By Daniel Schoettler
Sports Correspondent

Riley Alexander floats the basketball between two defenders during a game last season for Wilmot Union High School. She is one of Wilmot’s leading returners this year (File Photo/The Report).

After finishing third in the Southern Lakes Conference last season, the Wilmot Union High School girls basketball team looks to build off its 2017-18 campaign, where the Panthers saw their season end in the first round of regionals at Milton.

The Panthers, who enter their second season under coach Jerod Boyd, are projected to place fourth in the SLC. Boyd guided the Panthers (13-10) to a 10-4 conference record last season.

“I feel the conference is pretty equal as I feel that it is a conference anyone can win,” said Boyd.

“We are deep at the guard position, which could make for long games for our opponents.”

Wilmot returns six seniors, including leading scorer and guard Riley Alexander, who produced 10.4 points per game as a junior.

Alexander, a verbal commitment to Illinois College in Jacksonville, Ill., converted 16 of 28 attempts from the arc en route to honorable mention all-conference honors last season.

Point guard Haley Lamberson offers a complement to Alexander in the back court by carrying 6.6 ppg into her senior season.

Bolstering the backcourt are seniors Keegan Destree, Aryana Rita and junior Kenzi Ketterhagen.

Ketterhagen, as a sophomore, produced 5.2 ppg.

Junior guard Julia Hickey, another shooting threat, also returns to the back court.

Senior forward Karoline Klahs, who pitched in 4.8 ppg last season, finished second on the Panthers with 10 3-pointers while Lamberson had nine.

Other returners include senior forward Kiya Thompson along with juniors Karina Leber, a 6-foot-3 post presence, and Delaney Brown.

New to the team are juniors Shelly Edmonds, Paige Sala, and sophomore Sophia Parisi.

“Our strengths will be our pace of the game as we will look to push the ball up the floor and score a lot in transition,” Boyd said. “Our shooting will also be a strength as we play very aggressive defense that will give teams fits.”

The Panthers, meanwhile, will need to replace departing seniors Morgan Zenon, a second-team all-SLC, along with Ashley Lesko and Becca Bell.

To offset the loss of size, Boyd will look to players, like Leber, Thompson, Klahs and Sala to fill in the void.

“Our weakness will be our size, which could possibly lead to a rebounding disadvantage,” Boyd added.

Pacers edge Panthers in opener
Wilmot opened regular season play on Nov. 16, when the Panthers headed to Shoreland Lutheran, where the host Pacers came away with an 82-77 victory.

Alexander led Panther scorers with 22 points and Lamberson added another 16.

Brown and Klahs had 11 points each.

For the Pacers, senior Chelby Koker knocked in a game-high 33 points and collected 20 boards.

 
 

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