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By Paul Lecker

For Zaleski Sports

NEILLSVILLE – Following back-to-back runner-up finishes in the Cloverbelt Conference East Division, the Neillsville girls basketball team has its sights set on the top spot in 2019-20.

The Warriors return three starters, including all-Conference East second-team selection Bella Opelt (10.1 points, four steals, three assists per game) and honorable mention choice Alli Schoengarth (8 points, three steals, two assists per game). Also back is senior Kayla Oldham, a post player who averaged three rebounds and 1.6 points per game last season as the Warriors finished 21-4 overall and 13-3 in conference play.

“We do have a lot of players returning with some varsity experience,” veteran coach John Gaier said. “That should help as we proceed through a tough schedule. We will not have a lot of size. We will have to have everyone compete at a high level on defense and rebounding in order to compete with bigger and more physical teams.”

Others returning this season are Emma Moseley (4.7 points, three rebounds, two blocks per game), Jaden Barth (6.5 ppg) and Terren Stockheimer (2 ppg).

Seniors Catrina Craig, Riley Voight and Olivia Friemoth, and freshman Amelia Trunkel are also expected to contribute this season for Neillsville.

2019-20 Neillsville Girls Basketball Schedule

Fri., Nov. 22 LOYAL, 7:15 p.m.

Tue., Nov. 26 at Owen-Withee, 7:15 p.m.

Thur., Dec. 5 at Gilman, 7:15 p.m.

Tue., Dec. 10 at Greenwood, 7:15 p.m.

Thur., Dec. 12 MAUSTON, 7:15 p.m.

Thur., Dec. 19 at Colby, 7:15 p.m.

Fri., Dec. 27 at Auburndale, 2:30 p.m.

Sat., Dec. 28 Augusta at Auburndale, 1 p.m.

Fri., Jan. 3 at Spencer, 7:15 p.m.

Thur., Jan. 9 at Granton, 7:15 p.m.

Tue., Jan. 14 COLUMBUS CATHOLIC, 7:15 p.m.

Fri., Jan. 17 OWEN-WITHEE, 7:15 p.m.

Mon., Jan. 20 at Chippewa Falls McDonell, 7:15 p.m.

Thur., Jan. 23 GILMAN, 7:15 p.m.

Tue., Jan. 28 GREENWOOD, 7:15 p.m.

Fri., Jan. 31 at Loyal, 7:15 p.m.

Tue., Feb. 4 at Wisconsin Rapids Assumption, 7:15 p.m.

Thur., Feb. 6 COLBY, 7:15 p.m.

Tue., Feb. 11 SPENCER, 7:15 p.m.

Fri., Feb. 14 GRANTON, 6 p.m.

Mon., Feb. 17 at Columbus Catholic, 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 20 or 22 Cloverbelt Crossover, TBA, 7:15 p.m.

Tue., Feb. 25 WIAA Div. 4 regional quarterfinal, TBA, 7 p.m.

HOME GAMES IN CAPS, at Neillsville High School

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