The confounding case of Juan Contreras is the talk of the town in Finley.
Contreras, an all-SCAC East senior guard last season, appealed to the WIAA for a sixth high school season of eligibility based on his mother holding him back an extra year when he was in eighth grade.
It's a complicated situation, but the WIAA ruled Contreras ineligible for the 2010-11 season.
But despite that fact, the Panthers should still be in good shape under their venerable coach Roger Sonderland.
River View will still have the services of Juan's brother, Victor, who remains the SCAC's premier defensive stopper. Victor also developed into a fine scorer last season, averaging 12.3 points a game.
Senior guard Justin Grow also returns for the Panthers.
But when it comes to the SCAC East title, Columbia-Burbank will always have something to say. The Coyotes finished third in league and lost their first game at districts before fighting back to earn a spot in the 1A state tournament.
The good news is Burbank has plenty of experience coming back from that team, including guards Nathan Roberts and Tanner Woody.
The Coyotes don't have much size, but forward Dyllon Smith can get the job done in the post.
Connell hasn't quite met its own high expectations in the last two seasons. The Eagles finished fourth in the East last season and went 1-2 at districts.
But this year's team might have enough to send Connell back to state. Returning starters Matt Hadley, Kraymer Eppich and Rex Lyle will all be at the heart of the Eagles' postseason push.
Another change worth noting is the addition of a new coach, Oscar Garza, who might provide the magic ingredient to motivate his crew.
Out at Kiona-Benton, Jack Rose returns for his fourth season as coach, and just two years removed from an 0-20 season he's got his team on the verge of a breakthrough.
What tool did he use after such a frustrating season but encouragement, a method that worked to perfection. Rose recruited some top-notch talent last year, including one of the league's most promising guards in Cristian Aguilar, a sophomore who finished fifth in the league in scoring at 11.6 points a game.
The Bears, who finished 6-14 last year, will be aided by a senior core led by senior forwards Jesus Ayala and Matt Mason, and guard Tony Guizar.
Mabton joins the SCAC East and brings with it a strong history at the state tournament. The Vikings have made 22 state appearances dating back to 1926 and has brought home four state trophies.
Last season, Mabton went 15-9 but finished 0-2 at the 2B state tournament at the Yakima SunDome.
Predicted order of finish
1) River View
Coach: D.J. Traver (6th year).
Last state trip: 2010.
Returning players: G/F Dyllan Bertsch, sr., 6-0; F Angel Garcia, sr., 5-10; G Kamerin Long, sr., 5-7; F Dyllon Smith, sr., 6-2; G Tanner Woody, sr., 6-0; G Nathan Roberts, jr., 5-9.
Stepping up: G Jeremy Bertsch, jr., 5-7; G Matt Chambers, jr., 5-9; G Casey Hanshew, jr., 5-7; G Heath Lawrence, jr., 5-8; F German Martinez, sr., 6-1; G Josh McVicker, jr., 5-7.
Coach: Oscar Garza (first year).
Last state trip: 2008.
Returning players: F Bryant Anderson, sr., 6-3; F Kraymer Eppich, sr., 6-4; G Matt Hadley, jr., 6-0; C Alan Hawkins, sr., 6-3; C Rex Lyle, sr., 6-1; G Chandler Salisbury, jr., 5-9.
Stepping up: G Dallin Benson, sr., 6-0; G Stefan Davidson, soph., 5-10; G/F Kade Eppich, jr., 5-11; G Stockton Taylor, sr., 6-0; C Cole Vanderbilt, jr., 6-3; C Kennen VanHollebeke, jr., 6-4.
Coach: Jack Rose (fourth year).
Last state trip: 2003.
Returning players: G Cristian Aguilar, soph., 6-0; F Jesus Ayala, sr., 5-11; F Matt Mason, sr., 6-0; F Mick Phelps, soph., 6-5; G Aidair Salmeron, sr., 5-9; G Jose Solorzano, soph., 5-9; G Hayden Wing, sr., 5-10.
Stepping up: G Anfernee Cortez, fr., 5-10; G Tony Guizar, sr., 5-8; F Dalton Morgan, jr., 6-2.
River View Panthers
Coach: Roger Sonderland (26th year).
Last state trip: 2008.
Returning players: F Jacob Bettencourt, sr., 6-3; G Victor Contreras, sr., 5-11; G Justin Grow, sr., 5-11.
Stepping up: F Payton Brisby, soph., 6-4; G David Flores, jr., 5-11; G Tucker Hamlin, sr., 5-9; F Justin Joiner, sr., 6-0; G Derek Milville, sr., 5-9; G Keith Rogers, sr., 5-8; G Joe Scott, jr., 5-9; F Chris Westfall, jr., 6-3.