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Van Tassel, Cameron overpower Barnett, Trinity Christian in OVAC Championship

CADIZ, Oh. — Great basketball teams each feature a particular facet of their game that’s difficult to stop.

Cameron? The Dragons feature two, and on the Class A level, it makes the Dragons a tough team to defend. There’s a reason Cameron is the defending OVAC and W.Va. Class A champions.

Both facets were on full display Saturday in the Dragons’ commanding 86-60 victory against No. 2-seeded Trinity Christian in the finals of the OVAC Class 1A tournament.

6-foot-3 force Ashlynn Van Tassell, a Youngstown State signee, scored a Class A title-game-best 38 points and added 20 rebounds in the win.

That’s facet number one. Whether entry passes into the 6-footer or second-shot opportunities for easy putbacks, the Warriors had no answer for the first-team all-stater.

A player of Van Tassell’s stature is difficult to defend. But Cameron’s not limited to her inside presence. Van Tassell is surrounded by four speedy players, led by senior point guard Kenzie Clutter, who makes even the slickest of passes look routine.

Clutter finished with 10 points and 11 assists, pushing a transition game that Trinity struggled to contain.

“Most good teams have one feature that’s hard to defend. Cameron has two,” Warriors head coach Mike Baldy lamented Saturday afternoon at Harrison Central High School in Cadiz. “They hurt us inside and they hurt us in transition.”

The loss overshadowed a brilliant individual offensive effort from senior Jenna Barnett.

Showcasing her ability to attack and finish off the dribble, Barnett weaved her way to a career-high 37 points. Unafraid of attacking against the taller Van Tassell, some of her attempts were rejected, but many found their home.

Ella Lynch backed her with 11 points, scoring most of her points in transition but Lynch wasn’t able to get untracked on the perimeter, finishing with only one 3-pointer.

“Ella averages 14 a game and she’s a solid perimeter shooter, but we couldn’t get her going on the outside,” Baldy said. “She did have some nice points in transition.”

The Warriors trailed by 10 after the first quarter and try as they might, that deficit only increased as Cameron scored 24, 24, and 23 points in each of the first three quarters, respectively.

Cameron left little doubt as to why the defending champions are currently ranked No. 1 in Class A in West Virginia.

Trinity, meanwhile, dropped to 13-5 on the season. Baldy noted his team’s played a difficult schedule, but has yet to drop a game to a team in their AA division. Wyoming East currently owns the top spot in AA.

Kaylin Kurilko backed Barnett and Lynch with nine points while Amelia Fisher led the team in rebounding off the bench with seven.


Cameron 86. Trinity Christian 60
Trinity Christian 14 10 21 15 — 60
Cameron 24 24 23 15 — 86
TRINITY — Barnett 14 6-11 37; Lynch 5 0-0 11; Moore 0 0-0 0; Williams 1 0-0 3; Kurilko 4 0-0 9; Hopkins 0 0-0 0; Fisher 0 0-2 0; Totals: 24 6-13 60.
CAMERON — Clutter 4 0-0 10; E.Dobbs 5 0-0 11; A.Dobbs 7 0-2 17; Neely 5 0-0 10; Van Tassell 18 2-5 38; Bertram 0 0-0 0; Totals: 39 2-7 86.
Three-point Goals: Barnett 3, Lynch, Kurilko, Williams. A.Dobbs 3, Clutter 2, E.Dobbs.