|The regular season begins for girls area high school basketball teams this week.|
(Copyright, Sports on CT-69, 2017 file)
So what's ahead for area teams?
Defending NVL champion St. Paul would love to get back to where it finished in the league. The entire starting lineup graduated for the Falcons, but young standouts Janessa Gonzalez and Jade Udoh return.
Also in the Mum City, Bristol Eastern lost standout Diana Wnuk, plus Jillian LeBeau and Miya Laprise, to graduation. Miranda Janick will be among the players Tony Floyd will count on to keep the Lancers on the winning track.
In Waterbury, Class L runner-up Holy Cross will need even bigger contributions from the likes of Aiyana Ward, Meah Austin, Devan Eason, Hannah Brown, Allie Brown and others after the departures of Century McCartney and Natalie Hodak.
Wolcott brings back the leading scorer in the NVL in senior Raven Cody. The Eagles -- who also have seniors Alayna Greene, Sam Hickey, Jenna Hoban and Morgan Kiely -- could be in for a big season.
Class S semifinalist Sacred Heart has championship aspirations and a lightning backcourt of Aamya Rivera and Treasure Coleman. The Hearts return a whole bunch of experience from last season's run and could be very dangerous.
Waterbury Career Academy lost one senior from last season's CIAC roster, and that was a team that made the state tournament. This season could be even better for the Spartans.
Kennedy must deal with the graduation losses of Raegan Shirling-Davis and Joyce Benton.
Kaynor Tech saw the graduation of Cassie Couture and Egypt Santos, so Brian Stasaitis will need others to step up and fill the gap. Stasaitis also has the extra role of head coach of the ABA's Springfield Sting.