• CLASS A

BIDDEFORD

COACH: Brian Heal, first year

LAST YEAR: 15-5, lost in regional semifinals

RETURNING STARTERS: 2

IMPACT PLAYERS: Keila Grigware, sr., F; Amethyst Hersom, sr., F; Allison Roy, jr., G; Heather Fecteau, jr., G; Ciera Kelly, jr., PG 

OUTLOOK: Heal, who was the Biddeford boys’ junior varsity coach from 2003-07, joins the girls’ program after spending the last two seasons at Westbrook. Don’t expect many changes in the way the Tigers play. They’ll press and harass defensively and look to force the issue on offense as well. Defense, as always, will be the key for the Tigers. Grigware is one of the top players in the state, tough inside and able to play on the perimeter as well. 

BONNY EAGLE

COACH: Susan Rondeau, fifth year

LAST YEAR: 3-15

RETURNING STARTERS: 4

IMPACT PLAYERS: Sarah Assante, sr., PG; Alicia Hoyt, jr., C; Nicole Taylor, sr., F; Jessica MacDonald, jr., G; Shannon Sanborn, soph., G/F; Danielle Day, jr., G; Cassidy Mitchell, soph., G

OUTLOOK: The Scots were a lot better than their record indicated last year, losing eight games in the final minutes. This is a strong defensive team, but it needs to find some consistent scorers. MacDonald led the team in scoring last year and looks to get some help from Assante, one of the league’s better point guards, and Hoyt, who is an inside threat. This could be darkhorse contender to make the playoffs.

BRUNSWICK

COACH: Sam Farrell, second year

LAST YEAR: 16-5, lost in East regional final

RETURNING STARTERS: 2

IMPACT PLAYERS: Emily Bryant, sr., C; Tiana Burton, sr., PG; Emily Roy, sr., C; Lydia Caputi, soph., F

OUTLOOK: Eight players return from the team that reached a regional final for the first time in 24 years. The Dragons have one of the region’s top players in Caputi, a relentless inside player and strong defender. But they’ll have a different look this year. After being guard-heavy a year ago, they’ll likely rely more on strong inside play, with Caputi, Bryant and Roy. They’ll probably still press, but as soon as the players adjust to the new style, this team could take off.

CHEVERUS

COACH: Richie Ashley, fifth year

LAST YEAR: 13-6, lost in regional quarterfinals

RETURNING STARTERS: 2

IMPACT PLAYERS: Alexandra Palazzi-Leahy, jr., G; Brooke Flaherty, soph., F; Mikayla Mayberry, soph., PG; Britni Mikulanecz, sr., G; Morgan Cahill, jr., C; Kylie Libby, soph., F; Victoria Nappi, soph., G

OUTLOOK: The Stags were going to be a contender, then they got transfers Mikulanecz (defensive stopper from Deering), Cahill (inside power from Yarmouth) and Libby (versatile forward from Falmouth) to move up in the rankings. This is a team capable of going very deep into the playoffs, if all the parts come together. The Stags are still young, with only one senior and three juniors, but they should be able to play just about any style you throw at them. Palazzi-Leahy is one of the SMAA’s top 3-point threats.

DEERING

COACH: Mike Murphy, third year

LAST YEAR: 18-3, lost in regional finals

RETURNING STARTERS: 3

IMPACT PLAYERS: Kayla Burchill, sr., G/F; Aarika Viola, sr., F; Ella Ramonas, jr., G; Keneisha DiRamio, soph., G; Emily Cole, jr., G; Marissa MacMillan, soph., C

OUTLOOK: While the Rams lost some players to graduation and transfer, they remain one of the top squads in the SMAA. Burchill, headed to Vermont, is one of the best players in the state, a deadly 3-point shooter who is strong inside as well. Ramonas is a multi-faceted threat and Viola and MacMillan, at 6-4, give a strong inside presence. Look for the Rams to run and play a harassing defense, as always, and contend for the title again.

