The Norwalk girls basketball team finished last season with an unbeaten record and as the unanimous No. 1 team in the Top 10 poll.
The Bears lost a few key pieces to graduation but bring back enough talent that voters stuck with them as No. 1 this preseason. They also have a new head coach: former boys star Evan Kelley.
Hand, which came on strong at the end of last season, reaching the Class L championship game, brings back a plethora of talent, including super guard Sara Wohlgemuth.
Notre Dame-Fairfield, just like Hand, saw its season end at the hands of Hillhouse in the Class L tournament. Also, like Hand, the Lancers bring back most of their starters including sophomore Aizhanique Mayo and junior Yamani McCollough. Former Seymour and UConn star Maria Conlon takes over as head coach.
Class M champions Cromwell come in at fourth with All-State guard Vanessa Stolsjaner leading an experienced group of players.
Class LL runner-up New London tallied the last first-place vote in the poll. The Whalers were hit hard by graduation and have a new coach, David Kohn moves from Parish Hill to New London to take over for Holly Misto.
The Whalers do bring back super-sophomore Joniyah Bland-Fitzpatrick and always seem to be able to reload.
E.O. Smith, Wilbur Cross and NFA were not in the final poll last season but voters saw it fit to include them, now. With good reason as each team has talented players and high expectations for the upcoming year.
The poll will not be back until after the new year, until then teams will be playing in holiday tournaments and a ton of excellent non-conference games. Many featuring top 10 teams taking on each other.
2019-20 GameTimeCT Preseason Top 10 Girls Basketball Poll
|TEAM (1st place votes)||2018-19||PTS||LAST||CLASS|
|1. NORWALK (11)||28-0||492||1||LL|
|This Week: at Newtown, Wed. 7; vs Ludlowe, Fri. 7
Bottom line: Without a loss last season, the defending Class LL champions begin this season on top.
|2. HAND (2)||14-12||462||9||L|
|This Week: vs Farmington, Wed. 7; at Sheehan, Fri. 7
Bottom Line: The Class L runner-up looks loaded for a run back to the Sun.
|3. NOTRE DAME-FAIRFIELD (4)||23-3||409||6||L|
|This Week: at Mercy, Tue. 7; vs Canton, Sat. 2:30
Bottom line: The Lancers have a new coach -- former Seymour and UConn star Maria Conlon -- but also bring back almost their entire roster.
|This Week: vs Newtown, Mon. 6; at Pomperaug, Wed. 7; vs Old Lyme, Sat. 11:30
Bottom Line: The Class M champions have plenty of players back to defend their title.
|5. NEW LONDON (1)||25-3||306||2||LL|
|This Week: at East Haven, Tue. 6; at Woodstock Academy, Fri. 7; at RHAM, Sat. 7
Bottom Line: Class LL runner up opens with three road matchups and a new coach.
|This Week: vs Kolbe Cathedral, Tue. 7; vs Amity, Fri. 5
Bottom Line: Class L champions moved to Class MM in CIAC reshuffling.
|7. E.O. SMITH||22-4||204||NR||L|
|This Week: vs Middletown, Tue. 5:15; vs Wethersfield, Thur. 6:45; vs Enfield, Sat. 2
Bottom Line: The CCC has a bunch of quality teams, E.O. Smith may be the best of them all.
|8. WILBUR CROSS||20-7||174||NR||LL|
|This Week: at Guilford, Tue. 7; vs Simsbury, Thur. 5:15; at Trumbull, Sat. 5:45
Bottom Line: The Governors looking for back-to-back successful seasons.
|This Week: at Trumbull, Thur. 7:15; vs Simsbury, Sat. 3:30
Bottom Line: Graduation took two of the best players in school history but the cupboard is not bare.
|This Week: vs East Lyme, Thur. 4:30; vs Newtown, Sat. 4
Bottom Line: Chatter out of the ECC says to watch out for NFA this winter.
|Dropped out: Trinity Catholic (7), Windsor (8), East Haven (10).
Records through Monday, Feb. 4.
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: Berlin 142; East Lyme 130; Trumbull 128; Newtown 125; East Catholic 109; Windsor 103; Newington 97; East Haven 90; Staples 85; Sheehan 82; Stamford 80; Trinity Catholic 77; East Hartford 77; St Paul 74; Mercy 71; Canton 68; Bacon Academy 26; Wethersfield 25; Ludlowe 20; Kolbe Cathedral 20; Bethel 18; Wethersfield 17; Bristol Eastern 17; Farmington 14; Waterford 9; Pomperaug 7; Capital Prep 7.|
|The following voted: Ryan Lacey, Danbury News-Times; Lori Riley, Hartford Courant; Scott Ericson, Stamford Advocate; Mike Madera, Walter Camp Foundation/New Haven Register; Dave Phillips, Shoreline Newspapers; Dave Ruden, The Ruden Report; Jimmy Zanor, Norwich Bulletin; Tim Jensen, Patch; Scotty Nails RCDS; Brian Medeiros, Canton; Vickie Fulkerson, The New London Day; Fred Williams, Northwestern; Rick Wilson, Waterbury Republican American; Sean Krofssik, Record-Journal; Ryan Chichester, Bristol Press; Rich Zalusky, The Chronicle; Dave Danko, Fairfield Warde; Adam Betz, Journal Inquirer.|