• Kira Horvath

    Fairview's Georgina Ryder, right, shoots over Legacy's Courtney Smith during a Front Range League matchup last season.


    Mead's Kasey McKrola, center, tries to split a pair of defenders against Erie last season.


    Monarch's Jordan Eisler drives to the bucket during a state playoff victory over Thunder Ridge last winter.




Ivy Devries, Sr., Peak to Peak: Averaged nearly a double-double as a junior with 12.2 points and 9.3 rebounds a game for the Pumas.

Deandra Elcock, Sr., Skyline: Developed a solid 1-2 punch with teammate Carissa Curtis last season as the Falcons improved to 11 wins from five the previous season.

Jordan Eisler, Sr., Monarch: University of Vermont-bound guard will have a larger scoring responsibility with the Coyotes’ top three options from last season all graduated.

Stacie Hull, Jr., Broomfield: Efficient in the post, she was the only Eagles player to shoot over 50 percent from the field last season (53.5).

Lena Jaycox, Sr., Boulder: Made an immediate impact last season after transferring from Mountain Vista, averaging a team-best 14.2 points with 51 3-pointers.

Kasey McKrola, Sr., Mead: As a junior, led the Mavericks in points, rebounds, steals and blocked shots. Registered six double-doubles, including 21 points and 10 boards vs. eventual 3A champ Faith Christian.

Lyndie Puckett, Sr., Centaurus: Drilled 37 3-pointers in a complementary role last season. Will be counted on for more scoring punch this winter.

Emilie Rembert, Jr., Silver Creek: Led a balanced Raptors offense in scoring as a sophomore, including a 24-point effort against Niwot and 23 vs. Skyline.

Anna Schell, Jr., Longmont: In a tumultuous season for the Trojans, Schell and sister, Kathryn, were among the bright spots as the top two scorers.

Caitlyn Smith, Sr., Legacy: Averaged 8.8 points and 7.2 rebounds for the champs and will team sophomore sister, Courtney, for an imposing front-court tandem.


— 5A, 4A state tournaments begin Feb. 26; championship March 16.

— 3A state tournament begins March 8; championship March 16.

— 2A, 1A Sweet 16 completed by March 9; championship March 16.



Coach: Jessica Mitchell, second year.

Last year: 5-15, 1-7 in 2A Mile High League.

Returning starters: Fiona Bell (G, So., 5-8), Lisa Pelikan (C, Jr., 5-11), Morgan Powers (F, So., 5-8).

Others to watch: Emily Barrett (F, Jr., 5-8), Rachel Clair (G, Jr., 5-5), Devanshi Desai (G, Sr., 5-6), Lindsey Gallop (C, Fr., 5-11), Nicole Towner (C, So., 5-10).

Outlook: Bell led the team in scoring as a freshman and again will be counted on for offensive punch as well as her ball-handling abilities. Pelikan will patrol the middle and has been designated a captain, along with Clair in Desai as the Mustangs enter year No. 2 in Mitchell’s system.


Coach: Ron Burgin, first year.

Last year: 9-16, 5-11 in 5A Front Range League; eliminated in 5A second round.

Returning starters: Maddie Gates (G, Sr. 5-8), Vivi Gregorich (G, Jr., 5-5), Lena Jaycox (G, Sr., 5-7), Courtney Van Bussum (F, Sr., 5-9).

Others to watch: Cara Aschbacher (G, Sr., 5-8), Mariah Alexander (F, So., 5-9), Sarah Burns (G, Sr., 5-8), April Dawson (C, Sr., 6-1), Jacqueline Szarmach (G, Jr., 5-9).

Outlook: The program is seeking stability with its sixth coach in the past four seasons, and Burgin could be the right guy. He won a 5A title with ThunderRidge in 2003 and is enthusiastic about the talent he inherits here. Jaycox, who had a 30-point game last season, is one of the league’s top pure scorers.


Coach: Mike Croell, 19th year.

Last year: 21-5, 12-2 in 4A Northern League; eliminated in 4A quarterfinals.

Returning starters: Stacie Hull (C, Jr. 5-10), Callie Kaiser (W, So., 5-9), Nicole Lehrer (W, So., 5-7), Bri Wilber (PG, Jr., 5-6).

Others to watch: Haylee Albrecht (C, Sr., 5-9), Brenna Chase (PG, Fr., 5-6), Katie Croell (W, Sr., 5-9), Cherokee Rohrbaugh (W, Jr., 5-7), Meghan Stovall (W, Jr., 6-1), Darian Tritz (C, Jr., 6-2).