GORHAM

COACH: Laughn Berthiaume, fourth year

LAST YEAR: 13-6, lost in regional quarterfinals

RETURNING STARTERS: 5

IMPACT PLAYERS: Mia Rapolla, sr., G; Natalie Egbert, sr,, G; Alyssa Clark, sr., C; Kiersten Turner, jr., PG; Kristin Ross, soph., G/F

OUTLOOK: The Rams should be one of the better teams in the SMAA, based on experience and talent. In Rapolla and Egbert, they have two exceptional players. Rapolla is a talent offensively and defensively. Gorham doesn’t have much height, so the Rams are going to have to play fundamental defense and rebound. They need to improve on their foul shooting as well. Still, if the Rams get some scoring to support Rapolla, they’ll be near the top.

KENNEBUNK

COACH: Rob Sullivan, 15th year

LAST YEAR: 1-17

RETURNING STARTERS: 3

IMPACT PLAYERS: Emily Bennett, sr., G; Maddy Kasprzak, jr., G/F; Sarah Jodrie, sr., G; Kerry Donnelly, sr., C; Dianna Campbell, sr., G

OUTLOOK: Many of the Rams gained valuable playing experience last year and should be better. Scoring could still be an issue, so the Rams need to play exceptional defense to keep in games. This is a team that should improve as the season progresses and could cause some problems later in the season.

MARSHWOOD

COACH: Lee Petrie, seventh year

LAST YEAR: 9-9

RETURNING STARTERS: 1

IMPACT PLAYERS: Jorden Mitchell, jr., F; Mallory McPherson, sr., G; Aubrey Folger, jr., G; Ali Bartlett, jr., PG; Tatum Schladenhauffen, jr., C/F

OUTLOOK: The Hawks were close to making the playoffs last year, a couple of close losses making the difference. This team is very athletic and gained valuable experience in last year’s losses. The guards are well balanced and the Hawks play good interior defense. If they can develop some consistent scorers, this team could contend for a playoff berth.

MASSABESIC

COACH: Andy Soldati, 10th year

LAST YEAR: 4-14

RETURNING STARTERS: 2

IMPACT PLAYERS: Kayla Schneider, sr., F/G; Morgan Reny, jr., G; Emily Shatz, jr., F/C; Cassidy Mathews, jr., C

OUTLOOK: Soldati considers this one of the most skilled teams he’s had in years, with versatile players capable of doing a lot of different things. But the key for the Mustangs will be how well they play defense. They gave up too many points last year and will need to tighten up and play fundamentally sound on defense to improve.

McAULEY

COACH: Amy Vachon, first year

LAST YEAR: 13-7 (lost in regional semifinals)

RETURNING STARTERS: 4

IMPACT PLAYERS: Rebecca Knight, sr. G/F; Alexa Coulombe, jr., C; Hannah Cooke, soph., G; Chantalle Desjardins, sr., G; Sadie Dipierro, jr., G; Allie Clement, fr., G; Molly Mack, soph., F

OUTLOOK: Considered by many the team to beat, not only in Western Maine, but in the state. The Lions have great balance, experience and talent. They can play inside or outside. They can run or slow it down. Knight is headed to UMaine and Coulombe, a defensive stopper, to Boston College. And they’re surrounded by good, good players. How well the Lions handle the pressure will determine how far this team goes.

MORSE

COACH: Mike Hart, third year

LAST YEAR: 14-6 (lost in East regional semifinals)

RETURNING STARTERS: 2

IMPACT PLAYERS: Tarra Burr, sr., C; Tori Field, jr., G; Katie Henrikson, jr., G; Nikoline Ostergaard, sr., C/F; Emma Block, sr., G; Lindsay Watts, sr., G/F

OUTLOOK: The Shipbuilders have one of the top players in the KVAC in Burr, who averaged 12.4 points and 7.5 rebounds last year. But they have much more and should be right in the middle of the playoff race. Morse is aided by a couple of Danish students. Ostergaard moved here with her parents and brings a great skill set. Block is an exchange student and a great shooter. When this team comes together, it will be dangerous.

