United Township's Ryleigh O'Brien looks to pass during a game last season. O'Brien returns for the Panthers after averaging nearly a double-double last winter.


Coach: Megan McCracken, 2nd season

Last year: 11-17, 1-9 Big Six

Impact players: Gabbi Loiz, 5-9, jr.; Mackenzie Larsen, 5-4, sr.

Fresh faces: Annalize Connolly, 5-4, sr.; Lydia Dorsey, 5-7, jr.; Natika Woods, 5-6 jr.

Outlook: The Pioneers, short on experience, must mesh quickly in effort to be competitive in Big Six. Goal is to be playing best ball at end of the season, McCracken said. Annalise Connolly led Alleman with 16 points in season opener.


Coach: Evan Massey, 40th season

Last season: 26-8, 6-4

Impact players: Andrea Sampson, jr. (4.1 ppg.); Emily Meinert, sr. (4.7 ppg.)

Fresh faces: Kelsi Legge, jr.; Chloe McCarthy, jr.

Outlook: Streaks bring back only one starter from last season. Massey believes depth could eventually be a strength.


Coach: Tracy Sant Amour, 2nd season

Last year: 17-11, 6-4

Impact players: Alannah Crompton, 5-10, sr., (12.8 ppg., and 9.3 rebounds); Leticia Billups, 5-11, sr. (5.8 ppg., 7.2 rpg.); Hannah Thiel, 5-9 sr. (6.7 ppg); Megan Pittington, 5-10, jr. (3.5 rpg).

Fresh faces: Madison Thatcher, 5-7,  jr.; Jassaniah Leeson, 5-5, jr.; Bralee Trice, 5-9, fr.

Outlook: Sant Amour wants practices to be harder than games with the end result ideally being a better team than last year. Maroons have nice mix of experience and newcomers. The key is developing chemistry.


Coach: Martin Panazin, 1st season

Last season: 12-15, 1-9

Impact players: Bre Bordewick, who started her first two years, returns after missing all of her junior season with a broken leg. Only other starter returning is Stephanie Anders.

Fresh faces: Olivia Edwards, 5-8, so.; Abbie Neally, 5-6, so.; Kaitlin Roberts, 5-4, so.; Brin Hultz, 6-0, so.

Outlook: Broderwick is the key, but four letterwinners also return. Team has been on upswing, so it could continue with a team that finishes over .500 under new coach. 

Rock Island

Coach: Thad Hoover, 23rd season

Last season: 31-2, 10-0

Impact players: Brea Beal, 6-0, jr. (20.6 ppg., 9.8 rpg., 3.2 spg.); Chrislyn Carr, 5-4, sr. (15.1 ppg., 4.3 rpg.); Lauren Hall, 5-9, sr. 

Fresh faces: Anne Awour, 6-5, so.; Dellaney Anderson, 5-10, sr.

Outlook: The Rocks are the overwhelming favorite to go through the Big Six slate unscathed. Rock Island will look to get over the sectional final threshold. Rock Island has chance of being ranked in the top 25 nationally.

United Township

Coach: Carie Walker, 7th season

Last season: 19-9, 6-4

Impact players: Ryleigh O’Brien, 6-0, sr. (12.6 ppg., 7.9 rpg.); Brandi LaFountaine, 5-11., jr. (6 ppg., 6 rpg); Calie Walker, sr. (3 ppg., 2 asst.)

Fresh faces: Jasmine Bell, so.; Davi Morgan, so.; Isabella Sims, fr.

Outlook: Coach Walker expects a more balanced offense and defense this year from a youthful team that returns only two starters. The potential is solid, she said, with O'Brien among the league's top post players.

— Compiled by Jim Meenan