Outlook: After winning five straight titles, the Eagles are a little bitter following last season’s quarterfinals loss against eventual champ Air Academy. The Eagles again will be deep and talented, with Croell hoping to run a bit more this season. The coach is hoping a rugged nonleague schedule and challenging league will prepare his squad for the state tourney.


Coach: Jeff Jackson, fourth year.

Last year: 21-4, 12-2 in 4A Northern League; eliminated in 4A quarterfinals.

Returning starters: Anna Hubbell (G, 5-8, Sr.), Taylor Langer (F, 5-10, Sr.).

Others to watch: Shanlie Anderson (PG, Sr., 5-7), Danelle Dondelinger (G, Jr., 5-5), Lauren Esler (G, So., 5-5), Audrey Harriger (G, 5-7, Sr.), Gianna Manfredini (Sr., C, 5-10), Midori Patterson (5-10, Sr., C).

Outlook: All nine players mentioned had varsity experience last year and, with seven of them seniors, the Warriors could have a veteran feel. Jackson hopes to run the floor a bit more this season and will utilize his superior team speed by pressing and trapping. A go-to scorer will have to emerge.


Coach: Noel Potter, second year.

Last year: 12-12, 9-5 in 4A Tri-Valley League; eliminated in 4A first round.

Returning starters: Amanda Ochoa (G, Sr., 5-8).

Others to watch: Lauren Bauchert (F, Jr., 5-9), Haley Gallagher (G, Jr., 5-8), Serena Gudino (F, Jr. 5-10), Kenzie Kudrna (G, So. 5-4), Piper Zeier (F, Sr., 5-9).

Outlook: With only Ochoa and Zeier as seniors, the Tigers will be youthful. Their nonleague slate is difficult, and their league has gotten tougher with the additions of Mead and Berthoud. But the players are adapting to Potter’s system after a year trial run, and the coach believes Erie is capable of returning to the postseason.


Coach: Rod Beauchamp, 13th year.

Last year: 15-10, 9-7 in 5A Front Range League; eliminated in 5A second round.

Returning starters: Sarah Kaufman (G, Jr., 5-8), Katie Kuosman (G, 5-6, Sr.), Georgina Ryder (C, 6-3, Sr.).

Others to watch: Kristen Breakell (G, Sr., 5-9), Caitlin Burger (G, Sr., 5-5), Kate Davenport (C, Jr., 6-1), Annika Lai, (G/F, So., 6-0), Megan McCambridge (F, Sr., 5-10), Caroline McKee (G, Jr., 5-7), Emma Miller (F, Sr., 5-10).

Outlook: The Knights were solid last season but didn’t do it with flash, as no one averaged more than 8.9 points. Beauchamp’s system fosters balance, but the Knights will need a de facto playmaker. Ryder is one of the tallest girls in the league and will make it difficult for opponents to score in the paint.


Coach: Jim Stadler, first year.

Last year: 4-10, 3-5 in Front Range Christian League; eliminated in regional third-place consolations.

Players to watch: Hailey Schulman (Sr., PG, 5-6), Mandy McCormick (Jr., G, 5-8), Jenny King (So., F, 5-7), Tiffany Caluag (Jr., G, 5-7), Cheyenne Wisenborn (Fr., PG, 5-2).

Outlook: Stadler takes over for Kent Woods, who spent five seasons at the helm. But Stadler has been an assistant, which should make for a smooth transition for an experienced group that lost only one starter from last year’s squad. Speed and shooting will be strengths.


Coach: Roger Dufour, 18th year.

Last year: 9-15, 5-9 in 4A Tri-Valley League; eliminated in 4A first round.

Returning starters: Alex Dufour (PG, So., 5-4), Shyanna Neu (F, Jr., 5-8), Mackenzie Urban (G, Sr., 5-6).

Others to watch: Mackenzie DiGuesaldo (F, So., 5-8), Brittany Pepitone (F, Sr., 5-7), Allison Reid (G, Jr., 5-5), Danielle Worley (F, So., 5-9).

Outlook: The youthful Warriors are aiming to avoid the injury bug this year. If they can do so, the chief hurdle they’ll have to climb is mere inexperience. Urban is the top returning scorer (7.5 points a game) and Alex Dufour earned valuable experience last season handling the ball as a freshman.


Coach: Ron Rossi, 10th year.

Last year: 22-2, 9-1 in 3A Metro League; eliminated in 3A Sweet 16.

Returning starters: None.

Others to watch: Micaela Blanchard (C, Sr., 5-11), Katie Chavez (PG, Fr., 5-3), Lindsey Chavez (G, Jr., 5-6), Megan McGillin (F, So., 5-10), Claudia Pena (F, Jr., 6-0), Olivia Quinn (F, Jr., 5-8), Maggie Spitzer (F, So., 5-10).

