1. Brea Olinda
Chelsea Trotter is the county’s dominant post player, and often overlooked Jackie Lord and Jill Trader make Ladycats still the team to beat.
2. Mater Dei
Enormous depth and a roster that includes two second-team all-county caliber players, Maile Shimoda and Lindsay Pavlik, has the Monarchs back at the top.
The Warriors are unlikely to win all of their first 27 games, but will be better for it. . . . and less likely to flame out in the playoffs.
Kristen Mann and Chavaughn Brown provide an outstanding post tandem, but lack of depth could haunt the Knights against high-caliber opponents.
The Z Squad--Michelle Zylstra and sophomore twins Racheal and Bianca Ziemann--will be responsible for a lot of Ws.
6. El Toro
The county’s most prolific scorer, Giuliana Mendiola, will have to shoulder the load, but she has some of the county’s strongest shoulders.
7. San Clemente
Lack of a proven scorer could hurt, but if you don’t give up many points, what’s it matter? With the Tritons, it’s a pressing issue.
The undersized Royals came within one victory of playing for a state title, and have four starters back, including Maggie Barnett.
The Vaqueros nearly knocked off El Toro last season and have four starters and eight players back. This season, they’ll knock off somebody for sure.
The Aztecs are athletic and filled with good shooters. With a helter-skelter style, they could, and should, cause problems for the opposition.
Capistrano Valley (will come on strong at the end), El Dorado (Gerber twins provide transfer trouble), Huntington Beach (pesky, pesky, pesky--again), Laguna Hills (good guard, good post, good grief), Santa Margarita (trying for a Serra surprise), Westminster (unwieldy style yields wins), Woodbridge (watch out next year).