With two of the better 3-point shooters in the area on the wings and a post player that is versatile enough to take her game outside, the Westerville South High School girls basketball team is looking to improve on last year's second-place finish in the OCC-Cardinal Division.

With two of the better 3-point shooters in the area on the wings and a post player that is versatile enough to take her game outside, the Westerville South High School girls basketball team is looking to improve on last year's second-place finish in the OCC-Cardinal Division.

The Wildcats were 14-7 overall and second in the OCC-Cardinal at 11-3 behind Dublin Scioto (14-0).

Back to try to steer the team to its first league title since 2005-06 is an experienced core of starters that includes senior guards Shanae` Ash (6-foot) and Sarah Myles (5-7) and senior post player Brooke Robbins (5-10). Robbins is a three-year starter and Ash and Myles are both two-year starters.

"Those three have been in the heat of the battle for three or four years," said coach Jeff Brenning, whose team opens Friday at Gahanna and Tuesday plays host to Thomas Worthington. "We expect leadership from them, and so far they are doing a great job with that. That's a good nucleus to start with."

Ash is known for her 3-point shooting but has started to round out the rest of her game. Robbins, who is listed as a post player, was a tough matchup for other teams last season as she started to develop her perimeter shooting.

The most glaring loss is that of 2009 graduate Katherine Calo, a point guard who was a three-year starter. They'll turn to sophomore point guards Erica Aiello and Morgan Neighbors to fill the void.

"We're going to need some of the younger player to step up as a point guard," Robbins said. "With Shanae` and Sarah at shooting guard, we're going to need Morgan Neighbors and Erica Aiello to step up because Katherine Calo is gone and we're going to miss her leadership a lot."

Brenning used Neighbors as Calo's primary backup last season. Neighbors and Robbins had their preseason work limited because of the soccer season.

The other guards are senior Allyssa Allen (5-8), senior Rachel Ross (5-7) and sophomore Lindsay Gerhart (5-6).

The Wildcats expect to have some height in the post to play alongside Robbins in sophomores Morgan Dietz (6-0) and Rylee Holman (6-2). Holman received some varsity minutes last season. Senior Cierra Jackson (5-10) is another post player.

"I feel that we are going to be really good this year," Ash said. "We all get along on and off the court. If we do what we're supposed to do on and off the court, I feel like we can win the OCC."

Last season ended with a loss to Upper Arlington 53-44 in the first round of the Division I district tournament.

In the league, the Wildcats finished better than Dublin Jerome (9-5), Olentangy Liberty (8-6), North (5-9), Olentangy (5-9), Marysville (3-11) and Westerville Central (1-13).

At a glance

•Coach: Jeff Brenning, ninth season

•Opener: Friday at Gahanna

•Key players: Shanae` Ash, Sarah Myles and Brooke Robbins

Schedule

Nov. 27 at Gahanna

Dec. 1 vs. Thomas Worthington

*Dec. 4 at Olentangy Liberty

*Dec. 9 vs. Westerville Central

*Dec. 11 at Dublin Scioto

Dec. 15 at New Albany

*Dec. 18 at Dublin Jerome

*Dec. 22 vs. Marysville

*Jan. 6 at Westerville North

*Jan. 8 at Olentangy

Jan. 12 vs. Circleville

*Jan. 15 vs. Olentangy Liberty

Jan. 16 at Hilliard Bradley

*Jan. 23 at Westerville Central

*Jan. 26 vs. Dublin Scioto

*Jan. 29 vs. Dublin Jerome

*Feb. 2 at Marysville

*Feb. 4 vs. Westerville North

*Feb. 12 vs. Olentangy

Feb. 13 vs. Lancaster

*OCC-Cardinal game