Outlook: Only four varsity players return from last season, including Pena, who was the first off the bench. Quinn, Blanchard and Lindsey Chavez also lettered, but otherwise, the Tigers will be green. Rossi, whose program had a three-year title reign halted last season, believes the Tigers can morph into a state contender by the end of the season.


Coach: Craig Van Patten, third year.

Last year: 24-4, 13-3 in Class 5A Front Range League; won 5A state championship.

Returning starters: Caitlyn Smith (F, Sr., 5-11), Courtney Smith (F, So., 6-2).

Others to watch: Jenna Fenton (G, Jr., 5-8), Shayna Kuyper (C, Sr., 6-0), Emiley Lopez (G, Sr., 5-6), Mackenzie Neely (G, Sr., 5-7), Bryanna Paulson (G/F, So., 5-10).

Outlook: The Lightning were hit hard by graduation, but the defending champs have their front court in good shape with the return of the Smith sisters. Lopez, Neely and Kuyper had abbreviated stints of crunch-time minutes, which could help significantly as the Lightning attempt to reload quickly.


Coach: Mike Knaus, first year.

Last year: 5-19, 4-10 in 4A Northern League.

Returning starters: Gabriella Fallon (F, Sr., 6-1), Lacy Haddock (C, So., 5-10), Dailyn Johnson (F, Jr., 5-10), Anna Schell (G, Jr., 5-6), Kathryn Schell (G, Jr., 5-8).

Others to watch: Hannah Carney (F, Sr., 6-0), Alexis Cox (F, So., 5-10), Madi Gaibler (G, Fr., 5-9), Grace Hamm (G, So., 5-8), Lyndie Haddock (G, So., 5-9), Sarah McKee (F. So., 5-10), Lydia Pane (G, Jr., 5-8), Megan Tolenko (G, Jr., 5-7), Sydney Wetterstrom (C, Fr., 6-0).

Outlook: Knaus takes over and gives the Trojans a fresh start after a parent revolt helped force out longtime former head coach Jay Darien. In quest of once again becoming a pronounced factor in the league, Knaus will preach defense first in his initial season at the helm.


Coach: Dave Stoecker, second year.

Last year: 11-9, 4-4 in 2A Mile High League; eliminated in 2A districts.

Returning starters: Mary Dean (Jr., G, 5-5), Elizabeth Ehr (G, Jr., 5-5), Ashley Jauregui (G, Jr., 5-3).

Others to watch: Allison Cochran (F, So, 5-8). Alyssa Rusco (F, Sr., 5-9).

Outlook: The Warriors graduated their top three scorers, but the cupboards aren’t bare. Point guard Juaregui leads a group of returning experienced players. Of note, Rusco is new to the basketball roster but is a solid athlete. She was a standout volleyball player in the fall.


Coach: Sandy Mitchell, first year.

Last year: 10-13, 1-10 in 3A/2A Patriot League; eliminated in 2A regionals.

Returning starters: Olivia Respotnik (Sr., C, 6-0).

Others to watch: Chandler Subbert (Jr., PG, 5-7), Carla Walko (Jr., F, 5-9).

Outlook: The Lions again will try to make their way in the rugged Patriot League, mostly composed of 3A teams, then drop back down to 2A for the postseason. They will have to replace top scorer Shannon Gillman and two other senior starters.


Coach: Michael Ward, fourth year.

Last year: 12-12, 6-5 in 3A/2A Patriot League; eliminated in 3A first round.

Returning starters: Allison Majerus (F, Jr., 5-10), Mikayla Martinez (C, Jr., 6-0), Kasey McKrola (F, Sr., 6-0).

Others to watch: Marina Hanlon (G, Jr., 5-7), Kari Lozinski (C, Jr., 5-11), Katie Maher (G, So., 5-6), Riglie Reeves (G, Sr., 5-7), Rylee Ward (G, So., 5-7).

Outlook: The transition to 4A will mean the Mavericks will have to be a more physical team. Ward believes two early-season tournaments, one in Boulder, one in Farmington, N.M., will help facilitate the transition. The Mavericks have joined the Tri-Valley League.


Coach: Chris Lewis, first year.

Last year: 22-6, 14-2 in 5A Front Range League; lost 5A championship game.

Returning starters: Jordan Eisler (G, Sr., 5-6).

Others to watch: Bridget Anthony (C, Sr., 5-11) Ellie Dietz (G, Sr., 5-5), Reagan Rohn (G, So., 5-6), Brenna Stimac (G, Sr., 5-4), Mae Williams (C, Jr., 6-0).

