Bailee Adkins

St. Joseph’s Bailee Adkins (1) drops in a layup against Buffalo in the Class A Region 4 Section 2 tournament Feb. 25 at Hurricane High School.

Bailee Adkins, St. Joseph’s 5-foot-7 senior guard, could have displayed her considerable scoring talent across a challenging schedule during her senior season.

But as the heartbeat of the Huntington-based Irish, Adkins sacrificed those high point totals. Instead, she efficiently ran both the offense and defense. She sparked the nationally ranked team on a nightly basis with her 10 points, 7.3 assists, four rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.

“That’s my game and it always has been my game,” said Adkins. “And everyone knew their roles this year and I just ran the floor and tried to be the leader of the team.”

Adkins led the Irish to a 22-1 record as well as the top seed of and state championship favorite status in the West Virginia Class A state tournament.

Today, Adkins once again leads a group of highly talented players after she was voted the captain of the West Virginia Sports Writers Association’s Class A girls basketball All-State first team.

“I am just honored to be named captain,” said Adkins. “I would not be here right now if it wasn’t for my teammates and family and coaches, I definitely thank them. I get a little lazy sometimes and my mom pushes me to work out to get better.”

2020 West Virginia Gatorade Player of the Year and junior teammate Grace Hutson benefitted from much of that hard work. The Irish’s first-year player shot her way onto the top team with her 19.5 points per game. She also filled up the stat sheet with her averages of 4.5 rebounds, two assists and 2.8 steals.

Though COVID-19 suspended the state tournament, the team expected to face St. Joe for the title — Parkersburg Catholic — also placed two representatives in senior Madeline Huffman and sophomore Leslie Huffman. Each played large roles as the No. 2 Crusaderettes advanced to the state semifinals after a win over Tucker County.

Madeline Huffman (14.2 points, 6.8 assists, 4.5 steals per game) possibly capped off her career with a Class A state tournament-record 15 assists against the Mountain Lions. Leslie Huffman added to her Little Kanawha Conference Player of the Year honors after her 23 points against Tucker County lived up to her 19.6 average. Leslie Huffman’s evolution from a defensive stopper into a complete player equipped the Crusaderettes with another weapon.

The final pair of first-team All-State teammates hails from another state tournament qualifier. Junior Gavin Pivont’s (17.6 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.6 steals per game) and junior Taylor Isaac’s (21.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 5.7 steals per game) continued growth aided Summers County’s return trip to Charleston as the No. 5 seed. Pivont developed into a better leader, shooter and shot blocker as the season progressed. Issac, meanwhile, raised up her entire game.

Joining the three sets are two final players from state tournament qualifiers. Gilmer County guard Trinity Bancroft’s 35 points helped rally her Titans past Kaylee Reinbeau’s Wheeling Central Maroon Knights during a state quarterfinal matchup. Despite a hamstring injury forcing her to miss four games, Reinbeau (19.5 points, 12.7 rebounds per game) powered a Knights team dealing with many injuries throughout the season to the big dance. Bancroft proved as valuable to the Titans with averages of 16.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.2 steals.

Parkersburg Catholic’s Aaliyah Brunny is the captain of the second team after averaging 16.8 points, 7.4 rebounds, 4.8 steals and 1.9 blocks. She is joined by Webster County freshman Sydney Baird and Ravenswood junior Annie Hunt. Rounding out the squad are four seniors — Tucker County’s Terra Kuhn, Magnolia’s Kyndra Pilant, Wheeling Central’s Hannah White and Pocahontas County’s Laila Calhoun — as well as Tug Valley sophomore Kaylea Baisden.

St. Joe’s Hannah Roberts leads the third team with averages of 12.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 steals.