MT. ARARAT

COACH: Kelly LaFountain, 11th year

LAST YEAR: 11-8 (lost in East regional quarterfinals)

RETURNING STARTERS: 1

IMPACT PLAYERS: Amber Bowley, sr., G; Heather Bolduc, sr., F; Mariah Cropley, sr., G; Molly Estes, jr., F; Leah Hitchcock, jr., F

OUTLOOK: With only five returning players from last year’s squad, the Eagles will be young and relatively inexperienced. The roster includes five sophomores and a freshman. LaFountain is going to rotate players in and out, to keep the tempo high. Defense and rebounding will be key factors in Mt. Ararat’s success. Bowley is a standout defensively and will look to pick up her scoring this year.

NOBLE

COACH: John Coffin, second year

LAST YEAR: 3-15

RETURNING STARTERS: 4

IMPACT PLAYERS: Megan Pelkey, sr., F; Stephanie Ruger, sr., F; Stephanie Needham, sr., PG; Brittany Racicot, jr., G; Ari Thibeau, jr., G

OUTLOOK: The Knights gained valuable varsity experience last year and, with four returning starters, should be much improved. Coffin wants to push the tempo more this year offensively while continuing to play steady, consistent defense. Pelkey gives the Knights a strong inside presence and Ruger is a very capable rebounder.

PORTLAND

COACH: Jan Veinot, fourth year

LAST YEAR: 5-13

RETURNING STARTERS: 2

IMPACT PLAYERS: Nicolette Kapothanasis, sr., G; Becca Smith, sr., C; Stephanie Rogers, sr., C; Maura O’Conor, sr., F

OUTLOOK: The Bulldogs are very athletic and quick and will look to use those skills to play an up-tempo game. Defensively, they’ll look to create turnovers leading to easy baskets. Kapothanasis is a great 3-point shooter who can take over a game. Smith and Rogers, back after missing the last two years with knee injuries, should provide a strong inside presence.

SANFORD

COACH: Kristy Parent, 10th year

LAST YEAR: 10-9 (lost in preliminary round)

RETURNING STARTERS: 4

IMPACT PLAYERS: Taylor Flood, sr., G; Lindsay Nolette, sr., G; Krista Wilson, sr., PG; Shae Riley, sr., F; Heather LeBlanc, soph., C; Samantha Adams, soph., F; Taylor Littlefield, soph., G

OUTLOOK: The Redskins loom as a big threat in Western Class A. They have a strong senior crew, bolstered by some talented sophomores. How quickly they adapt to the varsity pace will determine a lot of the team’s success. Look for Sanford to run a little more this year but the key will still be defense. Nolette and Taylor are probably the top offensive threats.

SCARBOROUGH

COACH: Jim Seavey, fifth year

LAST YEAR: 22-0 (won state championship)

RETURNING STARTERS: 0

IMPACT PLAYERS: Brittany Bona, jr., C; Taylor Leborgne, soph, G; Mo Hannon, jr., PG; Maria Philbrick, soph., G; Dani Foster, sr., F; Alisha Starbird, fr., G/F; Courtney Alofs, soph., F; Hannah Freeman, sr., G; Ashley Ronzo, soph., G

OUTLOOK: The defending state champs suffered a big blow when junior forward Carly Rogers suffered a season-ending knee injury in the fall. The Red Storm had already graduated its top six from last year. It’ll be a young team, but with some  talent. At 6-2, Bona has the ability to control the inside. The freshman Starbird is a dead-eye shooter and will make an immediate impact from the outside. And Alofs is a threat inside. This could be a learning year for the Red Storm, but don’t be surprised if they contend either.

SOUTH PORTLAND

COACH: Mike Giordano, 15th year

LAST YEAR: 11-9 (lost in regional quarterfinals)

RETURNING STARTERS: 3

IMPACT PLAYERS: Abby Hasson, sr., C; Danielle DiBiase, sr., G; Stephanie McDonough, sr., F; Jillian Legere, jr., F; Danica Gleason, soph., PG

OUTLOOK: With eight returning players, the Riots figure to be right in the middle of the tournament race. DiBiase is the only returning player who averaged more than 10 points a game last year, so South Portland is going to have to find someone to score. Hasson, a 6-footer who appears healthy after last year’s back problems, could be that person. The Riots might run a little more than they have in the past.

