Menahga’s starting lineup was honored by the Park Region Conference girls basketball coaches after leading the Braves to runner-up honors in conference play.
Senior Tara Hendrickson and sophomores Janie Tormanen and Maryn Pinoniemi received all-conference honors while junior Kate Hendrickson and sophomore Lela Peterson were named all-conference honorable mention players in a vote by the eight conference head coaches.
Those five players led Menahga to a 12-2 record in conference play to finish behind Henning, which went 13-1 to claim the conference title. Henning was rated No. 4 in the final regular-season Class A poll.
Tara Hendrickson led the Braves by averaging 14.0 points an outing in 13 conference games. The senior forward shot 49.6% from the field (65 for 131) and 69.0% at the free throw line (49 for 710 in scoring 182 points. Hendrickson also had 50 rebounds, 27 steals, 23 assists and six blocked shots in conference play. Hendrickson scored in double figures nine times, including game highs of 22 and 21. Hendrickson also had game highs of six rebounds, seven assists and five steals.
Pinoniemi led the Braves by making 20 of 63 3-pointers while averaging 11.6 points a game. In 14 starts, Pinoniemi shot 40.3% from the floor (52 for 129) and 84.4% at the line (38 for 45) in scoring 162 points. The sophomore guard also had 47 steals, 36 rebounds and 24 steals. Pinoniemi hit double figures in nine games with a high of 20 while adding game highs of seven steals, six assists and five rebounds.
Tormanen started 13 games at center, averaging 10.1 points and 7.1 rebounds a game. The junior made 59 of 92 shots (64.1%) and 10 of 29 free throws (34.5%) for 131 points while tallying 93 rebounds, 31 steals, 18 assists and six blocked shots. Tormanen scored in double figures six times with a high of 16 twice. Tormanen also had game highs of 15 rebounds, five steals and four assists while posting one double-double.
Peterson played in 13 games as a starting guard, averaging 7.2 points a game. Peterson shot 34.3% from the field (34 for 99, including 14 of 57 3-pointers) and 57.9% on free throws (11 for 19) for 93 points. Peterson also had 32 steals, 23 assists and 19 rebounds. The sophomore guard scored in double figures four times with a high of 17 while posting game highs of five rebounds, five assists and five steals.
Kate Hendrickson played in all 14 conference games, averaging 6.4 points a night. Hendrickson shot 48.6% from the floor (36 for 74) and 78.6% from the line (11 for 14) in scoring 89 points. Hendrickson also had 55 rebounds, 19 steals, 17 assists and nine blocked shots. Hendrickson scored in double figures three times with a high of 18 while recording one double-double.
Ellie Dague was named the Park Region’s Most Valuable Player while Mike Hepola was named the Park Region’s Coach of the Year after both led Henning to the conference title, a Section 6A title and a 29-2 overall record.
Rounding out the all-conference team were Henning’s Abi Eckhoff, Kylie Frederick and Megan Weber; Wadena-Deer Creek’s Madison Carsten and Kennedy Gravelle; New York Mills’ Cydnie Polman and Bella Bauck; Sebeka’s Jayde Peterson and Maya Lake; Pillager’s Juliana Ewald; and Verndale’s Melissa Hammer.
The other all-conference honorable mention players featured Henning’s Sydney Eckhoff, Wadena-Deer Creek’s MacKenzie Carsten, New York Mills’ Karli Kawlewski, Sebeka’s Kenzie Nelson, Pillager’s Emma Schmit, Verndale’s Tess Jones and Bertha-Hewitt’s Kaija Weishalla.
Following Henning and Menahga in the conference standings were Wadena-Deer Creek at 9-5, New York Mills at 8-6, Sebeka and Pillager at 6-8, Verndale at 2-12 and Bertha-Hewitt at 0-14.