Beth Haven, Fairdale, Holy Cross, PRP, Valley
Coach: Phil Ellis (first year).
Last season: 8-14, lost to Valley 73-43 in the district tournament quarterfinal.
Player to watch: Junior guard Sarena Vaughn, who averaged 8.4 ppg last year, is an outside threat who made more than one 3-pointer per game.
Other players: F Leslie Pierre (Fr., 5.1 ppg, 0.9 rpg); G Kenzie Davis (So., 3.9 ppg, 0.5 rpg); F Rebecca Sharp (Sr., 1.6 ppg, 1.9 rpg); C Delanie White (Fr., 1.1 ppg, 0.5 rpg).
Outlook: With Sharp being the only senior, the Bearcats are young but fairly experienced. This could be a bridge season for next year.
Coach: Marco Price (fourth year).
Last season: 16-13, lost to Bullitt East 83-58 in a region tournament quarterfinal.
Player to watch: Valerie Johnson (10.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.2 spg), a 5-8 senior point guard, was an All-Region second team honoree last season. Price said she has worked on her ability to finish outside and inside (getting to the rim).
Other players: F Jada Jefferson (Fr., 6.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.5 spg); G Shanice Thomas (Fr.); G Maria Nylund (Jr.); F Sheree Lattimore (Fr.).
Outlook: Took a hit when leading scorer Jaida Wiggins transferred to Butler, but Johnson’s offensive improvement, Jefferson’s return and the additions of Thomas and Nylund could send the Bulldogs back to the region tournament.
Coach: Olivia Moore (first year).
Last season: 13-15, lost to Fairdale 58-56 in a district tournament semifinal.
Player to watch: Junior guard Kailey Reed (3.8 ppg) is the leading returning scorer after graduation decimated the Cougars.
Other players: F Halle Snyder (Jr. 3.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg); F Lauren Schraut (Jr., 2.9 ppg, 1.8 rpg); G Madison Turner (Jr., 2.9 ppg, 1.5 rpg); G Ally Klein (Sr., 2.7 ppg, 2.0 rpg).
Outlook: Moore, who was an assistant for two seasons, inherits a young squad she can build upon for the future. But she still expects big things this season.
PLEASURE RIDGE PARK
Coach: David Meadows (sixth year).
Last season: 22-9, lost to Mercy 76-55 in a region tournament semifinal.
Player to watch: Senior guard Perri Mitchell (5-7, 12.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg) becomes more of a go-to threat with the graduations of All-State honoree Carnethia Brown (last season’s leading scorer in the region) and All-Region performer Remi Jones.
Other players: F Brianna Burke (Jr., 0.7 ppg, 0.4 rpg); F Reaunna Halsell (5-6, So., 1.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg); F Riplee Marcum (Jr., 1.4 ppg, 1.6 rpg); G Niesha Petit-Frere (5-2, Sr., 3.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg); F Savannah Burke (Jr., 0.3 ppg, 0.4 rpg); G Makenna Combs (Jr., 0.4 ppg, 0.6 rpg); G Amani Saunders (5-4, Sr., 9.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg).
Outlook: Team returns six of its top nine players from last season, but Brown and Remi Jones were one experienced backcourt. Meadows, who should earn his 100th career win with PRP and 275th career victory overall this season, expects Mitchell and Saunders to anchor the offense and the trio of Combs, Halsell and Petit-Frere to anchor the defense.
Coach: Christopher Webb (third year).
Last season: 10-13, lost to Pleasure Ridge Park 69-31 in a district tournament semifinal.
Player to watch: Point guard Lazhia Mitchell (5-7, Sr., 18 ppg) was an All-Region second-team honoree last season and is on pace to break 1,000 points for her career. With Mitchell’s 3.5 GPA, Webb said she has the potential to play at a small college.
Other players: F Lavontanay Battle (Sr.); G Brooklyn Black (So.); F Arion Holmes (5-10, Jr., 9 ppg, 8 rpg); F Faith James (Jr.); F Mahogany Maddox (So.); G Jade Warr (Jr.); C Cassidy Whited (Jr.).
Outlook: Mitchell is a jet-quick fourth-year starter and the Vikings will take their lead from her. Team will look for some help in the post after Whited tore an ACL and is scheduled to have surgery in December.