THORNTON ACADEMY

COACH: Eric Marston, first year

LAST YEAR: 11-8 (lost in regional quarterfinals)

RETURNING STARTERS: 3

IMPACT PLAYERS: Hannah Ebling, sr., G/F; Lauren Titus, sr., G; Meghan Agger, jr., G/F; Krystal Pierson, sr., G; Tori Lands, soph., F; Jordan Agger, fr., F; Olivia Shaw, fr., F/C

OUTLOOK: The Trojans look to make a deep run into the playoffs with a quick, athletic team. Marston takes over as head coach after spending the last five years coaching the junior varsity, so he is familiar with the personnel. Ebling has the talent to be one of the best players in the SMAA, capable of going inside or out. Titus is a heady guard, the Agger sisters will have an impact and the 6-foot freshman Shaw will see a lot of playing time. The Trojans will run. If their half-court defense holds up, they will contend.

WESTBROOK

COACH: Troy Dunphe, third year

LAST YEAR: 4-14

RETURNING STARTERS: 3

IMPACT PLAYERS: Megan Niehoff, jr., F; Vanessa Bradbury, sr., G; Katelyn Benson, sr., G; Jessica Harris, jr., C; Ciera Bellino, sr., G; Ashlee Richards, soph., G; Kayla Winton, jr., F

OUTLOOK: The Blazes continue to make strides. Dunphe considers this the most athletic team he’s had, with many players vying for positions. If the Blazes can create some turnovers consistently, leading to easy baskets, they should show some improvement in the standings.

WINDHAM

COACH: Jessie Cummings, fifth year

LAST YEAR: 7-11

RETURNING STARTERS: 3

IMPACT PLAYERS: Meghan Gribbin, jr., PG; Stephanie Frost, jr., G; Bebe Butts, jr., G; Olivia Hurd, sr., C; Diandra Berthiaume, jr., F; Sam Frost, fr., PG; Lonnie Staten, fr., F

OUTLOOK: The Eagles look to make up for a disappointing season last year when they were expected to contend for a top spot. They’re relatively small and will rely heavily on their guards – Gribbin (14.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.4 steals last year), Frost (a 3-point shooter) and Butts (a suffocating defender). Hurd looks to provide inside stability. This is a team that could surprise and get back in the race for a top spot.

• CLASS B

CAMDEN HILLS

COACH: Marty Messer, first year

LAST YEAR: 14-5 (lost in East regional quarterfnals)

RETURNING STARTERS: 1

IMPACT PLAYERS: Maci Heal, sr., F; Jordan Knowlton, soph., F; Taylor Porter, jr., G; Jackie Richards, jr., F; Laura Johanson, jr., C

OUTLOOK: Messer returns to the girls’ program, where he coached the junior varsity team for eight years, after spending the last two as a varsity assistant in the boys’ program. He’s familiar with many of the players and likes what he sees. He wants the team to be adaptive, running whenever possible, but playing a tight, half-court game when needed. Heal will be the leader on the court while Knowlton is a scoring threat. She averaged 15.1 points a game as a freshman.

CAPE ELIZABETH

COACH: Chris Roberts, fourth year

LAST YEAR: 9-10 (lost in preliminary round)

RETURNING STARTERS: 2

IMPACT PLAYERS: Emily Donovan, sr., PG; Kayla Raftice, jr., G/F

OUTLOOK: The Capers are extremely young, with four freshmen and four sophomores on the 12-player roster. In addition, three of the five probable starters have no varsity experience. Donovan is a three-year starter at the point and will be a stabilizing influence when things get rough. Raftice is an under-sized post player at 5-9, but plays very competitively inside. The Capers look to improve as the season progresses. Roberts will shuffle in 10 players regularly.

FALMOUTH

COACH: Mari Warner, first year

LAST YEAR: 11-9 (lost in regional quarterfinals)

RETURNING STARTERS: NA

IMPACT PLAYERS: Jessica DiPhilippo, sr., G; Caitlin Costello, sr., G; Laney Evers, jr., PG; Jenna Serunian, jr., F; Nicole Rogers, jr., F; Jackie Doyle, jr., G; Anna Hickey, soph., G; Morgan Larrabee, soph., G

OUTLOOK: A lot of the team’s success will be determined by how quickly the players adapt to the new system of Warner, a former Division I coach at Albany. Early indications are that the adjustment is going smoothly. The Yachtsmen have some talented players, inside and outside, and should contend for a Western Class B playoff berth.

