CHEVERUS

Coach: Gary Fifield, first year

Last season: 11-8, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Emme Poulin, sr., G; Abby Cavallaro, sr., PG; Michaela Jordan, sr., G; Kat Kane, sr., F; Sara Taylor, sr., F; Meg Kelly, jr., G; Lauren Jordan, so., G

Outlook: In Poulin, who is bound next for Division II Assumption College, and Cavallaro, headed to the University of New England, the Stags may have the best backcourt in the SMAA. Both are capable of breaking down opposing defenses with their jumpers or drives to the basket. But Cheverus needs to develop another scoring threat. Since the Stags aren’t very tall, they’ll play an up-tempo game, looking to create offense off defense – much like Fifield’s successful teams at USM. This could be a dangerous team come playoff time.

DEERING

Coach: Mike Murphy, 13th year

Last season: 13-8, lost in regional final

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Delaney Haines, jr., G; Victoria Garand, jr., C/F; Mandy Mastropasqua, jr., G; Ashleigh Mathisen, jr., G; Aviyonna Kim, so., G

Outlook: The Rams lost three key starters from last year’s team but return some nice experience in Haines, who is developing into one of the SMAA’s best players, and Garand, who is a huge presence inside. Kim, a transfer from South Portland, will be a big addition. And Mastropasqua is capable of big games. There are no seniors on the roster, and the Rams don’t have as much depth as last year. Still, if last year’s role players slip comfortably into their new responsibilities, this will be a team to contend with on most nights.

PORTLAND

Coach: Gerry Corcoran, second year

Last season: 3-15

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Shayla Eubanks, sr., F; Grace Stacey, jr., G; Nettie Walsh, jr., PG; Regan Brown, jr. C; Gemima Pimbu, so., G/F; Amanda Kabantu, fr., G; Davina Kabantu, jr., PG

Outlook: The Bulldogs could be one of the state’s most improved teams – and a title contender. Corcoran, who took over halfway through last year, has a strong returning cast and three new players – Pimbu and the Kabantu sisters – who moved in from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Their athleticism immediately improves the Bulldogs’ talent. This is a team that’s going to get out on the fast break and press as much as possible. “We’re going to spread the floor and have some fun,” said Corcoran. The team is still adjusting to all the new faces but once the Bulldogs come around, they’re going to be tough to beat.

WINDHAM

Coach: Brody Artes, sixth year

Last season: 5-13

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Hannah Talon, so., G; Meghan Hoffses, jr., G; Tara Flanders, jr., G/F; Emily Drummond, so., F; Mikayla Baiguy, jr., F

Outlook: The Eagles should be much improved from last year, when the majority of playing time went to sophomores and freshmen. They’re all back, looking to use the experience they gained last year to their advantage. They should be much better at the end of the season and could make a nice playoff run.

• CLASS AA SOUTH

BONNY EAGLE

Coach: Scott Regan, fourth year

Last season: 8-10

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Mackenzie Emery, jr., PG; Deirdre Sanborn, sr., G/F; Mia Ferrante sr., F

Outlook: The Scots have one of the best point guards in the SMAA in Emery, who led the league in assists (4.9), and averaged 10 points, 6 rebounds and 2.6 steals. She’s joined by a deeper roster, giving the Scots a good chance to get back into the playoffs. Ferrante has a nice outside shot and Sanborn can be tough inside. The Scots will find out early where they stand, facing South Portland, Scarborough and Cheverus in their first four games. But they could surprise some people.

GORHAM

Coach: Laughn Berthiaume, 11th year

Last season: 21-0, won state championship

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Mackenzie Holmes, jr., C; Michelle Rowe, sr., F; Jacqui Hamilton, so., F; Courtney Brent, jr., G; Brittany Desjardin, jr., G

Outlook: Yes, the Rams graduated a lot from the two-time state championship team with a 42-game winning streak. But the returning players are pretty good. The 6-foot-2 Holmes is one of the top three players in the state, and she’ll expand her game even more. Rowe is one of the top clutch players around, the 6-foot Hamilton provides power inside, and Brent and Desjardin gained experience last year. The key for the Rams is how the returning players settle into their new roles of scorers and playmakers. “They’re going to have to develop an identity,” said Berthiaume. Expect the Rams to be playing late into February.

