High School Sports

Central senior Kendra Wilken unanimous first-team all-state pick

Central Cougars senior Kendra Wilken is a two-time first-team all-state selection who also is her school’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder.
Central Cougars senior Kendra Wilken is a two-time first-team all-state selection who also is her school’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder.

Central High senior Kendra Wilken was a unanimous first-team all-state selection Thursday when the Associated Press released its Class 1A-2A Girls Basketball All-State Teams.

It was the second straight season as a Class 2A first-team all-state pick for Wilken, a 6-foot-2 center headed to Saint Louis University. Her 115-point vote total was the highest by any all-state player in 1A or 2A.

Okawville High sophomore Madison Hackstadt was an honorable mention all-state selection in Class 1A.

Wilken and her teammates saw their season end Tuesday with a 50-47 loss to Cam Point Central at the Jacksonville Super-Sectional. She averaged 18 points and 12 rebounds for the 26-6 Cougars and in four years as a starter, Wilken helped Central to a 117-14 record.

“To be picked all-state is a great feeling and all the hard work over the last four years has come through,” Wilken said. “I’m really excited I got it, but I’ve still got a lot of things to improve on at the next level. Hopefully I can be just as good of a player there.”

Getting all-state two years in a row is an amazing accomplishment. I wouldn’t be able to get those awards without my teammates.

Kendra Wilken

She finished her career with 2,262 points and more than 1,197 rebounds and is the school’s all-time leader in both categories. Wilken also has eight of the top nine highest scoring games in Central history, including games of 38 and 35 points.

“Getting all-state two years in a row is an amazing accomplishment,” Wilken said. “I wouldn’t be able to get those awards without my teammates. Getting those points and rebound records is amazing as an individual, but as a team it was all those tournaments we won and things like that. That’s what I’ll remember.

“I wouldn’t have been as good without the teammates and coaches that we have.”

Central lost only 14 games over four years with Wilken in the lineup.

Getting those points and rebound records is amazing as an individual, but as a team it was all those tournaments we won and things like that. That’s what I’ll remember. I wouldn’t have been as good without the teammates and coaches that we have.

Kendra Wilken

“Obviously that was through my freshman year and I wasn’t the only girl out there, there were some amazing players that were surrounding me,” Wilken said. “If it wasn’t for those girls we wouldn’t have had the success we’ve had over the past four years.”

Wilken helped Central to two state tournament trips. The Cougars finished second at the 2A state basketball tourney last season and also finished third at the 2011 Class 2A state volleyball tourney.

“Losing Monday was pretty hard,” Wilken said. “It was a hard loss, knowing we didn’t come out and play our best and that stinks. Going to state would have been awesome again this year.”

Hackstadt averaged 15.8 points and 4.8 rebounds for the Okawville Rockets, who lost to Christ Our Rock Lutheran in the regional final.

Norm Sanders: 618-239-2454, @NormSanders

Illinois Girls Basketball Class 1A-2A All-State Teams

Note: teams chosen by statewide panel of sportswriters and broadcasters

Class 2A First Team

Kendra Wilken, Central, 6-2 sr.

Maddy Greeling, Southwestern, 5-6 sr.

Megan Axcell, Knoxville, 6-0 sr.

Jill Berg, Midwest Central-Delavan, 6-2 sr.

Kennedy Williams, Chicago Marshall, 5-6 jr.

Class 2A Second Team

Kolby McLelland, Central-Southeastern, 5-11 jr.

Lexi DeVries, Byron, 5-10 jr.

Kellyn Maynard, Paxton-Buckley-Loda, 5-10 sr.

Grace Schroeder, Iroquois West, 5-7 jr.

Sydney Shanks, Bloomington Central Catholic, 5-9 sr.

Class 1A First Team

Grace Baalman, Hardin Calhoun, 6-2 jr.

Morgan VanHyfte, Annawan, 6-0 sr.

Paulina Castro, Elgin Harvest Christian, 5-8 sr.

Arieal Scott, Danville Schlarman, 5-10 so.

Anaya Peoples, Danville Schlarman, 5-9 fr.

Class 1A Second Team

Jayde VanHyfte, Annawan, 6-1 so.

Ryan Dooley, Central A&M, 5-6 sr.

Emma Baalman, Hardin Calhoun, 6-1 sr.

Annika Kaufmann, Winchester West Central, 5-7 fr.

Addison Stoller, Cissna Park, 5-11 sr,

NOTE: Okawville sophomore Madison Hackstadt was a 1A honorable mention all-state selection.

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