FREEPORT

COACH: Jen Chon, first year

LAST YEAR: 5-13

RETURNING STARTERS: 3

IMPACT PLAYERS: Kate Poulin, sr., PG; Leigh Wyman, soph., G; Aubrey Pennell, soph., F/G; Morgan Brown, jr., F; Erin Hall, sr., F; Allyson Fuehrer, sr., F

OUTLOOK: Chon takes over after four year as the junior varsity coach, so she is quite familiar with her players. She’s also familiar with winning – she played for Paul Vachon at Cony. She plans on changing the Falcons’ style to a much more up-tempo approach, pushing the ball on offense and attacking on defense on the whole court. Freeport has a hard five-game stretch at the start of the season. If the Falcons come out of that in good shape, they could contend for a playoff spot.

FRYEBURG ACADEMY

COACH: Dan Leland, third year

LAST YEAR: 6-12

RETURNING STARTERS: 3

IMPACT PLAYERS: Maggie McConkey, jr., G; Katie Heggie, sr., F; Bailey Frost, sr., G; Kendra Fox, soph., G/F; Skye Doyle, fr., F

OUTLOOK: McConkey is a three-year starter and will be counted on for just about everything. Doyle and Heggie, both 5-11, will give balance inside but the Raiders lack much experience. They’ll also play a more deliberate style, looking to control the tempo with a half-court game.

GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER

COACH: Chris Aube, fourth year

LAST YEAR: 12-7 (lost in regional quarterfinals)

RETURNING STARTERS: 3

IMPACT PLAYERS: Meghan Dehetre, sr., G/F; Alicia Valente, sr. C; Rachel Edson, sr., PG; Maggie Chaplin, jr., F; Haylee Cote, soph., G; Leandra Grant, jr., C; Sammie Wilkens, jr., F/G

OUTLOOK: The Patriots should be among the WMC teams contending for a high tournament berth. Dehetre, a four-year starter, and Valente, a three-year starter, bring plenty of talent and experience. The team has more depth than in the past, so look for the Patriots to press as much as possible to try to create offense off turnovers. But this is a guard-led team and will rely on its athleticism and perimeter play.

GREELY

COACH: Bill Goodman, third year

LAST YEAR: 18-3 (lost in regional finals)

RETURNING STARTERS: 1

IMPACT PLAYERS: Megan Coale, sr., G; Jackie Storey, soph., F; Sara Warnock, sr., F; Caroline Hamilton, jr., G; Chelsea Bridges, sr., F/G; Makayla Twitchell, fr., F; Taylor Readio, jr., F; Hayley Munson, soph., G

OUTLOOK: The Rangers don’t have a lot of experience, but they do have some talent and athleticism and should be right in the thick of the Western Class B tournament chase. Bridges is a very heady player who should be the floor leader. Coale and Readio are coming back from knee injuries. Goodman isn’t going to change the style. The Rangers will still press and run.

LAKE REGION

COACH: Paul True, seventh year

LAST YEAR: 15-5 (lost in regional semifinals)

RETURNING STARTERS: 0

IMPACT PLAYERS: Sydney Hancock, soph., PG; Hannah Cutting, sr., F/C; Tiana-Jo Carter, fr., C; Abby Craffey, jr., G; Allison Clark, jr., G; Kasey Huntress, soph., G

OUTLOOK: Even with no returning starters, the Lakers should be among the better teams in Western Class  B. They’re athletic and quick and more versatile than in the past. Carter, at 6-foot, gives them an inside presence they’ve lacked in recent years. Hancock is a shooter and heady player while Craffey gained some valuable experience last year. The Lakers will improve as the season progresses and then could be a threat in the playoffs.

