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SMC Basketball: Belles complete best season in team history

Joe Wirth | Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Although the Belles did not finish the season they way they wanted to, the 2010-11 season will go down as a landmark season for the program and one of the best in its history.

The team was led by a trifecta of juniors in forward Kelley Murphy, guard Patsy Mahoney and guard Maggie Ronan. Each averaged over 10 points per game, and Murphy led the way with 15.5 points per game. Murphy was also a force on the glass, averaging nearly 10 rebounds per game.

“We accomplished a lot this season,” Murphy said. “We broke individual records in steals and scoring, as well as accomplished team goals. We broke the school’s record for most wins in [a] season with 18.”

The Belles started the season strong with four straight wins, including victories over Aurora and North Central to claim the North Central Tournament title.

Despite losing three of the first five conference games, the Belles rallied to finish in the top three in the conference with an 18-8 record, with 11 of those wins coming in the MIAA.

Belles coach Jennifer Henley explained this season’s significance for the Belles, adding that this year’s success could lay the foundation for future achievements.

“We just finished the most successful season in history with our basketball program,” Henley said. “We had three players named to the all-conference team.”

The Belles’ season ended prematurely with a loss to Trine in the first round of the MIAA tournament, but Murphy does not think that should overshadow the team’s successful season.

“Our season ended with an unexpected upset, but we are not going to let that define our 2010-2011 season,” Murphy said.

Both Murphy and Henley plan to use the success of the past year as a springboard for the 2011-12 season.

“We are approaching next season strong with experience and a talented incoming class,” Murphy said. “We look forward to picking up right where we left off to build on all of our successes accomplished this season.”

Henley also has high expectations for next season.

“Getting upset by Trine in the MIAA conference tournament was not the way to end the season, so we are looking forward to making another run next year,” Henley said. “We return one of the most talented groups since I have been a part of the program. I think we have the potential to do many great things for the 2011-2012 season.”