Teams to watch
Bellevue Marquette: The Mohawks have reached the state tournament in two of the last three seasons. They opened up the year ranked fifth in Class 1A and return two of their top three scorers from last season. That includes Miranda Peters, who averaged 13.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.5 steals per game.
Central DeWitt: The Sabers return their two top scorers and their leading rebounder from a 16-5 team. However, Central DeWitt has a very tough schedule. It has games against defending Class 3A state champion Center Point-Urbana and Class 4A runner-up Marion early this year, which could prime it for the postseason.
Maquoketa: The Cardinals return two of their top three scorers from last year's 14-8 team. Nell Sybesma doubled her point production last year, averaging 13.0 points per game and continued to be a force on the boards, averaging 9.9 rebounds per contest. Autumn Dykstra added 12.5 points last year for Maquoketa.
Louisa-Muscatine: Despite going 9-12 last year, the Falcons could be poised for a breakout season, returning their top four scorers. That includes sisters Kylee and Hailey Sanders, who combined to average 27.6 points per game.
West Liberty: The Comets graduated just one senior from last year's team, which came on down the stretch with a five-game winning streak. Former Davenport North head coach Matt Hoeppner takes the reins, with Macy Daufeldt (8.0 ppg.) and Sailor Hall (7.9 ppg., 5.3 rpg.) both entering their sophomore years.
Players to watch
Lindsey Banowetz, sr., Bellevue: Averaged 14.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game for the Comets last season. Will have an even bigger role with the graduation of four seniors from last year's 17-4 team.
Lily Isenhour, so., Prince of Peace: Burst onto the scene with 13.2 points and 11.1 rebounds per game, while teammate Anabel Blount also added 12.4 points and 8 rebounds as a sophomore.
Tori Michel, sr. Bellevue Marquette: A second team Class 1A all-stater and all-tournament selection last year, Michel averaged 10.6 points and 10.2 rebounds per game for the Mohawks.
Kylee Sanders, jr., Louisa-Muscatine: A second team all-state selection last year averaged 19.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 5.4 steals per game for the Falcons.
Taylor Veach, so., Central DeWitt: Third team Class 4A all-state selection averaged 13.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game for the Sabers.