LINCOLN ACADEMY

COACH: Conrad Lewis, second year

LAST YEAR: 7-11

RETURNING STARTERS: 4

IMPACT PLAYERS: Anna Boudreau, sr., F; Katherine Bolster, sr., G/F; Marni Jones, sr., PG; Laura Soohey, sr., C; Kelsey Schwarz, sr., F; Marissa Look, soph., F; Dani Pierece, fr., G; Jen Genther, fr., C

OUTLOOK: The numbers are low for the Eagles, but this could be a competitive group. The 6-foot Soohey provides inside scoring and rebounding while Bolster is an exceptional defender. Look for this team to improve as the season progresses and make a run for a playoff berth.

MEDOMAK VALLEY

COACH: Randy Hooper, sixth year

LAST YEAR: 14-5 (lost in East regional quarterfinals)

RETURNING STARTERS: 3

IMPACT PLAYERS: Ericka Christensen, sr., C; Lindsay Ranquist, sr., F; Alanna Vose, jr., G; Nicole Weaver, sr., G; Vanessa Davis, sr., F; Ashley Rackliff, sr., G; Kasey Benner, sr., G; Mallory Conary, jr., G

OUTLOOK: With eight seniors on the team, the Panthers should be able to handle anything thrown their way. They are balanced offensively, able to score inside or from the 3-point line, and play harassing defense. If they can stay healthy, this team could go deep into the regional playoffs.

ROCKLAND

COACH: Teal Foster, second year

LAST YEAR: 0-18

RETURNING STARTERS: 1

IMPACT PLAYERS: Hannah Plourde, soph., G/F

OUTLOOK: With only 15 players in the program, including the junior varsity, the Tigers look to continue rebuilding. The focus will be from practice to practice, said Foster, with the team setting mini-goals, such as winning a quarter or even a two-minute stretch. While inexperienced, the team continues to work hard and improve.

WELLS

COACH: Donnie Abbott, fifth year

LAST YEAR: 8-10

RETURNING STARTERS: 3

IMPACT PLAYERS: Kelsey Bragdon, sr., F; Meg Lewia, sr., PG; Sarah Larmie, sr., F; Ashley Mulkern, sr., F/G; Kelly Beisswanger, jr., G; Abby Moody, jr., G; Mariyah Heath, jr., C

OUTLOOK: The Warriors figure to be somewhere in the mix for a playoff berth in Western Class B. Bragdon, who averaged 12.5 points and 8.5 rebounds last year, and Lewia give them a strong foundation. The return of Mulkern and Beisswanger from knee injuries last year will add depth and talent to the lineup. They’ll need to replace the scoring of Lily Colley,  who averaged nearly 19 points a game, but if they can cobble some offense together, their defense will help them win games.

YARMOUTH

COACH: Mandy Peaslee, first year

LAST YEAR: 5-13

RETURNING STARTERS: 1

IMPACT PLAYERS: Olivia Harrison, sr., G; Danielle Torres, sr., G/F; Olivia Smith, fr., C

OUTLOOK: Peaslee, who also coaches field hockey, was the junior varsity coach last year, so she knows many of her new players. Harrison, from the outside, and Smith, from the inside, loom as the top offensive threats while Torres is the defensive leader. This is still a relatively young team that should improve as the season progresses.

YORK

COACH: Rick Clark, 29th year

LAST YEAR: 22-0 (won state championship)

RETURNING STARTERS: 4

IMPACT PLAYERS: Nicole Taylor, sr., C; Stephanie Gallagher, sr., F/G; Chelsea Morley, sr., F; Emily Campbell, soph., F; Marquis MacGlashing, soph., F; Andrea Mountford, jr., PG; Addi Labonte, jr., G; Ruby Cribby, soph., G; Olivia Vail, jr., F; Raegen Heck, jr., F/G

OUTLOOK: An almost prohibitive favorite in Western Class B. The Wildcats have one of the state’s best players, the Vermont-bound Taylor, surrounded by a cast that would contend even without her. They have inside strength, 3-point shooters and a defense that doesn’t wilt. They can play fast, or slow it down. The returning cast is bolstered by two transfers: Vail, who was Noble’s first off the bench last year, and Heck, from Massachusetts.