MAINE GIRLS’ ACADEMY

Coach: Bill Goodman, seventh year

Last season: 8-12, lost in regional semifinals

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Serena Mower, so., G; Jill Joyce, jr., C; Catherine Reid, jr., G; Hope Olson, so., F; Emily Weisser, sr., G/F; Katie Fitzpatrick, so., G/F; Madison Legassey, sr., G.

Outlook: The Lions won’t sneak up on anyone like last winter, but they should be much better anyway. Last year’s young starters gained valuable experience. Joyce is one of the top post players in the league, with a nice shooting touch, and she’s surrounded by a lot of good offensive players. Weisser’s return from a knee injury will help in settling the team down in tight situations, as will the addition of Fitzpatrick, a transfer from Greely. The Lions should be a team to watch later in the season.

MASSABESIC

Coach: Chris Aube, first year

Last season: 3-15

Returning starters: NA

Impact players: McKenzy Ouellette, jr., G; Skylar Renaud, jr., PG; Madison Drain, sr., F; Zoey DeAngelis, jr., G; Madelyn Broussard, jr., G; Marissa Holt, fr., PG; Emily Stinson, jr., F/C; Noelle DesVergnes, fr., G/F

Outlook: The Mustangs will be without Renaud for much of the season after she suffered a fractured foot in the fall. She’ll be missed. But Ouellette is one of the top returning scorers in the SMAA, coming off 15.6 points per game last year. Aube, who is back coaching in the SMAA after a year removed from Westbrook, will play four freshmen regularly. Drain and Stinson will provide inside balance, while Ouellette and Broussard handle the perimeter. This is a team that should get better as the season progresses.

NOBLE

Coach: Matthew Reid, first year

Last season: 1-17

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Amy Fleming, so., G; Raegan Kelly, so., PG; Lexi Morrill, jr., G; Maddie Howard, so., G; Tori Exel, fr., F

Outlook: The Knights are still a very young team, with three sophomores and a freshman in their top five, but they’re looking to take steps forward. “To achieve this, we will need to be disciplined, constantly focused on the task at hand, and learn how to play together as one unit,” said Reid, a 2004 Cape Elizabeth graduate. Fleming, Morrill and Exel are decent outside shooters, and Kelly gained experience last year at the point.

SANFORD

Coach: Rossie Lontine-Kearson, first year

Last season: 9-10, lost in regional quarterfinals

Returning starters: NA

Impact players: Julia Allen, jr., G; Megan O’Connell, jr., G; Molly Boissonneault, sr., G; Paige Cote, so., C/F

Outlook: Lontine-Kearson, who was involved with the boys’ and girls’ programs at Marshwood for 18 years, has a young squad in his first season, with just four returning varsity players. But he has much to build on. He has a good post player in Cote, who goes about 6-2, and stellar leadership from Allen, O’Connell and Boissonneault. Look for the Spartans to push the tempo both offensively and defensively as much as possible, hoping to get some transition scoring.

SCARBOROUGH

Coach: Mike Giordano, fifth year

Last season: 16-4, lost in regional semifinals

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Sophie Glidden, sr., F; Emily Jefferds sr., G; Lindsey Kelley, sr., G; Josie Couture, jr., F/C; Bella Dickinson, so., G; Julia Freeman, so., G

Outlook: The Red Storm should be one of the top teams in Class AA. In Glidden, who is bound for Division II Stonehill College on scholarship, Giordano has one of the top players around, capable of scoring inside or out and also playing exceptional defense. She’s surrounded by a lot of quality players who gained experience last year and are capable of stepping up in big moments. Defense, as always, will be the key for the Red Storm. They will harass teams into mistakes and look to capitalize.

SOUTH PORTLAND

Coach: Lynne Hasson, fifth year

Last season: 17-3, lost in regional finals

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Meghan Graff, sr., G; Eva Mazur, sr., G; Katie Whitmore, jr., F; Maggie Whitmore, so., F; Sarah Boles, sr., G/F; Jena Leckie, jr., F/C; Kaleisha Towle, so., F/C

Outlook: This is the team to beat in Class AA. The Riots return four starters from a team that was one basket away from advancing to the state final, and they have all the parts needed to win a championship. Graff, bound for Bates, and Mazur, headed to Division II Saint Anselm, form an exceptional backcourt, and the Whitmores are highly capable inside players. But South Portland’s success will ride on its defense, which traditionally can be overpowering. If the Riots stay healthy, they have the talent and depth to win it all.

