BRADY RUSSEL | firstname.lastname@example.org
Another year of UW-Parkside basketball is wrapped up and once again the Rangers have success, and begin the learning process for the next season.
Men’s year in review
For the fifth straight season, the UW-Parkside men’s basketball team made the NCAA tournament but fell short of beating Bellarmine, a team now in the Elite Eight, 71-62. It was an up-and-down year for the Rangers, starting out 15-1 before losing three of their next five games and finishing the year with a 7-7 record, 22-8 overall.
Nonetheless, the Rangers proved, once again, that they are a Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) powerhouse, making the GLVC tournament in Evansville, Indiana, for the fifth straight year and making consistent appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
A look ahead
The Rangers are returning all but two players next season; however, those two players were huge for this year’s team: Alexander Brown and Jake Verhagen. They averaged 27.4 of the team’s 80 points per game last year; they averaged 47.4% from the field and 39.7% from beyond the arc. Their ability to score will surely be missed on next year’s team, but many players now have the opportunity to step up. The Rangers are returning Kendale McCullum, who averaged 15.3 points, 6.1 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game, as well as their two big men Kyle Flanagan and Goran Zagorac, who averaged 16.3 points and 11 rebounds per game between the two of them. Role players like Espen Fjaerestad, Adam Bonk, and Chavares Flanigan are also returning. The future looks bright for the Rangers as they hope to continue their run of success.
Women’s season in review
The Lady Rangers finished the year 10-17, but their record does not do this team enough justice, as they made wonderful progress throughout the year. After starting the season out 0-9, the ladies went on to win 10 of their last 18 games and finished 8-10 in conference. Despite this record, they made the opening weekend of the GLVC tournament before losing to Rockhurst 82-65, ending their season. They pulled off some close wins over teams like Indianapolis, McKendree and St. Joseph and suffered some close losses to teams like Truman State, Bellarmine and Southern Indiana. All in all, it was a productive and structuring year for the Lady Rangers.
Like the men’s team, the Lady Rangers are returning all but two of last years team; their two losses are Forward/Center Bailey North and the team’s leading scorer, Brittney Fair. Brittney averaged 13.6 points, 2.8 assists, and 2.9 rebounds per game. Though she will be missed, Coach Yorg has a lot to look forward to, including sophomore guard Taylor Stephan, who averaged 6.2 points, 2.6 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game, and Lauren Boerger who came on in the second half of the season scoring wise and finished the year averaging 8.1 points per game.
The team is also returning their two 6’4 centers Shelby Cheston and Clarisa Martinez, who, between them, averaged 9.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. With Fair gone, the team will look for a new scorer and that role could be filled by any number of players including: Olivia Montague, Blair Arthur or Asiah Lawson. The future for the Lady Rangers could have beaming success in the future if they keep up the grit and determination they showed all season long.
PHOTO COURTESY OF UW-PARKSIDE ATHLETICS