Conestoga Valley Buckskins
Coach: Amy MacDonald (sixth season, 32-76)
2014-15 record: 5-11 L-L, 7-15 overall
Returning starters: Mikayla Cheney (5-3, SR, G), Tricia Erb (JR, G), Rachel Robinson (JR, F)
Others to watch: Makayla Horning (5-6, JR, G/F), Emily Clapper (5-1, SO, G), Dierra Pack (SO, C), April Achey (SO, F)
The skinny: The Buckskins are both blessed and cursed with youth, returning just one senior in Cheney (4.3 ppg). Juniors Erb (7.4, 18 3’s) and Robinson (9.4) are a formidable combo, however, and along with Horning (3.2) have more than a year’s worth of experience.
If MacDonald can garner enough depth out of seven sophomores and five freshmen, CV should have what it takes to compete — either this year or the next.
Coach: John Myers (third season, 12-32)
2014-15 record: 7-9 L-L, 8-14 overall
Returning starters: Rachel Sweger (SR, G), Bri Polites (JR, F), Amber Orban (SO, G)
Others to watch: Sol Ortiz-Kreiner (SR, G), Steph Arnold (SR, F), Elise Forry (JR, F)
The skinny: Like the Buckskins, Elizabethtown will have a true high-low combination in Sweger (9.0 ppg, 25 3’s) and Polites (5.4). Also like the Buckskins, the Bears’ season could go in either direction.
If a capable supporting cast finds its stride early, the Bears should improve for the third straight season under Myers and possibly emerge from the pack to compete for a playoff berth.
Coach: Mike Garman (15th season overall; ninth consecutive, 90-94)
2014-15 record: 12-4 L-L, 17-8 overall
Returning starters: Kay Liebl (5-3, SR, G), Kenzie Horst (5-9, SR, F), Caroline Stauffer (5-5, JR, G)
Others to watch: Britt Ritter (5-1, SR, G), Kasey Umana (JR, G)
The skinny: With 1,000-point scorer Kelly Liebl now running track at St. Joe’s, expect fellow track athlete and sister Kay to take over the bulk of the ball-handling duties.
Athletes Ritter and Umana are no strangers to cleats, either, and combined with scoring-threats Horst (7.7 ppg) and Stauffer (12.3 ppg, 42 3’s), the transition game of the Lady Mounts should have little trouble staying, well, on-track.
Garden Spot Spartans
Coach: Kevin Gensemer (ninth season, 68-104)
2014-15 record: 0-16 L-L, 0-21 overall
Returning starters: Hannah Fisher (5-3, SR, G), Abi Fricke (5-6, JR, G/F), Sydney Nichols (5-7, JR, F), Camryn Horst (5-7, JR, G)
Others to watch: Kayla Harley-Smith (5-9, SO, F), Leah Steiner (5-7, JR, F), Kayla Stoltzfus (JR, F), Megan Fisher (5-5, FR, G)
The skinny: One year after challenging in Section Three, the Spartans dropped off the table after moving up to Section Two with an inexperienced bunch.
“With all of the underclassmen getting a lot of varsity experience, hopefully that will roll over into this season and make for a better year than we had last year,” Gensemer said, commending his team’s enthusiasm through the first week of practice.
With scorers like Fricke (9.9 ppg, 23 3’s) and Nichols (5.8), Gensemer has plenty of reason to be optimistic for the future, and hopes to surprise a few teams this year in Section Two.
Solanco Golden Mares
Coach: Chad McDowell (second season, 5-17)
2014-15 record: 4-12 L-L, 5-17 overall
Returning starters: None
Others to watch: Nikki Boultinghouse (JR, G), Paige Borcky (JR, G), Jen Eberly (JR), Cayla Robinson (JR), Alyssa Henretty (SO)
The skinny: Graduating five seniors doesn’t usually shake out well the following season, but Boultinghouse (3.9 ppg) is a player to watch, as she hit 15 3-pointers a year ago while splitting time with the JV unit.
With the Mares prepping for McDowell’s second season — i.e., the program’s first returning coach since 2011 — Solanco might face some ups and downs, but it’ll be a step forward, nonetheless.