As senior point guard Erica Aiello talked about the Westerville South High School girls basketball team's goals this season, she pointed to a wall in the school gym displaying championship banners the Wildcats have won over the years.

As senior point guard Erica Aiello talked about the Westerville South High School girls basketball team's goals this season, she pointed to a wall in the school gym displaying championship banners the Wildcats have won over the years.

Aiello and her teammates are hoping to add OCC-Cardinal Division and Division I district championship banners to the wall this season.

South has won six OCC titles, with the last coming in 2006. The Wildcats are seeking their first district championship.

"We're looking to put district champs up there for the first time," said Aiello, who was named second-team all-league last season. "We're looking for an OCC title, too. We have to have team unity, defense and execute on offense."

South, which opens Friday, Nov. 25, at Gahanna, returns seven players from last season, when it finished 8-13 overall.

The Wildcats defeated Teays Valley 52-39 in the first round of the district tournament before losing to Brookhaven 47-38 in the second round.

South went 5-9 in the OCC-Cardinal Division last season to place sixth, behind Olentangy (12-2), Dublin Scioto (10-4), Westerville North (9-5), Dublin Jerome (7-7) and Westerville Central (7-7) and ahead of Marysville (3-11) and Olentangy Liberty (3-11).

The Wildcats, who open league play Dec. 2 at Liberty, have a challenging early-season schedule. After playing Gahanna, they play host to Olentangy Orange on Tuesday, Nov. 29.

Both Gahanna and Orange were district runners-up last season.

"I don't worry about (the schedule)," second-year coach Silas Williams said. "It's about coming on the floor and it's about playing. I'm not scared to play anybody. With the guards we have and the ladies we have, we can play anybody. It's a test to where you are. I want to see where we are, how good we are and how good do we want to be. We'll have a good, battle-tested team to prepare us for our next run, which will be the district and region."

In addition to Aiello, South returns seniors Lindsay Gerhart (guard), Rylee Holman (post player) and Morgan Neighbors (guard), junior Brianna Wendell (post player) and sophomores Cara Calland (post player) and Jada Smoot (guard).

Neighbors, who was first-team all-league last season after averaging 15.7 points, signed with Gannon University in Erie, Pa, on Nov. 14. Gerhart was honorable mention all-league a year ago.

Also on the team are junior Chyna Porter (guard), sophomores Mikaela Couch (guard), Cheyenne Raker (post player) and Sara Styles (guard) and freshman Chanelle Moore (post player).

"We have a pretty good cast of characters," Williams said. "Last year for some of them, it was their first year playing varsity, so this year we have some returnees. We have a good group of guards. We go about five deep in guards. As long as we have guards, we're always in the game. (Post players) have to finish."

Williams said team chemistry also will be a key to success.

"We're working on chemistry and our post play has to improve in order for us to be a more balanced team," he said. "We have a senior in Rylee Holman who is starting to understand how important and valuable post play is. When she had 10 or 15 points, we were pretty good last year."