Next year is now for Senette (Basketball)

March 15, 2011
Karen Senette

With 12 of 13 players being underclassmen, including freshman Karen Senette of Soldotna, the Judson University women’s basketball team figured to experience growing pains.

It showed during a 12-18 season in which 14 losses came by more than 10 points.

“We had just as much talent as the best teams in the conference but we just didn’t have the experience that other teams did and we had a hard time playing up to our potential in every game,” Senette told me. “The games we played to our potential, we really surprised some people.”

Like the time when Judson upset fellow NAIA school Huntington University, which was ranked in the top 25.

Senette, of Soldotna High fame, had a career-high seven rebounds in that game.

Or the next day against Malone University when Senette pumped in a career-high 17 points to fuel an OT win.

“That was a great game for our team,” she said. “We had the lead most of the game, but Malone came back and took us to overtime. Our team really showed some poise in holding on to win that game. I think we shocked some people by winning that tournament.”

Senette started 10 of 29 games and averaged 7.4 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in 22 minutes per game.

Solid numbers, but she demands more from herself.

“I need to work on becoming a stronger defender and taking outside shots that the defense gives me,” she said. “I do feel like I played as hard as I possibly could in every game and practice, so that is something I want to continue doing.”

Senette isn’t just talk either.

The day after her team lost in the playoffs she started preparing for next season – even if it meant cutting dinner short with her dad, who had flown in to watch her play

“The next night I took Karen out for dinner and we had to get back to school so she could work on her game,” Brent Senette told me. “I went with her and watched her shoot between 400 and 500 shots at 9 p.m. Karen loves the game and its shows.”