Even though only three letterwinners have returned, the Worthington Kilbourne High School girls basketball team is looking for the formula that carried it to a Division I district semifinal last season.

Even though only three letterwinners have returned, the Worthington Kilbourne High School girls basketball team is looking for the formula that carried it to a Division I district semifinal last season.

The Wolves lost three starters from last season, when they finished 15-9 overall and went 11-3 in the OCC-Capital Division to place second behind Olentangy (13-1). Kilbourne defeated Gahanna 35-31 in a second-round game in the district tournament before losing to Reynoldsburg 60-57 on a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

The Raiders went on to win district and regional titles before losing to eventual state champion Wadsworth 58-48 in a state semifinal.

"We want to continue to take steps forward as a program," fourth-year coach Jim Strode said. "We want to finish at the top of the conference and at least advance as far as we did last year in the district tournament.

"We will likely play seven or eight players regularly, so we need to stay healthy and compete every night."

Kilbourne opened Nov. 29 against Pickerington North and will play host to Thomas on Saturday, Dec. 3, in the Battle of Worthington. The contest against the Cardinals also represents the Wolves' OCC-Cardinal opener and is a Coaches vs. Cancer event.

Kilbourne is joined in the OCC-Cardinal by Delaware, Dublin Jerome, Dublin Scioto, Hilliard Bradley and Hilliard Darby.

The returning letterwinners are 5-foot-8 senior guard Kelsey Nadolson, 6-0 senior forward Jordyn Wilson and 5-8 junior guard Maggie Crozier.

Crozier and Wilson were the Wolves' two leading scorers last season, averaging 11.0 and 10.5 points, respectively. Wilson (7.4) and Crozier (5.0) also led the team in rebounding, and both were named first-team all-league and honorable mention all- district.

Nadolson led the Wolves with 13 points against Reynoldsburg and tied the game on a drive with six seconds remaining before the Raiders' buzzer-beater.

"Kelsey was playing with confidence at the end of last season and has always been one of our top defenders as well as a threat in transition," Strode said. "We look for her to increase her scoring in the half court this year.

"Jordyn has made great strides in the offseason to improve her shooting and ball-handling and is no question our court leader. Maggie is a tough matchup for opponents. She has improved in attacking the rim, as well as her jumper."

Junior Morgan Schutte (5-5, point guard) and sophomore Sarah Baxter (6-2, center) are expected to be regular starters along with Crozier, Nadolson and Wilson. Schutte and junior Olivia Durbin (5-8, guard) both were injured last season.

Senior Karlee Scott (5-7, forward) is another returnee and junior Keagan Rayner (5-11, guard) rounds out the full-time varsity roster.

"We're an athletic group, as Nadolson, Schutte and Durbin add a ton of quickness to the lineup," Strode said. "But we're also fairly long, especially when we have Wilson and Baxter on the floor together."

Hockey team again playing j.v. schedule

The hockey team has opted to play a junior varsity schedule again this season.

Kilbourne will compete with the j.v. teams of Cincinnati Moeller, New Albany, Olentangy and Upper Arlington in the Capital Hockey Conference-White Division.

The Wolves, who also played a j.v. schedule last season, open Friday, Dec. 2, against St. Charles at Chiller Ice Works and play Moeller on Sunday, Dec. 4, at Ice Works.

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek

Schedules

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Nov. 29 -- vs. Pickerington North

*Dec. 3 -- vs. Thomas

*Dec. 9 -- vs. Dublin Jerome

Dec. 12 -- at Upper Arlington

*Dec. 16 -- at Hilliard Darby

*Dec. 20 -- at Hilliard Bradley

Dec. 22 -- vs. Walnut Ridge

Dec. 27-29 -- Braggin' Rights Classic at Cincinnati Princeton

*Jan. 3 -- vs. Delaware

*Jan. 6 -- vs. Dublin Scioto

Jan. 9 -- at Licking Heights

Jan. 10 -- vs. Marion Harding

*Jan. 13 -- at Thomas

*Jan. 20 -- at Dublin Jerome

*Jan. 24 -- vs. Hilliard Bradley

*Jan. 27 -- vs. Hilliard Darby

Jan. 31 -- at Hilliard Davidson

*Feb. 3 -- at Dublin Scioto

*Feb. 7 -- at Delaware

Feb. 11 -- at Teays Valley

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Kilbourne boys basketball, bowling, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

Dec. 2 -- At Big Walnut

BOWLING

Dec. 3 -- Red & Blue Classic at HP Lanes

*Dec. 6 -- Westerville South at Palace Lanes

SWIMMING & DIVING

Dec. 2 -- At Thomas

Dec. 6 -- Marysville at Union County YMCA

WRESTLING

Dec. 3 -- Lee Spitzer Golden Bear Invitational at Upper Arlington

*League contest