THORNTON ACADEMY

Coach: Eric Marston, 12th year

Last season: 9-10, lost in regional quarterfinals

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Alex Hart, sr., PG; Amanda Bogardus, so., G; Alexis Sanders, so., F/C; Elise Hebert, jr., C; Alana Pettaway, sr., G; Adeline Paradis, sr., G; Grace Mears, fr., F; Destiny Keohan, so., F/G

Outlook: The Trojans don’t have a lot of returning experience but do have some good young talent. Hart, bound for Bryant College, is one of the best point guards in the SMAA (10.5 points, 3.2 assists, 4.3 steals last year) and will be counted on to increase her scoring, as will Bogardus. Thornton will need other players to step up and join the offense. Defensively, Thornton always will be tough. The Trojans should be in the mix for a home playoff game.

• CLASS A NORTH

CAMDEN HILLS

Coach: Kim Kuhn, second year

Last season: 11-8, lost in regional quarterfinals

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Lauren Miller, sr., G; Miae DeWaard, sr., C; Laticia Billings, sr., PG; Audrey Bowman, so., G; Mya Wylie, sr., G

Outlook: The Windjammers should be in the playoff hunt again. They’re not tall but exceedingly quick and athletic, and have some good offensive players who are capable of scoring inside or out. There are seven seniors on the roster and their leadership will be vital. Defense again will be a key as the Windjammers look to convert some easy baskets off of pressure defense.

MEDOMAK VALLEY

Coach: Ryan McNelly, second year

Last season: 7-11

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Gabby DePatsy, sr., G/F; Hallie Kunesh, sr., G/F; Sadie Cohen, so., F; Lydia Simmons, jr., F; Maddy White, jr., G; Aubrey Schaeffer, jr., G; Talia Willis, jr., G; Hattie Watmough, jr., G

Outlook: DePatsy and Kunesh will have a big hand in any success for the Panthers. But for this team to be really successful, it’s going to need contributions from others. The Panthers want to run and play aggressive defense, requiring a lot of people to rotate into the game. They have some experience, which could mean a nice playoff run.

• CLASS A SOUTH

BIDDEFORD

Coach: Katie Herbine, second year

Last season: 3-15

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Grace Martin, jr., F; Taylor Wildes, jr., F; Charli Yoho, so., PG; Megan Mourmouras, so., G

Outlook: The Tigers are an intriguing team, one to watch as the season progresses. In the 6-foot-1 Martin, they have one of the state’s rising stars. She averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds last year, but needs someone to step up and share the offensive burden. The Tigers tend to get stagnant on offense in a half-court game. They’re pretty good defensively, so if they can pick up a spark offensively, this could be a dangerous team.

BRUNSWICK

Coach: Sam Farrell, eighth year

Last season: 18-4, lost in state final

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Sabrina Armstrong, sr., F/G; Charlotte MacMillan, jr., G; Marley Groat, jr., PG

Outlook: The Dragons lost some valuable players from last year’s state runner-up but still should be one of the contending teams in Class A South. Armstrong and MacMillan return with their 19 points per game. But the big addition is Groat, whose family moved back to Brunswick from Texas. She will play the point, allowing Armstrong and MacMillan some offensive freedom. The Dragons will run and try to make opponents scramble on defense. This could be a fun team to watch.

FALMOUTH

Coach: Dawn Armandi, second year

Last season: 7-12, lost in regional quarterfinals

Returning starters: 1

Impact players: Grace Soucy, sr., G; Candice Powers, sr., PG; Shannon Birks, sr., G; Grace Dimick, sr., C; Katie Rogers, sr., F

Outlook: The numbers are low at Falmouth, with only 14 players in the program. But the Yachtsmen have five seniors who should be key factors. Dimick, at 6-2, and Rogers, at 6-0, give a strong inside presence, while Soucy will provide much of the outside game. Falmouth’s guards will be pressured by their new SMAA opponents, who like to push the tempo all the time. If they can handle the pace, Falmouth should be in good shape.

