CONNELL -- It appears to be anyone's title to win in the SCAC East.
Connell returns eight players from a 13-7 team last season, while River View returns top scorers Kim Gier and Hattie Johnson.
League winner Columbia-Burbank should also be strong, despite returning just three players.
The Eagles have taken sixth at state each of the past two seasons and have seniors Chelsea Riner, Laryn Wells, Brooke Gibbons, Maci Whitby, Kayla Bjorge and Nikoal Withers all back.
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River View, which hasn't been to state since the 2002-03 season, has all-SCAC East first-teamer back in Gier and second-teamer Johnson. Gier averaged 14.3 points per game last season, while Johnson added 11.8.
Burbank lost MVP Tiffany Idler, but returns seniors Ashley Zuhlke, Katie Breazeale and Sarah Rude.
Kiona-Benton should also be near the top of the league as the Bears return five players from their third-place team.
Seniors Taylor Vanhollebeke and Martha Nunez lead the Bears, while juniors Cierra Torp and Cheyenne Henrich also have varsity experience.
Royal, which struggled to a fifth-place finish last season, returns five players, including juniors Moriah Christensen, Stefhany Guadarrama, Maria Garcia and Lindsey Christensen.
Predicted order of finish
2) River View
Coach: John Muchlinski (Fourth season).
Last state trip: 2007-08.
Returning players: G Ashley Zuhlke, sr., 5-3; G/P Katie Breazeale, sr., 5-7; P Sarah Rude, sr., 5-10.
Stepping up: G Haley Martineau, so., 5-8; G Cheyenne Bell, jr., 5-4; G Kyla Dixon, jr., 5-7; G Brittany Cotsford, so., 5-6; G Rachel Roberts, fr., 5-6; P Harley McBride, so., 5-10; G/P Julie Mosqueda, fr., 5-7; P Tessa Wilder, jr., 5-7.
Coach: Dan Colby (Sixth season).
Last state trip: 2009-10.
Returning players: G Chelsea Riner, sr., 5-4; P Laryn Wells, sr., 5-9; P Brooke Gibbons, sr., 5-10; P Maci Whitby, sr., 5-7; G Kayla Bjorge, sr., 5-3; G Kody Easterday, so., 5-6; G Megan Booker, jr., 5-9; P Nikoal Withers, sr., 5-10.
Stepping up: P Kathryn Stredwick, jr., 5-10; G MarciAnne Hawkins, so., 5-4; P Michelle Schultz, so., 5-8.
Coach: Joe Wirtzberger (Fifth season).
Last state trip: 2001-02.
Returning players: W Cheyenne Henrich, jr., 5-6; G Cierra Torp, jr., 5-7; G Bailey Schroeder, so., 5-9; G Taylor Vanhollebeke, sr., 5-5; P Martha Nunez, sr., 5-9.
Stepping up: P Kendall Watts, jr., 5-9; G Yesenia Torres, jr., 5-7; G Brittany Vickerman, fr., 5-3; P Taylor Brown, jr., 6-0.
River View Panthers
Coach: Bruce Moore (Fourth season).
Last state trip: 2002-03.
Returning players: F Mallory Smith, sr., 5-8; G Kim Gier, jr., 5-5; F Demi McGill, sr., 5-10; G Hattie Johnson, sr., 5-5; F Abi Hamlin, jr., 5-3; G Haley Hess, jr., 5-5.
Stepping up: G Karissa Sallee, so., 5-4; F Stephanie Vanourek, sr., 5-7; F Josie Robertson, so., 5-9; F Sam Burnett, jr., 5-11; G Amy Crowder, sr., 5-5.
Coach: Phil Daubel (First season).
Last state trip: 2000-01.
Returning players: G Samantha Cera, so., 5-6; P Moriah Christensen, jr., 5-8; G Stefhany Guadarrama, jr., 5-3; G Maria Garcia, jr., 5-4; G Lindsey Christensen, jr., 5-7.
Stepping up: G Sandy Bonilla, sr., 5-4; G Cynthia Cid, fr., 5-0; P Kayla Smith, fr., 5-10; P Brittany Jo Hebdon, fr., 5-10; P Bianca Madrigal, jr., 5-6; P Terin Gonzales, sr., 5-11.