July 28, 2014

High hoop honors for CVU’s Emily Kinneston, others

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Emily Kinneston

Emily Kinneston

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

So what does a student-athlete do the day after being named Vermont’s Miss Basketball for 2013, along with Metro Division Player of the Year?

Once the Champlain Valley Union High’s final class bell sounded at 3 p.m. Monday, junior Emily Kinneston, along with sidekick and teammate Kaelyn Kohlasch, were headed for the weights.

“Coach (Ute Otley) has asked us to work in the weight room,” said Kinneston, who was named Miss Vermont Basketball by the Burlington Free Press over the weekend.

It is never too early to prepare.

That was the latest honor for the sparkplug guard-forward for the undefeated (23-0) Division 1 champions. Along with being chosen Metro Division player of the year by coaches, Kinneston was earlier named Vermont’s female Gatorade Player of the Year.

Kohlasch was named to second team All-Metro and third team All-State. Freshman luminaries Sadie Otley and Laurel Jaunich were All-State honorable mentions.

Otley, who completed her second season at the CVU varsity helm, was named Metro Coach of the Year by her peers.

Kinneston averaged 12.9 points per game to go with 4.6 rebounds, 4.1 steals and 2.5 assists. While the scoring average was not mind-blowing, the ability to excel in all aspects of the game and do so at crucial moments gave opposing coaches nightmares, as one freely admitted during the season.

An example was CVU’s title game 47-42 win over Rice Memorial High on March 18. Kinneston was zip-for-11 from the floor before she nailed a critical three-point try to snap a 32-32 tie with just over three minutes remaining in the nerve-wracking contest. After that, she nailed six-of-six free throws and hauled in three crucial rebounds down the stretch. Among her game totals were 12 points and 13 rebounds for the 5-foot-6-inch (maybe) athlete.

Kohlasch had a key steal at mid-court and subsequent layup just 13 seconds after Kinneston’s bomb.

While being blanked from the floor for three quarters might get under the skin—not to mention into the head—of many players to the detriment of their performance, Kinneston just keeps on working.

Defense is a big part of Otley’s teachings, and Kinneston noted Monday that it requires serious concentration. The results? Steals and disruption of opposing offenses plus a focus on the total game.

Kinneston is the first CVU player to be accorded the Miss Vermont Basketball title.

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