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KENOSHA — UW-Parkside women’s basketball coach Jenny Kenesie credited her players for completing the finest regular season in school history. There’s good indication the coaching had plenty to do with it as well.
In a vote conducted by the league coaches, Kenesie received the ultimate compliment from her peers in being named the Great Lakes Valley Conference Coach of the Year on Tuesday. The St. Joseph graduate led the Rangers to a record 22 regular-season wins and the second division championship in program history.
“I’m very honored and I appreciate it, but it’s hard for me to accept something like that,” Kenesie said. “The credit goes to the kids. This is a team award and something they deserve. They are the ones who go out and execute and put in all the time. I’m lucky to be a part of such a good group.”
Kenesie, in her 10th season at Parkside, is the school’s all-time win leader with a record of 172-113. The former University of Louisville standout guided the Rangers to three straight 20-win seasons and three consecutive NCAA Division II Tournaments.
Parkside, the GLVC East Division champion, improved its record in each of the last five seasons.
The Rangers (22-4) had five players recognized in the league’s awards. Jadee Rooney and Brittany Beyer were unanimous All-GLVC first-team selections, while Amy Selk was a second-team pick.
Kaityln Bettiga and Jaleesa Trussell were chosen to the GLVC’s inaugural all-defensive team.
“All five of those kids, I’m so thrilled for them,” Kenesie said. “They really deserve the awards. It’s a credit to them and their teammates as well.”
Northern Kentucky’s Casse Mogan was named GLVC Player of the Year, while Shelby Miller from Maryville (Mo.) was chosen as the Freshman of the Year.
Rooney (16.3 points per game) and Beyer (16.6 ppg) were two of the league’s top scorers. It was the third all-conference honor for each player.
“They were at a disadvantage because they were likely splitting (Player of the Year) votes,” Kenesie said. “Our teams have always been very balanced and it showed this year in the voting. Nobody would win any individual awards without all 15 kids putting in the time and dedicating themselves to the program.”
Selk earned her first postseason award. The senior forward averaged 9.1 points, and 6.5 rebounds in the regular season.
Bettiga and Trussell played a major role in the Rangers’ second-ranked GLVC defense, allowing just 56.7 points per game. Parkside held opponents to 24.3 percent from behind the three-point arc, which was fifth-best in NCAA Division II.
“They gave us that extra spark,” Kenesie said. “We’re always asking them to guard the best kids on the floor and they’re always willing to do the little things. Our team values those two tremendously.”
Parkside received a first-round bye in the GLVC Tournament. The Rangers, ranked 15th in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll, play Kentucky Wesleyan (15-12) in a second-round game 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield, Ill.
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High School Basketball