratchford, Ravenswood; Reagan Rudder, South Harrison; Abby Russell, Wyoming East; Jenna Sparks, Mingo Central; Mary Tokodi-Ruth, Parkersburg Catholic; Lily Vogrin, Wheeling Central