• CLASS C

BOOTHBAY REGION

COACH: Don Wolotsky, second year

LAST YEAR: 2-16

RETURNING STARTERS: 3

IMPACT PLAYERS: Meryl Jones, sr., G; Alexandra Andrews, jr., G; Meghan Smith, jr., F/C; Alex Parke, soph., C; Sarah Caron, soph., F; Paige McClellan, jr., PG

OUTLOOK: The Seahawks suffered a blow when Kristin Sibley tore her ACL playing soccer. But this is still a team that should improve on last year’s mark. Jones is a four-year starter and provides leadership and stability at the point. The Seahawks could be strong inside but much of their success will be determined on defense.

GEORGES VALLEY

COACH: Dwight Henry, second year

LAST YEAR: 8-10

RETURNING STARTERS: 4

IMPACT PLAYERS: Jessica Veilleux, jr., F; Kenadi Grover, soph., G/F; Jill Bradbury, jr., G/F; Colleen Haskell, sr., C; Katlyn Rich, sr., G/F; Jenn Denault, jr., G; Rachel Frye, soph., F

OUTLOOK: This will be the last Buccaneers team as the school consolidates with Rockland next year. It could be a very good one. The Buccaneers are athletic and talented, led by Grover, who led the team in scoring last year, and Bradbury, who can be a big-time scorer as well. Veilleux returns after missing the last 10 games last year with a broken thumb. Look for this team to make some noise in Class C this year.

NORTH YARMOUTH ACADEMY

COACH: Liz Smith, second year

LAST YEAR: 6-11

RETURNING STARTERS: 4

IMPACT PLAYERS: Blair Haggett, sr., G; Eliza Gendron, sr., G/F; Morgan Scully, jr., PG; Emily Harrison, sr., F

OUTLOOK: The Panthers had some young players gain valuable experience last year and look to be much improved. They had a big turnout in the summer program and look much better in the preseason. Haggett and Gendron look to provide the outside offense while Scully is a very heady point guard. Harrison is a very good rebounder. With a small roster, conditioning will play a role, especially late in games.

OLD ORCHARD BEACH

COACH: Dean Plante, first year

LAST YEAR: 10-9 (lost in preliminary round)

RETURNING STARTERS: 1

IMPACT PLAYERS: Gillian Foss, sr., F/C; Katie Hatch, sr., F; Brett Allen, sr., F; Kelsey Koenigs, sr., G

OUTLOOK: Plante returns to coach the girls after a nine-year layoff. He has coached many of his varsity players in youth leagues, so he is familiar with the talent. It will be a young team, with five sophomores and a freshman among the 10 regulars. The Gulls will be athletic and Plante will run players in and out, keeping fresh legs in so he can keep the pressure on. Despite the relative inexperience, he said his goal is to get into the playoffs again. In seven previous years coaching the girls, his teams never missed the playoffs.

SACOPEE VALLEY

COACH: Chris Hughes, third year

LAST YEAR: 9-9

RETURNING STARTERS: 3

IMPACT PLAYERS: Justine Ruhlin, sr., G; Catherine Murch, sr., G; Amanda Villineau, sr., G; Stephanie Mullins, sr., F ; Melissa Mayhew, jr., F

OUTLOOK: With three starters back, the Hawks have some nice experience. But they need to find a couple of consistent scorers. Defensively they’ll be strong. The offense could come from Mullins, a transfer from Lake Region, or Mayhew, who missed last year with an injury. The schedule could be an issue, with 10 Class D games on tap. The Hawks need to win some big Class C games to keep in contention.

TRAIP ACADEMY

COACH: Paul Marquis, 11th year

LAST YEAR: 10-8 (lost in regional quarterfinals)

RETURNING STARTERS: 4

IMPACT PLAYERS: Selena Lorrey, jr., G/F; Katherine Volpe, jr., F; Hailey Frisbee, sr., F; Sarah Orr, sr., G

OUTLOOK: The Rangers have a great foundation with four starters returning, among them Lorrey, a two-time first-team all-conference selection. At 5-11, she averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds last year. But she’s tougher because she plays a lot beyond the 3-point line. The Rangers need to find a couple of other scorers to take the pressure off her, but there are plenty of prospects, including Volpe and Orr. Traip should be in contention for a playoff spot again.