FRYEBURG ACADEMY

Coach: Coreen Eccleston, first year

Last season: 9-10, lost in regional quarterfinals

Returning starters: 1

Impact players: Kaylee Emery, so., PG; Tina LeBlanc, jr., C; Kalie Eastman, sr., G; Zoe Bodwell, sr., G

Outlook: The Raiders are going to be young and inexperienced – and Eccleston, who graduated from Fryeburg in 2008 (as Coreen Hennessy), likes it that way. “It’s a good time to come in,” she said. Emery is a solid player and looks to be the leader. LeBlanc is an exceptional defensive player and Bodwell is good offensively. Ecceleston will focus on defense and fundamentals, and look to play a fast-paced style.

GREELY

Coach: Todd Flaherty, second year

Last season: 19-2, lost in regional final

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Anna DeWolfe, jr., G; Brooke Obar, so., G; Emma Spoerri, jr., C; Madi Scott, jr., G; Camille Clement, fr., G; Julia Martel, jr., G/F

Outlook: The Rangers lost a lot from last year but return two of the very best players around in DeWolfe, a dynamic do-everything scorer, and Obar, who was a first-team all-WMC pick as a freshman. Everything the Rangers do will revolve around DeWolfe and Obar, who have the ability and temperment to make everyone else better. Martel transferred in from Westbrook and provides an immediate boost. Look for another long run into the playoffs. “We have a lot to learn but a lot to work with,” said Flaherty.

KENNEBUNK

Coach: Rob Sullivan, 22nd year

Last season: 8-12, lost in regional quarterfinals

Returning starters: 1

Impact players: Jessica Dupler, jr., G; Alaina Schatzabel, so., F; Emily Archibald, fr., F; Isabelle Okwuosa, so., C

Outlook: After making the playoffs for the first time in 10 years, the Rams have a young, inexperienced team. But Sullivan likes what he sees so far, saying “we will surprise teams as the season goes on.” Dupler will do a lot for the Rams at both ends of the court. Newcomers Archibald and Okwuosa will play key roles, as will Schatzabel inside.

LINCOLN ACADEMY

Coach: Kevin Feltis, sixth year

Last season: 15-6, lost in regional final

Returning starters: 1

Impact players: Kortney McKenna, sr., F; Kaitlyn Feltis, sr., C; Anna Hatch, sr., G/F; Katie Moore, jr., G; Khloe Poland, sr., G; Chelsea Williams, so., PG

Outlook: Even though the Eagles lost some key players and are moving up from Class B, they could make a playoff run. They get the 6-foot Feltis back from a knee injury and should be strong overall if the backcourt plays to its potential. They’ll run at times, play a half-court game at others. They should be strong defensively. “I like our chances,” said Feltis. “I feel we can compete most nights.”

MARSHWOOD

Coach: Steve Freeman, second year

Last season: 15-5, lost in regional semifinals

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Elora Montgomery, sr., G; Miranda Montgomery, sr., F; Natalie Herbold, sr., G; Angelina Bisson, so., PG; Casey Perry, so., F/C; Celine Lawrence, jr., G/F; Jordyn Beers, jr., F

Outlook: The Hawks loom as one of the teams to beat in Class A South. They still have several young players, but they all gained experience in last year’s playoff run. “I think we’re expecting big things as a staff,” said Freeman. “And the girls expect a lot of themselves.” A big plus is the return of Perry, who started the first five games last year before suffering a knee injury. She stabilizes the inside game. The Hawks will play up-tempo as much as possible.

MORSE

Coach: Jan Veinot, first year

Last season: 5-13

Returning starters: NA

Impact players: Sierra Wallace, sr., G; Emma Gould, sr., G; Mattie Mitchell, sr., G; Marissa Parks, sr., F; Marija Medenica, jr., C; Dory Kulis, so., G; Sydney Hollingsworth, jr,. C

Outlook: Veinot returns to the coaching ranks after a two-year absence. She’s taking over a team that could surprise. She’s working on improving individual skills because this is a group that knows how to play together, boosted by the addition of Medenica (an exchange student from Serbia) and Hollingsworth (a transfer from California). The Shipbuilders will press and run – exactly like Veinot’s successful teams at Waynflete and Portland did.

