Local Sports, Sports, Trinity Christian

Barnett scores 39 to lead Trinity Christian to Region II title and a spot in Charleston

MORGANTOWN — Trinity Christian girls basketball coach Mike Baldy could barely stand still throughout the day leading up to Wednesday’s Class AA Region II championship game against the Frankfort Falcons, as his Warriors had seen defeat in the same game three years in a row.

But according to him, once he entered the building of TCS for the game, he felt an overwhelming sense of calmness wash over him.

“I knew that these seniors (Ella Lynch and Jenna Barnett) weren’t going to let this team go away like this again,” Baldy said.

Barnett scored 39 points to lead the Warriors to a 61-40 victory over the Falcons in Sabraton on Wednesday. She finished with 15 made field goals, including seven from long range.

This will be the first trip to the state tournament for TCS since 2019.

Trinity players celebrate after defeating Frankfort on Wednesday in the regional final. (William Wotring/The Dominion Post)

“All day I have been thinking about this game, and thinking about what happened last year because we couldn’t hit a shot near the end of the game,” Barnett said. “Every day I’ve been in the gym and didn’t leave until I made 100 threes. I told myself this morning we weren’t losing this game.”

Barnett got started early as she scored eight of Trinity’s 10 points in the opening quarter. The Warriors took a 10-5 lead early in the game.

She only added three more points in the second for a total of 13, but the Warriors stretched the lead to eight points, 23-15 at the break. The Falcons struggled on offense the entire game and were just 6 for 26 from the field at halftime.

In previous years, the Warriors let halftime leads slip away as the Falcons completed multiple comebacks. But it was all Barnett on Wednesday as she refused to see her team be left behind in the regional finals once again.

Barnett opened the second half with a deep three and scored the opening seven points of the third by herself. She finished with 15 of Trintiy’s 19 points in the third quarter as the Warriors outscored the Falcons 19-9 to help extend the lead to 18 points, 42-24 with one quarter to play.

“No adjustment,” Baldy said about what the Warriors planned to do to open the second half. “We didn’t make a single adjustment, we had to guard the post a little better but we didn’t even execute that. We told Jenna all week she had to shoot when she had open looks and she was incredible. The difference in the third quarter tonight from last year was the experience of it happening already. We knew we couldn’t let it happen again.”

Trinity’s Jenna Barnett (1) drives to the net against Frankfort on Wednesday in the regional final. (William Wotring/The Dominion Post)

Barnett added 11 more points and two more triples in the fourth to help her team keep the score at a comfortable length from the Falcons, who wouldn’t get closer than 18 points in the fourth.

“For me, this is bittersweet playing my last game on the floor here,” Barnett said. “But now we get to go play on the floor in Charleston.”

“We have special people here,” Baldy said. “The seniors are special, the juniors, sophomores, freshmen are special. The assistant coaches are special people, the athletic director is a special person. Every team I’ve ever been involved with that has been to Charleston has had special people and that’s what this is a result of.”

Trinity Christian earned the No. 6 seed in the Class AA state tournament and will face off against Wheeling Central Catholic next Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in Charleston.

Trinity 61, Frankfort 40

FHS 5 10 9 16 – 40
TCS 10 13 19 19 – 61
TRINITY CHRISTIAN — Barnett 15 2-3 39; Moore 3 1-4 9; Kurilko 3 0-0 7; Conn 1 2-2 4; Fisher 1 0-0 2.
FRANKFORT — Klavuhn 11 1-1 23; Ault 1 1-2 3; Pritts 1 0-0 3; Kelly 1 2-2 4; Ruble 0 1-2 1; Zimmerman 1 1-2 4; Kesner 1 0-0 2. 
3-Pt. Goals — Trinity 10 (Barnett 7, Moore 2, Kurilko 1). Frankfort 2 (Pritts 1, Zimmerman 1)