NAUGATUCK — Just a little over a week ago, Tug Valley High School captured the first girls basketball state championship in school history with a 63-45 win over Cameron in the Class A title game.
The Panthers added another first on Tuesday as guard Kaylea Baisden has became the first girls player from Tug Valley to be voted the captain of the West Virginia Sports Writers Association’s Class A girls basketball All-State first team.
“We’ve had some first-team players before but we’ve never had a first-team captain,” Tug Valley head coach Clyde Farley said. “And my take on that when they say first-team captain is that they are saying you are the very best player in Class A basketball, and I think that she is.”
The junior had another standout season for the Panthers in 2021, finishing the year averaging just over 17 points to go along with seven assists and six steals per game. She averaged more than 20 points as a sophomore and garnered a second-team nod and was named third-team All-State as a freshman.
Baisden guided the Panthers to a 15-2 record, their first state title and had a breakout performance in her three tournament games at the Charleston Coliseum.
She averaged 25 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and four steals for the three contests and broke the girls tournament record for all classes when she sank nine 3-pointers during the Panthers’ 67-24 win over Pendleton County.
“I surprised myself a little bit that first day,” Baisden said of her performance in Charleston. “This is definitely what I’ve worked for for most of my life.”
Baisden was joined on the first team by teammate Makayla May, who averaged a double-double for the Panthers this past season. The senior finished the year putting up 14 points and 11 rebounds per game to go along with four assists per contest.
May and Baisden were joined on the first team by Cameron’s Lili Neely (17 points, 5.1 rebounds per game), who helped guide the Dragons to a state runner-up finish.
Webster County sophomore Sydney Baird landed on the first team as the leading scorer in Class A, posting averages of 30.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 7.3 steals.
Tucker County’s 6-foot-1 sophomore center Kadie Colebank (17 points, 10 rebounds per game) and Calhoun County’s Josie Montgomery (20.3 points per game) were each voted to the first team after leading their team to an appearance in the Class A semifinals.
Riverview sophomore Trista Lester joined the first team after guiding the Raiders to the state tournament with an average of 13.4 points per game while Gilmer County’s Carrah Ferguson, rounds out the squad.
Madonna senior Jazzy Melnyk was named captain of the second team after averaging a double-double in 2021 and helped guide the Blue Dons back to the state tournament.