WILCOX — If experience counts, watch for the WIlcox-Hildreth girls basketball team to climb the competitive ladder this year.
The Falcons return six of their top seven players from last year’s 7-13 team, including leading scorer Brooke Quadhamer, a 5-6 junior guard, who averaged just under 10 points and a little more than five rebounds per game last year.
Claire VanLaningham, a 5-9 senior forward; Lillian Pistulka, a 5-4 senior guard; and McKinley Ritner, a 5-6 sophomore guard, were among the top five scorers for the Falcons last year.
Also back are 5-8 junior forward Natalie Billington and 5-4 sophomore guard Ryeann Ritner.
Wilcox-Hildreth boys have had a good run of late.
Six straight winning seasons have made the Falcons one of the better Class D2 teams in the area.
But last year’s 12-8 team was dominated by seniors. The top four scorers all graduated.
“We will have a young team with minimal varsity experience,” said third-year head coach Matthew Nelson. “We are excited to see how our young players take advantage of the opportunity in front of them.”
Back for the Falcons are 6-foot senior Jacob Wendell, 6-foot junior Trey Wenburg, 5-10 junior Gavin Sheen and 5-9 junior Triston Nicks.
Wenburg is the leading returning scorer and he averaged 3.5 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.
“We are going to have to rely on our leadership and focus on getting better every time we step on the floor,” Nelson said.
Coach Aaron Pistulka is mentoring a young wrestling squad with only four upperclassmen in the room.
Trevor Young is the lone senior and Lane Lieb is back for his junior season. Lieb went 23-17 last year, while Young finished the season with 16 victories.
Sophomores Logan Knaus and Robert Richmond got some varsity experience last year.
Wilcox-Hildreth graduated state qualfiier Riley Ritner, who was 27-13 last year.