The Portage girls basketball team experienced its fair share of ups and downs this season, but one of the things the Warriors could count on all season long was a strong performance from MacKenzie Roth and McKena Yelk.
Portage’s leading duo combined to score just over 26 points per game for a team that averaged just under 47 points per contest on the season. The talents of Roth and Yelk didn’t go unrecognized by the Badger North Conference coaches, as both players recently received All-Badger North honorable mention when the league’s postseason awards were handed out.
It is the third year in a row Roth has earned honorable mention in the Badger North, and the second straight year for Yelk.
For the 5-foot-7 Roth, a four-year varsity player, the honor comes after she averaged 12.2 points per game for the Warriors, a total that ranked seventh-best in the conference according to WisSports.net. Roth, who also averaged 3.3 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game, had some big offensive games for Portage this season. The biggest of those games might have been a 56-49 win in Sauk Prairie on Jan. 4, when she scored 21 points, while also finishing with nine rebounds and eight steals.
Roth also scored a season-high 24 points in an 80-62 loss to Reedsburg on Nov. 20. She also had 20 points in the final game of her high school career — an 81-63 WIAA Division 2 regional semifinal loss to Monona Grove — a game that saw her drill a three-quarters-court shot at the first-half buzzer, giving the Warriors a 26-23 lead.
The 5-11 Yelk averaged 13.9 points per game in her junior season for the Warriors, a total that ranked fourth in the conference according to WisSports.net. Yelk, who also averaged 2.5 rebounds per game, scored a season-high 25 points in a 65-53 victory over Lakeland on Dec. 28. Yelk also hit the 20-point mark two other times, scoring 23 points against Reedsburg on Nov. 20 and 20 points at Sauk Prairie on Jan. 4.
This is the second year in a row Portage did not have a player on the 10-player All-Badger North Conference first team. The last Portage player to earn first-team honors was Grace Wilson in 2017.
Beaver Dam, who just won its third straight Division 2 state championship, led the way with five players on the first team, including unanimous selections in senior Tara Stauffacher and sophomore Maty Wilke. Also on the first team from Beaver Dam were seniors Paige Schumann and Aly Van Loo, along with junior Jada Donaldson.
Also earning a spot on the Badger North Conference’s first team were DeForest senior Aleah Grundahl, Reedsburg senior Ava Douglas, Reedsburg freshman Trenna Cherney, Waunakee senior Maddie Farnsworth and Waunakee sophomore Elena Maier.
ALL-BADGER NORTH CONFERENCE GIRLS BASKETBALL
FIRST TEAM: Paige Schumann, Sr., Beaver Dam; Jada Donaldson, Jr., Beaver Dam; *Maty Wilke, So., Beaver Dam; *Tara Stauffacher, Sr., Beaver Dam; Aly Van Loo, Sr., Beaver Dam; Aleah Grundahl, Sr., DeForest; Ava Douglas, Sr., Reedsburg; Trenna Cherney, Fr., Reedsburg; Maddie Farnsworth, Sr., Waunakee; Elena Maier, So., Waunakee.
HONORABLE MENTION: Lia Kieck, Sr., Baraboo; Haley Hannagan, Sr., Baraboo; Alexis Johnson, Sr., Baraboo; Natalie Jens, So, Beaver Dam; Carley Burchardt, Jr., Beaver Dam; Grace Roth, So., DeForest; Megan Mickelson, Jr., DeForest; Sam Schaeffer, Jr., DeForest; Maggie Trautsch, Jr., DeForest; Julia Magnuson, So., Mount Horeb; MacKenzie Roth, Sr., Portage; McKena Yelk, Jr., Portage; Julia Korklewski, Sr., Reedsburg; Mahra Wieman, Fr., Reedsburg; Riley Breunig, Sr., Sauk Prairie.