Local Sports, Sports, Trinity Christian

Nearing 1,000 points, Jenna Barnett returns to lead Trinity Christian

MORGANTOWN — The Trinity Christian High School girls’ basketball team has fallen one game short of the state tournament in Charleston for the past three seasons and is entering the 2023-2024 campaign with its sights set on nothing other than earning a spot in the state quarterfinals.

Head coach Mike Baldy, who earned his 100th win last season at TCS, will be without three starters from last season’s roster but returns two key pieces from the team in seniors Ella Lynch and Jenna Barnett.

Barnett, a second-team all-state selection last season, averaged over 20 points and six rebounds a game, while also nabbing over two steals as well. The senior guard is nearing 1,000 career points.

Despite the absence, Baldy and his club welcome a strong freshman class coming up from the middle school level within Trinity Christian School that he says will be asked to make an impact early on.

“It’s exciting for me to be able to coach my seniors because they’ve been so great for our team in their time here,” Baldy said. “This group of freshmen is also a great group of kids and they also have some good talent. We knew some of them would help us when they made it to our team from middle school.”

Along with the girls Baldy was already confident in playing for him, a few of the new players have shown more than he expected and have the chance to do more for the team than initially expected.

Seniors Lynch and Barnett are focused on doing everything they can for the team as the leaders.

“We knew that no matter who we had coming into the year that we would have to work hard every day,” Barnett said. “Practice is bringing a lot of confidence to all of us individually and as a team and we are focused on winning.”

“I told Jenna that we were going to come in and push these girls from day one in practice,” Baldy said. “She started that the first day being the leader and I kind of told her to slow down a little bit, and then slowly realized I was wrong and that we needed that mentality in order to get where we need to be.”

The Warriors will open the season with five games at home beginning on Thursday against sectional foe Braxton County high on the hill in Sabraton at 7 p.m.

TCS will also host state tournament participant Gilmer County on Dec. 8, and travel across town for a game against Morgantown on Wednesday, Dec. 13.

Preston and Clay-Battelle will also visit the Warriors on Saturday, Jan. 6 and Tuesday, Jan. 9, respectively.

“We have better depth this year than we have had in recent years,” Baldy said. “Hopefully that will help with some of the second-half woes from last season as everyone on our schedule is talented and has continued to show improvement over the years. We really feel like our schedule prepares us for those later-season games and the postseason.”

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