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CENTRAL CATHOLIC

Last season: 17-5, lost to Lowell in the quarterfinals of state tournament

League: Merrimack Valley Conference, Large Division

Returning starters: Kaylyn Grange, sr., guard; Melissa Lucas, sr., forward.

Other returners: Jackie Vinneau, jr., guard; Riley Dunn, jr., guard; Angelica Pascual, jr., guard; Lauren Berg, soph., forward.

Promising Newcomers: Monique Gossland, jr., guard; Katie Zenevitch, fr., center; Kelley Mikus (Dracut), soph., forward; Gia O’Connor (Dracut); soph., forward; Ashley Evangelista, soph., guard; Chelsea Gusselli, jr., guard.

Season Opener: Dec. 12, against Lawrence.

Head coach Sue Downer (11th season): “We know that our strength is going to be in the paint. We’re hoping to be competitive with the tough teams such as Andover and Lowell. We should be up there with them. It should be a tough competitive season.”

DRACUT

Last season: 4-16

League: Merrimack Valley Conference

Returning starters: Kayla Conway (captain), sr., forward; Stephanie Rollo (captain), sr., guard.

Other returners: Allie Malonis, jr., forward/guard; Keryn Shannon, jr., guard/forward; Courtney Mahoney, sr., guard/forward; Tracy Aifuwa, soph., center; Heather Ronan, sr., forward; Erin Bufe, sr., guard.

Promising newcomers: Jen Brown, soph., center; Krissy Enos, jr., guard; Leora L’Heureux, soph., guard; Nicole Cardelle, soph., guard; Lindsay Picano, jr., guard.

Season opener: Dec. 12, at Andover.

Head coach Kevin Donovan (1st season): “I have the hardest working group of kids since I’ve been coaching. I see the captains Kayla Conway and Stephanie Rollo as providing solid leadership off the court and on the court during practice. Both of them are born leaders.”

LOWELL CATHOLIC

Last season: 10-11, lost to Lynn Tech in quarterfinals of state tournament League: Catholic Central League, Small Division

Returning starters: Jessica Alejandro (captain), sr., forward; Haley McGuire (captain), sr., guard; Brittany Duarte (captain), soph., guard.

Other returners: Brittany Porter, sr., guard; Katie Brems, sr., forward; Liz Rufiange, jr., forward.

Promising newcomers: Chelsea Rafferty, fr., forward; Alyssa Otero, soph., guard.

Head coach Tom Varnum (4th season): “We’ll look to replace the scoring we lost in the graduation of our Lowell Sun All-Star, Melissa Ortins, with a more balanced up-tempo attack. We will rely, as we usually do, on strong half-court defense and this year we’ll have some strong senior leadership from our captains Alejandro, Brems, and Porter.”

NOTRE DAME ACADEMY

Last season: 2-18

League: Merrimack Valley Conference, Small Division

Returning starters: Colleen Farley, sr., forward/guard; Katie Shantler, sr., guard.

Promising newcomers: Emily Armstrong, fr., center; Beth Farley, jr., guard; Sarah Dillingham, soph., guard; Caroline Brion, soph., guard; Shay Tierney, soph., center; Amanda Lajoie, fr., forward; Maryellen O’Malley, jr., guard; Katie Day, soph., guard.

Head coach Crystal Bentley (2nd season): “Finally, after four or five years we have some height. We have some new girls, some big girls. We have some very very promising younger girls. We’ve also got some phenomenal freshman girls. The skill level is a lot better than I thought it would be.”

PELHAM

Last year: 11-12, lost in first round of New Hampshire playoffs.

League: New Hampshire Class I

Returning starters: Briana Szidat, soph., center; Brianne Caira (captain), sr., forward; Becky Greenwood (captain), sr., guard; Kathy Da Silva (captain), sr., guard; Catherine Sullivan (captain), sr., guard.

Other returners: April Blinn, soph., guard; Bianca Vega, jr., guard.

Promising newcomers: Caitlin Sawicki, sr., forward; Jacqui Perry, fr., forward; Deanna Carnazzio, fr., guard; Katie Bourque, jr., guard; Caitlin Morgan, jr., forward; Kayla Bailey, soph., forward; Laurie Costa, soph., guard.

Head coach Tim Powers (3rd season): “We’re looking ot make a run in the playoffs. We didn;t lose anyone from last years squad to graduation. Ther all coming back. Another year in the system and another year of experience. They’re starting to feel comfortable and stargin to believe in what we’re doing. We have a good mix of seniors and underclassmen as well. They work hard. They’re re a good group of great players.”