The Trenton Lady Bulldogs had their best season in a decade, advancing to a district championship appearance for the first time since back-to-back trips in 2005 and 2006. However, THS, when playing members of the Midland Empire Conference, struggled in 2015-2016, going 1-3 in the regular season, with that trend continuing in postseason play, with a 54-26 loss to the Chillicothe Lady Hornets in Friday night, in the Class 3, District 15 championship game from Lawson High School, broadcast locally on Hot Country Z 101.7.
A similar story developed for Trenton as in their regular season losses to Lafayette, Benton, and Chillicothe, with a focused Lady Hornet defense frustrating the Lady Bulldogs with its quickness and tenacity, holding THS to just 7 points through 2 1/2 quarters of play. Chillicothe had a 28-7 lead at that point, and was never threatened in winning a district title for the second straight year. Whitney Clampitt led Chillicothe with 16 points, while Katelyn Parkey had 11, and Karson Keithley 10 points. For Trenton, Ainsley Tolson had 16 points, with Salem Croy adding seven.
While Chillicothe’s program, filled with experienced juniors, is peaking, the Trenton program appears to have even better days ahead, with 7 of its 14 members being freshman, including two varsity starters (Tolson and Croy), leaving the opportunity for continued growth and improvement as the Lady Bulldogs make the move into the Grand River Conference for the 2016-2017 athletic year. Trenton finishes the season with a record of 21-6, while Chillicothe moves on to a Class 3 sectional rematch with St. Pius X on Wednesday night at Excelsior Springs High School.
Trenton loses three seniors from its roster for next season, as Daryian Otto, Ally Ockenfels, and Lexie Tolson graduate later this spring. Trenton is expected to remain in Class 3 next season, which could leave THS as the only Class 3 basketball school in the GRC. There appears to be a good chance that Chillicothe, the biggest enrollment school in Class 3 over the past two seasons, gets moved up to Class 4 next season. Enrollment at Chillicothe is expected to increase for the 2016-2017 school year.
The Lawson Cardinals, in a thrilling back-and-forth affair in front of a loud, standing-room-only crowd, beat Chillicothe for the Class 3, District 15 title on the Lawson home floor, 45-41. The Cardinals, on Wednesday night in Excelsior Springs, will play the MEC’s Maryville Spoofhounds in the sectional round. The ‘Hounds won the District 16 title on Saturday afternoon, 48-44 over the host East Buchanan Bulldogs, in Gower.