MT. ARARAT

Coach: Andy Morris, fourth year

Last season: 3-15

Returning starters: 1

Impact players: Kyla Greenleaf, so., G; Lauren Sturgess, sr., PG; Caitlyn Smith, sr., F; Grace Liedman, jr., F; Ainsley Bryant, jr., G; Theresa Breed, so., C

Outlook: The Eagles have only two seniors and not a lot of varsity experience. But the return of Sturgess, who missed last year because of an injury, will be a boost. She was the team’s leading scorer as a sophomore and allows Greenleaf, last year’s leading scorer, to move to the wing. “We look to compete and get better each game we play,” said Morris. A playoff spot is certainly a possibility.

WESTBROOK

Coach: Diana Manduca, first year

Last season: 4-14

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Mikayla VanZandt, jr., F; Quincey Lyden, so., PG; Logan Tibbetts, sr., G /F; Abby Symbol, jr., G; Michaela Russell, jr., PG; Libby Cole, so., F

Outlook: Manduca, the former Deering High and Colby College star, begins her head coaching career with a team that includes 11 returning players and could be a factor in the tournament. Leading the way is VanZandt, who averaged 10 points and an SMAA-high 12.2 rebounds last year. The Blazes have several players around 5-10 so they figure to be strong inside. “We shouldn’t get pushed around too much,” said Manduca. Even so, the Blazes will look to run whenever possible and score in transition.

YORK

Coach: Steve Freeman, second year

Last season: 13-7, lost in regional semifinals

Returning starters: 1

Impact players: Nina Howe, so., G; Delaney LaBonte, so., G; Taylor Parker, sr., G/F; Anna Baker, sr., G/F; Hannah Gennaro, jr., F/C; Julia Babcock, sr., G

Outlook: The Wildcats return only five players from last year and Howe is coming back from a knee injury suffered in the postseason. But she’s a talent and should be the leader. LaBonte is a good outside shooter and Babcock figures to get a lot of playing time at the point, allowing Howe some offensive freedom. This team will certainly be better later in the season and could be primed for a nice tournament run.

• CLASS B NORTH

OCEANSIDE

Coach: Samantha Bragg, fourth year

Last season: 8-12, lost in Class A North quarterfinals

Returning starters: 2

Impact Players: Gabby Simmons, sr., G; Sara Dorr, jr., C; Kassidy Robinson, jr., F/C; Hope Butler, jr., PG; Abby Veilleux, jr., F

Outlook: The Mariners have an exceptional offensive talent in Simmons, who can score inside or outside, and they have some size, which should help on the defensive end. Dorr and Robinson are both 6-1 and go to the boards hard. Oceanside will look to run as much as possible and get some easy transition points. This team has the potential to go a little deeper into the playoffs.

CLASS B SOUTH

CAPE ELIZABETH

Coach: Chris Casterella, 11th year

Last season: 1-17 in Class A South

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Erin O’Rourke, sr., G; Brooke Harvey, jr., PG; Allison Ingalls, jr., F; Isabel Berman, so., G; Karli Chapin, so., G

Outlook: The Capers make the move down from Class A to Class B, but Casterella doesn’t think that matters. “The competition in Class B is really good,” she said. The Capers gained a lot of experience last year, playing in several close games. They look to make a jump this year with everyone returning. O’Rourke is the only senior and will be counted on for leadership. They’re not tall so they’ll look to play fast.

FREEPORT

Coach: Mike Hart, fourth year

Last season: 12-8, lost in regional quarterfinals

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Alex Goodman, sr., G/F; Taylor Rinaldi, sr., G; Caroline Smith, so., PG; Jessie Driscoll, sr., F

Outlook: The Falcons loom as one of the top teams in this region. They were going to be really good even before Goodman, who has more than 1,400 career points, transferred from Class D Pine Tree Academy. She brings an offensive presence along with Rinaldi (11.7 ppg last season) and Driscoll (8.8 ppg). Hart said he senses a new attitude among his players and that this is a very deep team. “The kids are amped up,” he said.

GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER

Coach: Mike Andreasen, seventh year

Last season: 21-1, won state championship

Returning starters: 1

Impact players: Bri Jordan, jr., G/F; Jordan Grant, so., F; Alexa Thayer, jr., G; Mikaela Ryan, jr., G; Eliza Hotham, so. F; Madysen West, so., G

Outlook: The defending state champs lost an awful lot but should still be among the top contenders in the region. Jordan is an exceptional talent, a 5-11 point guard who now needs to pick up her scoring. The Patriots need to not only replace points but rebounds. They have some young players ready to step in and Andreasen said the Patriots will rely heavily on the sophomores. “We just have to look at things differently,” he said.

