Industrial's Beaudoin is a bashful beast in the paint

Jan. 11, 2013 at 12:04 a.m.
Updated Jan. 10, 2013 at 7:11 p.m.

Industrial's Elissa Beaudion drives through the  Palacios defense late in the fourth quarter during a District 30-2A game in Vanderbilt.

Industrial's Elissa Beaudion drives through the Palacios defense late in the fourth quarter during a District 30-2A game in Vanderbilt.

Don't let her occasionally bashful nature, black horn-rimmed glasses or the long, blonde hair deceive you. Elissa Beaudoin is a far different person when she steps on the basketball court.

Industrial's senior post has never been a secret throughout her career, but her performances this year have drawn additional attention.

Her 24.8 points per game have helped the Cobras jump out to a 15-5 start to the season.

"I couldn't do it without my team," Beaudoin said. "It's not just me getting points; it's them getting assists."

Beaudoin is someone who has interests beyond basketball. She would rather speak about other things, such as her admiration for her sister, Chantal, 21.

"My sister was a really good basketball player in high school." Beaudoin said about Chantal. "I always came to games and I strived to be like her, and it worked out."

The self-described bookworm is a big James Patterson fan. Her favorite movie is "Phantom of the Opera," and she would love nothing more to work for a creative team at an advertising agency when she's older.

In the interim, she's been a ballast for a team trying to remain within striking distance in the District 30-2A race. On Friday, the Cobras host Tidehaven as they look to bounce back from a 60-45 loss to Edna on Tuesday night.

Industrial coach Brandon Karl says his post possesses quite the personality. Her sneaky humor has lightened many a mood.

Earlier this year, the team was eating at a Saltgrass Steak House in Austin when Beaudoin cracked a comment Karl still laughs about.

"She's obviously the biggest player on our team, and the smallest player on our team is Hannah Gabrysch. They bring out the chicken-fried steaks. One of them is this big, and the other is this big," Karl said, holding his hands about 15 inches apart for Beaudoin's steak then 6 inches apart for Gabrysch's.

"They order the same thing, and they give the big one to Elissa. She kind of said, 'Hey, waiter, are you trying to call me fat?' She's got a hidden personality that's something else. That was one of those things she said and the whole table cracked up laughing about it."

Karl has coached three Beaudoin sisters in his six years as Industrial's head coach.

Chantal was a junior when he arrived, Lainey graduated last year and now Elissa - the youngest of four daughters - is the Cobras' post. Chantal was the most serious, Lainey the most outgoing and Elissa is a combination of the two.

"Coach Karl really pushed me," Beaudoin said. "He's been with me since freshman year. He's always pushed me to be the best. I don't want to let my team down. They help me and support me, and I try to do the same for them."

The primary person supporting Beaudoin's scoring is senior point guard MaKayla Lenamon. Industrial starts its two seniors as well as freshmen Kelsey Van Pelt and Jessica Martin. The Cobras platoon at the shooting guard position.

"Those two (MaKayla and Elissa) have a great feel for the game, and they feed off each other," Karl said. "They definitely get us going. We have some other players who are starting to understand that's where we need to go."

"The younger girls, they were the scorers on the JV and junior high teams, but now they realize, 'Hey, she's hard to stop. Let's get her the ball.' But MaKayla is the one getting it to her most of the time."

Beaudoin's scoring prowess only tells part of the story. She may be one of the more efficient scorers in the Crossroads with a 63.6 field goal percentage. Beaudoin, who has 197 free throw attempts in 20 games, sinks 72 percent of her free throws.

This was after a junior season where she converted almost 55 percent of her field goals.

"She's been unreal this yearm shooting percentage wise. She made 18 of 21 against Bloomington," Karl said about a Dec. 18 win where Beaudoin scored 39 points. "For her to shoot that percentage, I've never seen anything like it."

Beaudoin may be nearsighted. However, it's not a problem because she wears contacts on the court and, secondly, she does most of her damage from the elbow and in.

The tale of how the 17-year-old decided to wear contacts is yet another colorful story.

During one volleyball practice in ninth grade, a teammate hit the ball - it bounced up, hit her in the face and broke her glasses. Since then, she's gone with contacts. A decision to focus on basketball soon followed.

"I enjoy playing basketball more," Beaudoin said. "The things I can do on a basketball court seemed like more than what I could do on a volleyball court, so I went with it."

Cobras fans have not complained. As a freshman, Beaudoin was the District 29-2A Newcomer of the Year. As a sophomore, she was the District 26-2A Offensive Player of the Year. In her junior campaign, Beaudoin was the district MVP.

Beaudoin says she couldn't do it without her teammates. Yes, she averages almost 25 points and 15.4 rebounds, but someone has to pass her the basketball. No team can win scoring less than 30 points per game, and thus far, the Cobras have done a lot of winning.

"People doubted us and said, 'Oh, you all lost all these players, how will you do?'" Beaudoin said about a program looking to win its third-straight district championship. "We don't care what other people say. We're going to play as hard as we can, try to win and not stop for anything."



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