Valley Center High School will field an experienced girls basketball team this year. The Hornets’ top five players are seniors.
The girls return from a 10-11 season that ended with a loss to Salina South in the first round of Class 5A sub-state. Coach Daniel Smith has guided the Hornets for three years and compiled a 20-43 record.
“Our overall goal is to continually improve throughout the season so that we are playing our best basketball at the end of the year,” said Smith. “Other goals for the season are to play in the championship game of our preseason and midseason tournament, compete for the league championship and advance past the first round of sub-state.”
Valley Center has not played for a sub-state championship since 2008.
The Hornets will debut Dec. 3 at Clearwater for the first round of the Cheney tournament, where they placed fifth last year. They also took fifth in the El Dorado tournament in January, but this year they will head to the Mid America Classic in McPherson for midseason play.
Valley Center fell to McPherson 57-25 during the regular season last year. The Bullpups, defending Class 4A state champions, return all-state first-team pick Katelyn Loecker, a senior.
The Mid America Classic is a tough competition, but a veteran core should help Valley Center maintain its poise. Key players include twins Madison and Morgan Wedekind, Elayna Coleman, Meagan Williams and Taylor Johnson. All five girls are seniors.
Williams and Madison Wedekind were second-team selections on the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League’s Division II all-league squad last season. Morgan Wedekind earned honorable mention.
Other players expected to contribute are senior Madison Anderson and juniors Meagan Barnes and Katie Bauguess.
Valley Center’s home opener will be Dec. 4, when Chaparral will visit as part of the Cheney tournament. In addition to Valley Center and Chaparral, teams in the Cardinal Classic are Hutchinson Trinity, Wichita Collegiate, Clearwater and Cheney.