For the first time eight schools will compete for the Crossroads Conference girls basketball championship.

For the first time eight schools will compete for the Crossroads Conference girls basketball championship.

There is no favorite., at least on paper, because three coaches were unfamiliar with the teams and did not participate in the preseason poll.

Thus, how the teams stack up in alphabetic order.

BARSTOW

New coach Gary Newsome didn’t inherit a bare cupboard.

Alexis Crowley, Allison Hall, Nora Lloyd, Taylor Phillips, Sabrina Weing and Caroline Wieland return from a 14-11 team.

“I’m new to Barstow but you can bet we will bring it every night and every play,” Newsome said.

BUTLER

Butler could improve upon an 11-14 record because of returning letterman Cheyenne Lesmeister, Dayla Dezlozier, Alissa Jett, Morgan Nelson, Jennifer Murphy, Lauren Wainscott, Tori Stauffacher and Bre Sargent.

Freshman Alyx Gepford, Kayla Morris and Kiersten Morris also are expected to help.

“Time will tell with the three freshman but big things are expected with them as they were 31-1 in junior high and undefeated last season at 16-0,” coach Shannon Gepford said. “They broke almost every team record imaginable and many individual records as well. These three freshmen are extremely athletic.”

LEE’S SUMMIT

COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN

Angel Brown, Adder Null, Annie Pearce, Haley Bruns and Christa Bearce will lead LSCC.

“We have teachable, hard-working girls who want to learn,” new coach Chad Hawkins said. ‘’But we lack size and experience.”

LSCC was 4-19 last season.

MARANATHA ACADEMY

Coach Mark Schultze is hopeful letter winner Emma Vavricek, Kim Hunt, Cassie Fulk, Brittany Espinosa, Molly Chapin and Haley McConnell will enable Maranatha to atone for a 5-14 record.

“Our girls worked hard in the offseason and momentum and excitement is building for the program,” Schultze said. “We will continue to struggle to score points but should be pesky on defense.

“Our goal is to continue to improve individually and as a team to maximize our potential., We will have fun and learn a lot of life lessons as we go.”

RENAISSANCE ACADEMY

Renaissance returns most of a 4-21 team.

“Our team will be young but fast,” coach Jeffrey W. Burgett said. “Our strength will be a man-to-man defense and transition. We are weak on post players. Our goal is to finish above .500 and win our conference.”

ST. MARY’S

The Trojans lost four starters from a 10-13 team.

But coach Krista Daniels is hopeful returning letter winners Sarah Dortch, Danielle Pocock, Alexis Sims and Brittany Sapenaro will be capable replacements. Freshmen Selena Bedolla, Andrea Sirna and Mackenzie Leochner and senior Callie Craig are also expected to contribute.

“Our four returning letter winners will bring a lot of intensity to the court,” Daniels said. “These players as well as our newcomers worked very hard in the off-season. We will be a young team but a very hard-working team.”

SHERWOOD

Sherwood likely is the favorite because lettermen Ashley Nigh, Kristen Searcy, Loren Conner, Lisa Fellers and Jessica Taber return from a 20-9 team, including 10-0 in the conference.

“Our strength this year will be unity,” coach Jennifer Lawson said. ”We will need to speed our game to compete this season and to improve our rebounding and defense.”

VAN HORN

The return of perhaps the league’s top player in Lauren Daniels boost the Falcons chances of improving a 4-20 record.

“We’re hoping to continue building our program and look forward to a lot of new faces this year,” co-coach Julie Crowell said “We’re excited to what the season brings.”

Others expected to contribute are Brandi Tyson, Haylee Howard, Elizabeth Leroy, Diana Cruz, Brittney Tyson, Judit Guillen and Brittany Eidson.