Liberty Christian reached the 2B state championship for the first time in school history last season, losing to Pe Ell in the final.
But as Patriots coach Terry Watson said after the loss, it won't be their last time.
The Pats lost a few heavyweights from that team, including forward Cody Brockman, but bring back one of the driving forces in guard Jake Siefken (13.6).
LC also returns 6-5 forward Bryan Corrigan, who saw his share of minutes in the championship game.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Tri-City Herald
The experience of a title game should give the Patriots a bit of an edge in close games.
Tri-Cities Prep is two years removed from their 1B championship, and the Jags are hoping to recapture some of that magic under coach Joe Perez.
Prep returns three starters and a good core of senior leadership in Troy Redmann and Jarrod Ver Steeg.
But winning won't be easy in a competitive division that includes Waitsburg-Prescott, which reached the 2B state tournament last season.
Walla Walla Valley Academy finished 13-9, just falling short of a state berth.
Dayton returns Garett Turner (14.7), the leading returning scorer in the Southeast 2B/1B.
DeSales finished last in the league but could get a jump start from new coach Allyn Griffin.
At Hermiston, three senior guards -- Austin Boedigheimer, Joey Burns and Kurt Simmons -- lead the Bulldogs hopes of returning to the Oregon 5A state tournament. At 6-7, guard/forward Trevor Phillips will present some matchup issues for opposing defenses.
Predicted order of finish for Southeast B League
1) Liberty Christian
5) Tri-Cities Prep
Liberty Christian Patriots
Coach: Terry Watson (10th year).
Last state trip: 2010.
Returning players: F Bryan Corrigan, sr., 6-5; G Tyler Koglin, jr., 5-8; G Mike Olson, soph., 5-9; G Jake Siefken, jr., 5-9.
Stepping up: F Evan Crawford, jr., 6-0; G Conner Davis, jr., 5-9; F Victor Krause, sr., 6-0; G Tyler Morris, soph., 5-9; F Colton Pomeroy, jr., 5-11; F Travis Sitton, sr., 6-3.
Tri-Cities Prep Jaguars
Coach: Joe Perez (12th year).
Last state trip: 2009.
Returning players: P Jameson Pederson, jr., 6-4; G Troy Redmann, sr., 6-0; G Bailey Rivas, soph., 6-0; F Jarrod Ver Steeg, sr., 6-2.
Stepping up: F Kevin Daly, soph., 6-2; G Dominick Ghirardo, sr., 6-0; G Mateo Ledesma, soph., 6-0; G Cole Scott, jr., 5-10; F Briar Westerfield, fr., 6-2; G Evan Whitsett, soph., 5-8.
Coach: Larry Usher (9th year).
Last state trip: 2010.
Returning players: G Austin Boedigheimer, sr., 5-11; G Joey Burns, sr., 6-2; G/F Alex Ortiz, soph., 6-2; G Ryan Parsons, sr., 5-11; G/F Trevor Phillips, sr., 6-7; F Ryan Ross, sr., 6-5; G Kurt Simmons, sr., 6-0.
Stepping up: G Brandon Eckhardt, sr., 5-9; G Mark Hodges, sr., 5-10; F Riley Humphrey, sr., 6-6; G Jordan Turner, jr., 6-0.