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S 8 mph
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
The UW-Parkside women’s soccer team (13-0-2, 11-0-2), ranked sixth in the country, won 3-0 over Indianapolis at Wood Road Field on Friday night for their sixth-straight win.
Parkside outshot Indianapolis 13-2 in the first half, but only cashed in once. Jillian Hetfleisch set Taylor Schiffer-Jander up to score her fifth goal of the season and gave her team a 1-0 lead.
Ameche Field will host a WIAA Division-1 sectional final today at 6 p.m. when Tremper (18-6-2) battles Marquette (20-1-2) for the right to return to the State Tournament for the first time since 2009.
Local cross country runners begin their postseason journeys with today’s WIAA sectional runs.
The UW-Parkside Wayne E. Dannehl National Cross Country Course will host two of the runs.
BURLINGTON — One punch to the gut from Burlington wasn’t enough apparently.
Two weeks after suffering a quadruple-overtime defeat to the Demons, the Wilmot football team lost out on a chance at redemption when Adam Pacey missed a 37-yard field goal on the final play of the game in a 21-20 heartbreaker in the first round of the WIAA Division-2 playoffs on Friday night at Don Dalton Stadium.
FRANKLIN — It could’ve turned out differently, but this is what happens when you don’t finish.
The underdog Bradford football team put up a gutsy effort in a WIAA Division-1 first-round playoff game at Franklin on Friday night, outgaining the Sabers 331-280 and pushing eight of its nine drives into enemy territory.
KENOSHA — While it wasn’t exactly “three yards and a cloud of dust” for Indian Trail on Friday in its first-round WIAA playoff game against visiting Lake Geneva Badger, the Hawks’ usual big-play offense tried something a little different.
Indian Trail effectively used “small-ball” to pull out a 41-26 victory over the Badgers at Jaskwhich Stadium to advance to next week’s second round of the Division-1 playoffs.
KENOSHA — The Carthage football team will host one of the stingiest teams in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin when it entertains Augustana 1 p.m. Saturday at Art Keller Field.
The Vikings are coming off a 7-2 victory at Illinois Wesleyan after giving up a combined 37 points in back-to-back losses to Elmhurst (17-10) and 18th-ranked Wheaton (20-13).