Local Sports, Sports, Trinity Christian

Barnett scores 34 as Warriors defeat Braxton County for 4th section title in a row

MORGANTOWN — The last basketball Trinity Christian’s Jenna Barnett played before Friday ended with her having to be carried off the court with an ankle injury.

Two weeks later Barnett was clearly no worse for wear as she scored 34 points to lead the Warriors to a 59-41 Class AA Region II, Section 2 championship over Braxton County high on the hill in Sabraton.

“It was more mental than I think anything, just a scare,” Barnett said of the injury. “It’s a lot better, I feel great. I didn’t even feel it playing out there, I think I was just having so much fun with my team.”

Any concerns about Barnett’s ankle were put to bed right away as the senior hit a trio of threes and finished with 13 points in the first quarter alone.

“Coming into (Friday), I knew she was going to be Jenna,” Trinity coach Mike Baldy said. “If she had an off night, it wasn’t going to be because of the ankle.”

Trinity Christian’s Girls Basketball team celebrates their victory against Braxton Co. to win a Sectional Championship on Friday night. (Benjamin Powel/The Dominion Post)

It was fortunate Barnett shot so well early as the Warriors (18-5) needed a few minutes to knock the rust off after not playing a game since Feb. 10.

“I did think there was some rust,” Baldy admitted. “I thought movement away from the ball on defense was bad. A lot of Braxton’s offensive rebounds came from us not being in position away from the ball.”

Even so, Trinity led the Eagles (10-13) by eight, 20-12 after the first quarter.

“I knew (we would play well) as soon as we stepped into the locker room,” Barnett said. “I don’t mean it as we’re better, I mean it as the energy we had all day. We carried it from our cars all the way into (the gym). We wanted it bad (Friday).”

Braxton County made its push early in the second, however, putting together an 11-2 run that cut Trinity’s lead to just 23-19. The Warriors responded by rattling off the next eight points to go into the locker room up 30-19.

The teams each scored 10 points in the third quarter until Barnett and fellow senior Ella Lynch hit back-to-back three-pointers to jump their lead to 46-29.

Barnett capped off the night by scoring 10 points in the fourth to finish with a game-high 34. Lynch was next on the team with eight points.

Trinity Christian seniors Ella Lynch (left) and Jenna Barnett (right) pose for a photo together after winning their sectional final game against Braxton County on Friday night. (Benjamin Powell/The Dominion Post)

“This is the most motivated I think I’ve ever been,” Barnett said. “Especially for Ella, she is playing so well right now.”

Erica Nicholson scored 15 to lead Braxton while Adrian Lunceford had eight and Lila Fitzwater scored seven.

This is Trinity’s fourth section championship in a row and its sixth in the last seven years.

Trinity’s lone seniors, Barnett and Lynch have won a section championship every year of their high school careers, but they’ve never made it to the state tournament, losing in the region co-final to Frankfort three years in a row.

As fate would have it, the Warriors will host Frankfort yet again in the region co-final next Wednesday at 7 p.m.

“We’ve got to get it done,” Baldy said. “We’ve got two seniors in there that need it done.”

The Warriors also got significant contributions Friday night from their underclassmen. Of the 10 players that saw significant minutes on Friday, Barnett and Lynch were the only seniors and Kaylin Kurilko and Kate Williams were the only juniors. Jillian Conn is a sophomore while Peyton Moore, Amelia Fisher, Marlo Flecker, Sydney Deal and Paige Hopkins are all freshmen.

“We have freshmen who are stepping up and doing things that we didn’t even think were going to happen,” Barnett said. “We’re playing so well right now and how Ella and I feel are carrying on to them. They’re bringing it because they want it for us.”

Petersburg defeated Frankfort 52-33 to win the Section 1 championship. The Region II co-finals will be Frankfort at Trinity and Braxton County at Petersburg next Wednesday.

Trinity Christian 59, Braxton County 41
BC 12 77 10 12 — 41
TCS 20 10 16 13 — 59
BRAXTON COUNTY (10-13) — Lunceford 2 3-4 8; Nicholson 5 2-2 15; Cain 0 1-2 1; Conley 2 0-0 4; Abraham 3 0-0 6; Fitzwater 3 1-2 7; Propst 0 0-0 0; Foster 0 0-0 0; Shaver 0 0-0 0; Paletti 0 0-2 0; Smart 0 0-0 0.
TRINITY CHRISTIAN (18-5) — Barnett 11 7-10 34; Lynch 3 0-0 8; Moore 1 0-0 2; Williams 1 0-1 4; Kurilko 2 1-4 5; Fisher 1 0-0 2; Blake 0 0-0 0; Conn 1 1-2 3; Hopkins 0 0-0 0; Deal 0 1-2 1; Lohmann 0 0-0 0; Dinkel 0 0-0 0; Stinoski 0 0-0 0.
3-Pt. Goals — Braxton County 4 (Nicholson 3, Lunceford 1). Trinity Christian 7 (Barnett 5, Lynch 2).