LAKE REGION

Coach: Paul True, 14th year

Last season: 13-7, lost in regional semifinals

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Brooke Harriman, jr., F; Chandler True, sr., G; Lauren Jakobs, sr., F; Melissa Bonenfant, sr., F; Rachel Shanks, sr., G; Aisley Sturk, sr., G/F; Shauna Hancock, fr., G

Outlook: The Lakers came close last year and have five seniors returning. This is a group that truly plays together, with different players capable of stepping up in each game. The Lakers’ strength is probably on the outside, where they have some dangerous shooters. They’re athletic, so look for them to run and play a helter-skelter pressure defense, looking to force turnovers and create easy baskets.

POLAND

Coach: Tim Dolley, first year

Last season: 12-8, lost in regional semifinals

Returning starters: 5

Impact players: Nathalie Theriault, sr., G; Morgan Brousseau, sr., F; Jessica Seeley, sr., F; Lexy Grondin, sr., G; Sarah Moody, sr., G; Sophie Vallee, so., F; Ally Gagne, so., G

Outlook: With seven seniors, the Knights loom as one of the top teams in Class B South. They have experience and outstanding talent, led by Theriault, who averaged 10.6 points and 4.4 assists last season. These seniors have been playing together for a long time and, Dolley said, “leadership and accountability is the strength of this group.” The Knights aren’t tall but are fast and athletic. Look for them to run as much as possible.

SACOPEE VALLEY

Coach: Laura Landry, first year

Last season: 5-13

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Haiden Sawyer, sr., F; Brynn Hink, sr., G/F

Outlook: This is a fairly young group, but Landry sees a team that “is hard-working and is looking to improve every day.” Look for steady improvement as the season progresses. The Hawks face a challenging schedule.

WELLS

Coach: Don Abbott, 12th year

Last season: 13-6, lost in regional quarterfinals

Returning starters: 1

Impact players: Meg Schneider, sr., C; Leah Tufts, sr., F; Anya Chase, sr., G; Mackenzie Foss, jr., G; Franny Ramsdell, so., G; Olivia Durfee, sr., F

Outlook: The Warriors lost a lot from last year but still have a talented squad, with a mix of veteran leadership and new players. Schneider, at 6-1, could be one of the league’s top inside players. Wells will look to play its traditional tough defense and get some transition offense. This is a team that could be dangerous entering the tournament.

YARMOUTH

Coach: Christina Strong, fifth year

Last season: 12-7, lost in regional quarterfinals

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Sara D’Appolonia, sr., PG; Clementine Blaschke, jr., F; Ceanne Lyons, jr., F; Avery May, so., F; Ella Caruso, so., G; Adriana Whitlock, so., G

Outlook: The Clippers graduated their top two offensive players, so finding scorers is their biggest task. D’Appolonia is one of the top point guards in the conference and will go a long way in leading this team. They’re young, with four freshmen, but have some nice size inside with Blaschke, May and Lyons. They’re also speedy at the guards, so this team will try to play at a face pace whenever possible.

• CLASS C SOUTH

BOOTHBAY

Coach: Brian Blethen, first year

Last season: 18-2, lost in regional semifinals

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Page Brown, sr., F; Sydney Meader, sr., G; Faith Blethen, jr., F; Chloe Arsenault, so., G; Glory Blethen, fr., F

Outlook: The Seahawks should be one of the best teams in Class C. They have gained experience the last two years, winning a regional championship two years ago. In Brown and Faith Blethen, they have two of the most skilled players around. And they have great size: Brown is 6-0 and the Blethens are 6-1. But don’t expect them to play a half-court game; the Seahawks are going to run as much as possible. “I want them to play and have some fun,” said Brian Blethen. Watch for another long playoff run.

HYDE

Coach: Elizabeth Henderson, first year

Last season: 3-15

Returning starters: 1

Impact players: Maeve Dunn, jr., PG/F; Jada Holford, so., F/C; Madison Hughes, so., G

Outlook: Henderson, who last year coached at a charter school in Denver, likes what she sees in the Phoenix. They may be young and inexperienced – several players have never played basketball before – but they show a knack for fundamentals and are learning quickly. The additions of Dunn, a 5-10 point guard from Pennsylvania, and Holford, from Rhode Island, will boost the talent level.

