A year after Connell dominated nearly everyone in the SCAC East, the Eagles figure to have a much bigger challenge.
River View returns league MVP Kim Gier, who has started out with a very strong scoring run.
Columbia-Burbank returns most of its starters including super sophomore Rachel Roberts, who is off to a great start. The Coyotes also have Brittany Cotsford, Harley McBride and Julie Mosqueda to lean on.
The biggest improvement, though, will be Kiona-Benton, which used a summer league against Mid-Columbia schools -- including Kamiakin and Hanford -- to gain some valuable experience.
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Taylor Brown is fully recovered from an ACL tear, and Cierra Torp, Yesenia Torres, Bailey Schroeder and Cheyenne Henrich are all capable of leading Kiona-Benton in scoring each night.
Mabton, led by senior Jazzee Sustaita, also is expected to compete for the league crown.
Connell may have some competition for the top spot, but the Eagles still look strong under first-year head coach Kameron Jenks.
Megan Booker is back, as well as Kathryn Stredwick and MarciAnne Hawkins.
Royal and Wahluke have both struggled in the early going and will have a tough time being competitive against the top teams in the league.
Coach: John Muchlinski (Fifth season)
Last state trip: 2007-08 (Second place)
Returning players: G Haley Martineau, jr., 5-8; G Kyla Dixon, sr., 5-7; G Rachel Roberts, soph., 5-6; G Brittany Cotsford, jr., 5-6; P Harley McBride, jr., 5-10; G Julie Mosqueda, soph., 5-8.
Stepping up: P Nataly Aguilar, soph., 5-8; G Jocelyn Lott, soph., 5-6; G Vivi Magallon, soph., 5-4; G Jaky Calzadillas, soph., 5-4; G Amber Holst, soph., 5-4.
Coach: Kameron Jenks (First season)
Last state trip: 2010-11 (Sixth place)
Returning players: Kathryn Stredwick, sr.; MarciAnne Hawkins, jr.; Kody Easterday, jr.; Megan Booker, sr.; Michelle Schultz, jr.
Stepping up: Ashley Thompson, jr.; Kylie Booker, soph.; Sommer Boyd, jr.; Madison Riner, jr.; Kennidi Whitby, jr.; Elaine Pierson, sr.; Shelby English, soph.
Coach: Joe Wirtzberger (Sixth season)
Last state trip: 2001-02 (Eighth place)
Returning players: P Taylor Brown, sr., 6-0; G Cierra Torp, sr., 5-8; P Kendall Watts, sr., 5-10; G Yesenia Torres, sr., 5-8; W Cheyenne Henrich, sr., 5-7; G Bailey Schroeder, jr., 5-11; G Brittany Vickerman, soph., 5-4.
Stepping up: W Taylor Houghton, jr., 5-6; W Alex Shuster, jr., 5-6.
Coach: Phil Daubel (Second season)
Last state trip: 2001 (Did not place)
Returning players: G Lindsey Christensen, sr., 5-7; G Marisa Squeochs, sr., 5-5; G Moriah Christensen, sr., 5-6; P Brittany Jo Hebdon, soph., 5-10; G Stefhany Guadarrama, sr., 5-3; P Kayla Smith, soph., 5-10.
Stepping up: G Selia Jenks, soph., 5-5; P Nicole Swendiman, soph., 5-9; G Flor Araujo, fr., 5-5.
Coach: Jeffery Ahmann
Last state trip: Never
Returning players: P Marleny Garcia, sr., 5-7; P Stacey Verduzco, sr., 5-8; G Yuri Moreno, sr., 5-2; P Jessica Martinez, sr., 5-7; G Patty Hernandez, sr., 5-0.
Stepping up: G Maripaz Olivares, fr., 5-0; P Tanya Mendez, jr., 5-6; G Liliana Ramirez, soph., 5-0; G Karen Salazar, sr., 5-2; G Cynthia Hernandez, soph., 5-3; G Maribel Torres, jr., 5-1; G Cecilia Rangel, sr., 5-3.
River View Panthers
Coach: Bruce Moore (5th year).
Last state trip: 2003.
Returning players: G Kim Gier sr., 5-6; F Abi Hamlin, sr., 5-3; G Haley Hess, sr., 5-5; G Karissa Sallee, jr., 5-4; G/F Josie Robertson, jr., 5-8; F Sam Burnett, sr., 5-11.
Stepping up: G Katie Wilhelm, soph., 5-6; P Amber McCoy, sr., 5-10; G Rachel Hull, sr., 5-6; G/P McKenzie Smith, fr., 5-9; G Ashley Dickinson, soph., 5-4; G/P Kelsi Williamson, jr., 5-6; P Sam Burnett, sr., 5-11.
Roster not available