The Parkside women’s basketball team returned to DeSimone Gymnasium after a road stretch that saw them win one and lose the latter. Their contest tonight against the Lewis University Flyers, which was postponed a night due to this week’s severe weather, saw Parkside return to winning ways, and extend its home winning streak to an incredible seventeen games dating back to last year. When all was said and done, Parkside came out on top with a clean 73-61.
“This is a rivalry,” states women’s head coach Jenny Kenesie. “They’re a very good basketball team. They’re very talented. Well coached. When you have a rival school, and you’ve kind of been able to establish that, it’s neat at the college level to have that.”
Parkside’s start to the game was promising. When their offensive game is cruising they’re able to work into the high percentage areas on the offensive zone, and put their shots in from under the basket. From the start, Parkside was able to do just that thanks in large part to senior center Brittany Hogen. Hogen, who was out-muscling Lewis’ defense throughout the half, put up ten first half points. With solid contributions from Jadee Rooney and Kristen Ruchti, Parkside was able to push the gap on Lewis. After a three pointer by Parkside’s Danielle Slivka, Parkside entered halftime with a ten point lead over Lewis.
Lewis, while down ten, still proved to be much tougher than the score suggests. Lewis posed quite the pesky offense throughout the contest, and was able to generate a total of thirteen offensive rebounds. The second chance efforts, through Parkside’s defensive lapses to box out consistently, allowed for these opportunities, and kept Lewis in shouting distance. So much so, the Flyers of Lewis University flew back from being down by as much as fourteen to tie things up in the contest.
With the game tight, Parkside kept its game going with Brittany Hogen adding to her work in the first half, as well as solid play from juniors Amy Selk and Brittany Beyer. What seemed to be a catalyst for the final push that solidified the victory for Parkside, was a three pointer from a very unlikely shooter beyond the arch, junior point guard Kaitlyn Bettiga. Bettiga, who had no pressure around her, cashed in her lone points of the game from that three pointer, but it helped push Parkside forward to the eventual final, 73-61.
As the game was frankly over, with under ten seconds on the clock, Lewis’ guard Labrenthia Murdock appeared to get verbal and then somewhat physical with a few Parkside players. She was given a technical foul, and, by all accounts, makes the next game between these two quite interesting to say the least. Fortunate for Parkside, that game is next on their calendar! Parkside will have a long stretch off from now until that match up on the road against Lewis on February 12th, but Lewis is locked in for two more games before this little rematch.
“Within the league, it’s always going to be a battle,” noted coach Kenesie. “Those kids are nothing but tough kids and they’re going to come back and try to hand it to us. So, we’re going to have to get ready for sure.”
After that road match up finishes, Parkside is right back at home with a big showdown against Quincy University, who currently sit on top of the Great Lakes Valley Conference standings. That game will take place at DeSimone Gymnasium on Valentines Day, and the tip off is set for 5:30pm. It is the last scheduled home game for the women’s basketball team, as it stands today.