Parkview grad Larsen sizes up matters
That sums up the high school basketball career of Jenna Larsen.
The 2010 Orfordville Parkview graduate was a three-time All-Rock Valley first-team selection and will play for the Division 3 South team Saturday in the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association all-star game. The Division 3 North and South teams meet at 12:30 p.m. in one of four girls games at Madison Area Technical College.
At 5-foot-11, Larsen was the tallest player and played center on the talented Parkview team that went 19-3 this past season and won a conference title. She averaged 12.5 points a game as a senior and was named the Rock Valley South Player of the Year. Larsen finished her career as Parkview’s eighth-leading all-time scorer.
Parkview coach Tina Aasen said it was the intangibles that made Larsen such a terrific player.
“Jenna plays more like she’s 6-2 because she’s so smart on the court and positions herself so well under the basket,” Aasen said. “She can dribble, shoot, pass and is not afraid of a physical game.
“She’s playing in the all-star game because she’s an all-star player. I know she’s going to play well Saturday because she makes everyone around her better, and those girls are already pretty good players.”
Larsen is on a South team that features plenty of talent, including three players that led Cuba City to the WIAA Division 3 state title.
In practices leading up to Saturday’s game, Larsen has shifted between the post and a forward spot. She expects an up-tempo game and can’t wait to showcase her all-around skills.
“The one thing I noticed right away at the first practice was how good every player was,” Larsen said. “I’ve been able to pop in and out of the post because Katie Langmeier (Cuba City) and Krystal Hubbard (Fennimore) are such a presence down low.
“Winning the game Saturday is the most important thing. I want to play well, obviously, but the one thing we talked about right away was beating the North.
“If we play at the level we’re capable of, we’ve got a good chance. There isn’t a dropoff in talent for us, no matter who is on the floor.”
Larsen will take her talent to Beloit College this fall. The Buccaneers were 10-13 last season, and Larsen hopes to contribute immediately.
Endurance and strength will be the two areas of focus in Larsen’s summer conditioning program. The program begins with logging plenty of miles around Orfordville.
“I want to really work on my endurance,” Larsen said. “I got super-winded a few times during games, and I don’t want that to happen again.
“I’ve already met most of my teammates, and we have a tournament this summer. I’m really looking forward to playing at Beloit and staying close to home.”
First things first, though. Larsen wants to end her high school career with one more win. That’s something she grew accustomed to doing.
“I look at this (all-star) week as the cherry on top of my high school basketball career,” Larsen said. “It’s the perfect way for it to end.”