WAYNFLETE

COACH: Brandon Salway, fifth year

LAST YEAR: 15-4 (lost in regional final)

RETURNING STARTERS: 4

IMPACT PLAYERS: Martha Veroneau, soph., PG; Catherine Veroneau, soph., G/F; Lydia Stegemann, sr., F; Sam Oakland, sr., G; Leigh Fernandez, fr., G; Liz Lewis, sr., C; Rhiannan Jackson, soph., G

OUTLOOK: The Flyers, who have advanced to the regional finals the last two years, have to find a way to replace 1,000-point scorer Morgan Woodhouse, who did so many things for them. But they have plenty of good young talent. The Veroneau twins are improving every game and Stegemann and Oakland have big-game experience. The Flyers should be one of the better Western Class C teams again.

WISCASSET

COACH: Patrick Quinn, first year

LAST YEAR: 3-15

RETURNING STARTERS: NA

IMPACT PLAYERS: Alli Johnson, sr., PG; Becca Slack, sr., G; Mary-Ellen True, sr., F/C; Kayla Connors, jr., C; Briana Goud, fr., G/F; Paige Teel, sr., F; Carolyn Footer, jr., F

OUTLOOK: Quinn takes over after being the junior varsity coach at Gardiner since 2005. The Redskins look to be aggressive inside, with Connors and True, while Johnson is an aggressive point guard who can get to the basket. Footer may be the best 3-point shooter. This is a team that could surprise by the end of the year and make a run at the playoffs.

• CLASS D

GREATER PORTLAND CHRISTIAN

COACH: Keith Dawson, second year

LAST YEAR: 8-9 (lost in regional quarterfinals)

RETURNING STARTERS: 4

IMPACT PLAYERS: Liz Garland, sr., PG; Andrea Ruiz, sr., G; Emily Strout, sr., F; Robyn Waugh, jr., F; Susie Gonzalez, jr., C

OUTLOOK: The Lions could be one of the better squads in the conference. They have great experience at every position. Garland is a scrappy, on-the-ball defender who leads the offense. The thing that might set them apart from others is their defense. The Lions play exceptional team defense, often leading to easy baskets.

HYDE SCHOOL

COACH: Eva George, second year

LAST YEAR: 3-11

RETURNING STARTERS: 2

IMPACT PLAYERS: Sage Harris, jr., PG; Lily Smith, sr., G/F; Laughlynn Bragg, jr., C/F; Jenna Keith, sr., G/F; Aneth Batamuliza, sr., F, Dexie Cercos, soph., G

OUTLOOK: The Phoenix are a very athletic, but inexperienced, team. Harris and Smith are the lone returning players and both will play big roles. Harris is a scorer while Smith is a talented rebounder. Four sophomores will play pivotal roles for Hyde while Bragg, a transfer from Hyde’s Woodstock campus, will help inside.

PINE TREE ACADEMY

COACH: Ike Kilbourn, second year

LAST YEAR: 1-9

RETURNING STARTERS: 3

IMPACT PLAYERS: Annie Paige, sr., F/G; Shannon Pierce, sr., F; Breanna Berger, sr., PG

OUTLOOK: Kilbourn still has a young roster, with four freshmen and two sophomores among the 10 players, but the outlook is much better than last year, when PTA resumed basketball after a two-year hiatus. The seniors will provide sound leadership but success will be determined by how smart the Breakers play and how sound their defense is.

SEACOAST CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

COACH: Charlie Johnson, eighth year

LAST YEAR: 7-11 (lost in regional quarterfinals)

RETURNING STARTERS: 3

IMPACT PLAYERS: Ruth Towne, jr., C/F; Amberle Bennett, sr., G; Kirin DeSmith, jr., PG

OUTLOOK: The Guardians have a strong starting five, but need to develop depth on the bench. Towne is a versatile inside/outside player who averaged 13 points and 10 rebounds a game last year. Bennett and Smith both have potential to have big offensive games.

– By Mike Lowe, Staff Writer