Wellington girls basketball hopes to establish a tough defensive unit with 9 returning players

Greg Williams
Wellington Daily News
Wellington girls basketball lining up before a game

Like many schools, last year was unlike any other. Wellington went through a tough schedule and was affected throughout the season due to the pandemic, but they still finished with a winning record.

Even though it was a winning season, the last two years have been unfamiliar. This past season the Crusaders went 12-9 and in 2019-20 they went 11-10. Wellington hopes to get back to their 2015-2019 run when they went 70-14. 

This year the Crusaders believe this could be the season they can get back to that elite level. 

"Our expectations this year are high," said Wellington head coach Eric Adams. "We return four starters and nine of our 12 varsity players. We also have two wonderful seniors that are tremendous leaders."

Those seniors include Ali Zeka and Airalyn Frame, who are coming off a volleyball season that includes All-League honors. Zeka is the top returning scorer and rebounder for the Crusaders, while Frame is the second top returning scorer and rebounder.

Zeka averaged 12 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per game last season, and Frame averaged 11 points per game and six rebounds. Both received AVCTL Div. IV League honors as Zeka was named to the First Team and Frame named to the Second Team

Wellington is also returning three of its top juniors: Shiney Hughes, Ashlyn Gerten, and Kami Reichenberger. Hughes is coming off her sophomore season after averaging 6.7 points and three rebounds. Gerten and Hughes received AVCTL Div. IV League honors on the honorable mention team.

The two other returners for Wellington are junior Maddie Nance and sophomore Lyric Cornejo.

"We need to get back to being a tough, physical defensive unit," said Adams. "This team has athletes, and we will push the ball offensively every chance we get, but we need to guard better this season. If we do that, this team has a chance to be special."

Wellington begins their season on Dec. 3 with the varsity game at 6 p.m. against Mulvane.

Greg Williams has been the reporter for the Wellington Daily News and Butler County Times-Gazette since May 2021. You can reach him at GWilliams@gannett.com or on Twitter at @GregWilliams28.