Following its first season in the conference, the UW-Parkside women’s basketball team had three players named to the All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference team, which was announced Friday.

Junior wing Carolina Rahkonen earned first-team honors, fellow wing and graduate student Ali Bettencourt was named to the second team and redshirt junior guard Taylor Stephen earned All-Defensive accolades.

“It is great to see Carolina, Ali and Taylor receive recognition for their outstanding performances this season,” first-year Parkside coach Jen Conely said in a press release.

A native of Espoo, Finland, the 5-foot-10 Rahkonen started all 27 games for the Rangers this season, averaging 12 points and 4.1 rebounds in 23.9 minutes per game.

She notched a season-high 22 points on 7-of-7 shooting from the field against Davenport on Dec. 1.

“Carolina is a complete basketball player,” Conely said. “She is a great scorer who can knock down 3s and attack the basket. She consistently hit big shots for us throughout the season and is an excellent defender that can guard every position.”

Bettencourt, who’s pursuing her master’s degree in sport management, played 22 games this season, all starts.

The El Dorado Hills, Calif., native battled an injury early in the season but finished with 11.8 points and 2.8 rebounds in 24.5 minutes per game.

Bettencourt ranked fourth in the GLIAC in free-throw percentage at 84.6 percent and scored a season-high 25 points against Southwest Minnesota State on Nov. 16.

“Ali had a great season,” Conely said. “I was glad to see her battle back from an injury earlier this year and perform at a high level. She’s an outstanding scorer that made big plays for us and is very difficult to guard.”

Stephen, a native of Connersville, Ind., started every game for the Rangers and was usually tasked with guarding the opposing point guard.

She had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.96 and led Parkside and ranked third in the GLIAC with 37 steals.

“Taylor is one of the best on-ball defenders in the GLIAC,” Conely said. “She brings so much tenacity and toughness to our team with her defensive intensity. If she’s not getting steals, she’s causing them with her defensive pressure.”

Parkside finished 12-15 overall and went 10-10 in conference play, which was good for fourth place in the North Division and the No. 7 seed in the conference tournament.

The Rangers lost at No. 2 seed Ashland, 77-59, in the GLIAC Tournament quarterfinals Tuesday.

Grand Valley State junior center Cassidy Boensch, who led the Lakers to their first GLIAC regular-season title since 2005-06, garnered Player of the Year honors. Boensch led the conference in 11 categories, including scoring (20.3 points per game), rebounding (12.2 per game) and blocks (92).

Michigan Tech’s Ellie Mackay was named Freshman of the Year, while GVSU’s Mike Williams was named Coach of the Year.

Mike Johnson

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