Outlook: Transition is the word for the 5A runner-up, as the Coyotes’ trio of senior standouts graduated and coach Gail Hook is taking a one-year sabbatical. Lewis, a Coyotes assistant, takes over a group that also will be without starting guard Jac Malcolm-Peck (studying abroad) and Williams, who is out indefinitely with a knee injury. Despite all the changes, the Coyotes should still compete.


Coach: Josh Lederach, first year.

Last year: 5-17, 0-7 in 2A Mile High League.

Returning starters: Amanda Cook (G, Jr., 5-2).

Others to watch: Kalina Culver (G, So., 5-6), Lili Haffey (G, Jr. 5-7), Cori Jannuzzi (C, Jr., 6-1), Brianna Tester (G, Jr., 5-1).

Outlook: Lederach was hired late, as Nederland began its search in mid-October after incumbent Roz Vara joined the Peace Corps. Lederach will remain a boys assistant, which is feasible at the smaller classifications because boys and girls teams often play games in the same gyms rather than one home, one away.


Coach: Clark Burton, third year.

Last year: 3-19, 0-14 in 4A Northern League.

Returning starters: Alicia DiScipio (C, Sr., 5-9), Anna Dunnell (F, Jr., 5-9), Callie Hensen (F, Jr., 5-6), Juliet Pilewskie (C, Sr., 5-7), Jacqui Sigg (F, Sr., 5-6).

Others to watch: Anessa Calvert (C, Sr., 5-9), Abbie Montgomery (G, Jr., 5-7), Hannah Sarosi (F, So., 5-8), Cindy Yie (G, Sr., 5-4).

Outlook: In aiming to climb up the league ladder, the Cougars have an experienced, unselfish front court. The guards are young and inexperienced and will have to learn quickly for the team to make significant strides. The Cougars also are a bit undersized, with none of their key contributors over 5-9.


Coach: Chad Rathbun, seventh year.

Last year: 16-8, 6-4 in 3A Metro League; eliminated in 3A Sweet 16.

Returning starters: Ivy DeVries (F, Sr., 5-10), Katharine Kia (F, So., 5-8), Annette Warner (F, Jr., 5-10), Bri Wetmore (G, So., 5-2).

Others to watch: Lindsay Callaway (F, Sr. 5-11), Sarah Martinez (G, So., 5-5).

Outlook: The Pumas return several players with varsity experience, but will have to replace several-year standout point guard Khadijah Sayyid (20 points per game last season). DeVries and Warner will give the Pumas some punch in the front court, and the Pumas will look to create offensive chances from their defense.


Coach: Mike Hawkes, second year.

Last year: 6-13, 3-5 in 1A 5280 League.

Returning starters: Hana Mason (G, Jr., 5-5).

Others to watch: Isabelle Herz (G, Jr., 5-4), Jenni Russell (G, Jr., 5-2), Dorie Schram (G, Jr., 5-3), Sophie Schram (G, Jr., 5-3), Miranda Seim (F, Jr., 5-6), Paisley Sheehan (C, So., 5-10), Hannah Weinstein (F, Jr. 5-9).

Outlook: The Lions graduated five of their top six scorers from last season, so the team will be pretty green in the early going. Five players return with varsity experience, but other than Mason, much of that is limited. The Lions essentially have a clean slate for a scorer to emerge.


Coach: Dan Kloster, ninth year.

Last year: 18-6, 11-3 in 4A Northern League; eliminated in 4A second round.

Returning starters: Margaret Davis (G, Jr., 5-6), Shelby Keil (W, Sr., 5-7), Grace Reed (C, Sr., 6-2), Emilie Rembert (W, Jr., 6-0).

Others to watch: Julie Dauer (W, Jr., 6-0), Carrie Ramirez (G, Jr., 5-6).

Outlook: All the above players are returning letterwinners, other than Ramirez. That’s because she missed last season with a knee injury. The experienced Raptors are aiming for a similarly successful season with a stronger playoff run than last season, when the Raptors fell 50-47 to Delta in the second round.


Coach: Tina Skidmore, second year.

Last year: 11-13, 7-7 in 4A Tri-Valley League; eliminated in 4A first round.

Returning starters: Naomi Barron (C, So., 5-11), Carissa Curtis (G, Jr., 5-8), Deandra Elcock (F, Sr., 5-8), Kylie Emanuel (G, Sr., 5-7), Kaylee Spencer (G, Jr., 5-7).

Others to watch: Alli Curtis (F, Sr., 5-10), Courtney David (F, Jr., 5-7),  Alyssa Steed (C, So., 5-10).

Outlook: The Falcons return their top three scorers in Carissa Curtis, Elcock and Spencer and are ready to rock in Skidmore’s second season at the helm. The Falcons improved six wins last season from a desultory 5-18 campaign in 2010-11, and are eyeing an above-.500 mark and another trip to the postseason this year.