FAIRBORN — The Wright State women’s basketball team was picked to finish seventh in the Horizon League pre-season poll, released by the league Tuesday.
Regular season champion Green Bay is the unanimous favorite to win this season’s title in as voted on by the league’s head coaches. Cleveland State’s Destiny Leo earned Preseason Player of the Year honors.
The Raiders were 8-24 overall last year and 6-14 in the HL. Need to replace top two scorers in Bryce Nixon (11.5 ppg) and Emily Chapman (9.7 ppg).
Junior guard Kacee Baumhower is the top returning scorer at 9.4 points per game. Other leading scorers back are grad student Cara VanKempen, who scored 6.2 points per game, sophomore guard Makiya Miller (5.9 ppg), and sophomore guard Lauren Scott (4.8 ppg)
Redshirt junior guard Makira Webster, senior forward Rachel Loobie, redshirt freshman Macie Taylor, and sophomore Catalina Ion are also returning.
What may be the most exciting for Raider fans is the cadre of newcomers to the roster led by several local standouts.
Senior graduate student Alexis Hutchinson, who previously played at NCCAA Division-I Malone, and freshman guard Rylee Sagester — who is indisputably one of the best to ever play high school basketball in Ohio — highlight the list of area transfers, which also includes former Valley View star Claire Henson, and former Franklin standout Layne Ferrell.
Hutchinson, who starred at Centerville, was third-team All-American averaging 18.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 2.0 steals per game. She scored at least 10 points in all but two games last season.
Sagester was last season’s Ms. Basketball runner up and led Tri-Village to the Division-IV state championship. She averaged 21 points per game and also grabbed 3.5 rebounds and had 3.9 assists per game. Sagester scored 2,001 career points and made an Ohio High School Athletic Association-record 401 career three-point field goals — one of 14 in the nation with 400 or more three-pointers.
Claire Henson, a sophomore guard, played at Long Island last year, playing 13.7 minutes per game. She was Ohio D-II player of the year as a senior in 2022.
Ferrell, a redshirt senior guard, played three years at Akron (starting 59 games the last two) and averaged 9.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in 30 games last season. Ferrell was All-Ohio and Division-II Southwest District player of the year in 2019.
Also joining the Raiders is Jada Tate, a forward grad student from Pickerington who played at Tiffin. She is the daughter of former OSU and UC standout Jermaine Tate and brother of former OSU and current NBA player Jae’Sean Tate. She averaged 8.6 points and 5.4 rebounds last season.
Julia Hoefling, a forward graduate student, played four years at Loyola Chicago. The former state champion from Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame, played in 16 games last year after starting 29 of 30 the previous year while averaging 4.5 points and 5.2 rebounds.
The last newcomer is Ellie Magestro-Kennedy, a freshman guard from Wisconsin, who averaged 18.5 ppg, 6.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists as a high school senior.
Reach Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.