1. Capital Prep (25-2) (12) 416 1 L
Last game: Def. Thomaston 84-55 to win Class S.
Season opener: At Vinal Tech, Monday, 6 p.m.
Bottom line: You thought the Trail Blazers were good last year? Their starting (DeJane James) and backup (Shaquanna Edwards) point guards transferred, they got bumped up to Class L from S due to their success in the tournament and they’ll probably still be better than last season with All-Staters Kiah Gillespie and Desiree Elmore.
2. Mercy (25-2) (1) 350 2 LL
Last game: Def. Lauralton Hall 54-53 to win Class LL.
Season opener: At East Haven, today, 7 p.m.
Bottom line: The Tigers lost sharpshooters Maria Weselyj and Jordyn Nappi to graduation, but Maura Fitzpatrick should fill in nicely at guard and Sarah Gallo can be a solid low post presence when aggressive.
3. Career (22-4) 303 (1) NR LL
Last game: Lost to Trumbull 55-39 in the Class LL quarterfinals.
Season Opener: Hosts Hamden today, 7 p.m.
Bottom line: The Panthers closed last season on a sour note, sharpshooter Nicole Anderson (Manhattan) graduated and starting point guard Alyssa Alston transferred to a prep school on Long Island. Career still has last year’s All-Area MVP Tanaya Atkinson (Temple) and picked up North Haven transfer Brookoin Davis. But those other holes will be almost impossible to fill.
4. Lauralton Hall (24-2) 278 4 LL
Last game: Lost to Mercy 54-53 in the Class LL final.
This week: At Newtown, today, 7 p.m.
Bottom line: The Crusaders attempt to rebound from last season’s heartbreaker in the final with sharpshooter Carly Fabbri and Emma McCarthy patrolling the middle. This won’t be last year’s Crusaders, but don’t sleep on them, either.
5. Danbury (22-4) 254 9 LL
Last game: Lost to Lauralton Hall 59-53 in the Class LL quarterfinals.
Season opener: At Bassick, today, 5 p.m.
Bottom line: Rachel and Rebecca Gartner lead a Hatters group hungry after a disappointing early end to the 2013 season.
6. Cromwell (28-0) 174 3 M
Last game: Def. Notre Dame-Fairfield 42-28 in the Class M final.
Season opener: Hosts Westbrook, today, 7 p.m.
Bottom line: The Panthers lost a lot of experience from last season’s team. However, All-State second-teamer Janelle Harrison, who is going to Hartford next year, is good enough to lead this team back to the top.
7. RHAM (21-4) 164 NR L
Last game: Lost to Farmington 61-52 in the Class L semifinals.
Season opener: At Middletown, today, 7 p.m.
Bottom line: Sarah Veilleux, last year’s Register State Player of the Year, is great, but she still needs some help to get the Sachems over the top.
8. Norwich Free Academy (18-6) 149 NR LL
Last game: Lost to Glastonbury 40-26 in the Class LL second round.
Season opener: At Masuk, today, 7 p.m.
Bottom line: Alyssa Velles should help lead NFA to another strong season in a crowded Class LL division.
9. Farmington (22-5) 137 5 L
Last game: Def. Bacon Academy 49-44 to win Class L.
Season opener: Hosts Weaver, today, 7 p.m.
Bottom line: The Indians come off a surprising championship with hopes of going back-to-back. Might be tough with new neighbor Capital Prep in Class L, though.
10. Trumbull (23-3) 114 8 LL
Last game: Lost to Lauralton Hall 44-36 in the Class LL semifinals.
Season opener: Hosts New Canaan, today, 7 p.m.
Bottom line: The Eagles’ run through Class LL was impressive, but losing Alexa Pfohl to graduation will hurt.
Dropped out: Bacon Academy (6), Glastonbury (7), Notre Dame-Fairfield (10).
First-place votes in parentheses and points tabulated on a 30-28-26-24-22-20-18-16-14-12-11-10-9-8-7 basis.
Others receiving votes: Bacon Academy (23-3) 102; Glastonbury (24-3) 97; Stamford (18-6) 94; Weaver (17-7) 87; Morgan (20-6) 73; Ledyard (20-5), 69; E.O. Smith (20-5) and Kolbe-Cathedral (17-7) 58; Pomperaug (21-3) 56; Notre Dame-Fairfield (23-6) 49; Wilton (20-4) 45; Tolland (18-6) 41; Berlin (20-3) 36; Avon (20-4) 35; Ridgefield (14-8) 30; Fairfield Warde (8-13) 26; Thomaston (23-3) 24; Amity (13-9) and Holy Cross (13-9) 15; South Windsor (20-4) 11; Coginchaug (15-9) 10; Lewis Mills (17-6) and Lyman Hall (12-10) 9.
The following voted: Mary Albl, Journal Register; Jim Bombaci, Haddam-Killingworth; Henry Chisholm, New Haven Register; Dave Danko, Fairfield Warde; Eric DeMarco, Norte Dame-Fairfield; Scott Nails, Foran; Peter Paguaga, Register Citizen; Dave Phillips, Shoreline Newspapers; Paul Rosano, Meriden Record Journal; Mike Suppe, Hersam Acorn Newspapers; Nick Velles, Franklin School; Fred Williams, Northwestern; Richard Zalusky, Willimantic Chronicle; Jimmy Zanor, Middletown Press.
Poll compiled by: Henry Chisholm