NORTH YARMOUTH ACADEMY

Coach: Nick Stacey, first year

Last season: 7-12, lost in regional preliminary round

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Sydney Plummer, jr., C/F; Lincoln Hamblett, sr., C/F; Helen Hamblett, jr., F/C; Maggie Larson, jr., G; Katie Larson, so., G

Outlook: The Panthers have an interesting mix and should be in for another playoff run. In Larson, they have one of the top 3-point shooters around. She led the WMC with 39 3-pointers last season while averaging 14.4 points. NYA has some height so the Panthers can play an inside-out game. With four 6-footers on the roster, NYA is going to cause some matchup problems.

OLD ORCHARD BEACH

Coach: Dean Plante, 15th year (not consecutive)

Last season: 13-9, lost in regional final

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Brianna Plante, sr., G; Kaitlyn Cote, sr., G; Emily Greenlee, jr. F; Maggie Strohm, so., C; Meghan LaPlante, sr., F

Outlook: The Seagulls have a lot of players back from a team that made a nice playoff run, so expectations are high. Of course the schedule isn’t easy, with eight Class B schools. But the Seagulls have a good backcourt in Plante and Cote, an inside presence in the 6-2 Strohm, and a do-it-all player in Greenlee. This team has balance, with any of six players capable of being the leading scorer on a given night.

TRAIP ACADEMY

Coach: Scott Blake, fifth year

Last season: 6-13, lost in regional preliminary round

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Cassidy Delano, sr., F; Reilly Eddy, sr., F; Kiley Chambers, sr., G; Addy Hale, fr., G; Tezeta Haizea Aldaz Zufiaurre, so., G; Kiki Huntress, fr. G; Jennifer McCluskey, fr., G

Outlook: The Rangers could be a vastly improved team, combining some experience from last year – Delano and Eddy in particular – with incoming freshmen Huntress and McCluskey. Look for Traip to run a little more, with a quicker, more athletic team. Much of the success will depend on how quickly the incoming players adjust to varsity pressure.

WAYNFLETE

Coach: Mike Jefferds, third year

Last season: 11-9, lost in regional quarterfinals

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Izzy Burdick, sr., G; Lydia Giguere, sr., F/C; LZ Olney, sr., F; Emi Boedecker, jr., F; Anna Wildes, so., G/F

Outlook: The Flyers have some nice players returning in Giguere (12.9 per game last season) and Burdick (2.9 assists). They’ll be counted on for leadership. Waynflete is always tough defensively. If the offense comes around, with more players contributing, the Flyers could make another playoff run.

WISCASSET

Coach: Ben Clark, third year

Last season: 1-17

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Grace Webber, sr., G; Maeve Blodgett, sr., G; Lindsey Gordon, sr., F; Sydnie Thayer, jr., F

Outlook: It’s been a struggle for the Wolverines the last couple of seasons, with just four wins total. But Clark sees much improvement in his players. Wiscasset has four three-year starters, led by the backcourt of Webber and Blodgett. A big key will be how they handle the constant defensive pressure that opposing teams use against them. The Wolverines are still developing depth so they’ll likely play a slower pace. Defensively they’re very aggressive, especially in a half-court game.

• CLASS D SOUTH

PINE TREE ACADEMY

Coach: Josh Dayen, fifth year

Last season: 13-6, lost in regional quarterfinals

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Adrianna DePalma, sr., G; Agnes Miongo, sr., F; Renee Pickard, jr., G.

Outlook: The Breakers lost one of the most prolific scorers in Class D when Alex Goodman transferred to Freeport, but should remain a competitive team. The key to their success will be how well other players step into new roles as scorers and playmakers. “We are pretty positive heading into this season,” said Dayen. The schedule is a little tougher, but Dayen believes the Breakers can play with most opponents.

SEACOAST CHRISTIAN

Coach: Charlie Johnson, 15th year

Last season: 3-15

Returning starters: 5

Impact players: Courtney Williams, sr., C; Katie Pilkington, jr., G

Outlook: With everyone returning, the Guardians should be an improved team. They’re still relatively young, with just one senior, but have shown a much better flow offensively in the preseason. Williams, at 5-11, gives them an inside presence, and averages in double figures in both scoring and rebounding. Pilkington is a pretty good outside shooter.