Nearly six years have passed since Saco-Whitewater landed on top of the Class C basketball world. Then a co-op, the program captured the State C title with a 38-37 win over Harlowton-Ryegate in March of 2011.
The Panthers again qualified for state in 2014, reaching the semifinals, while fellow Eastern C team Hinsdale played for the state championship. The three towns have since joined forces earning a second-place trophy as Saco-Whitewater-Hinsdale in 2015.
Scobey appears to be the District 3C favorite this season according to league coaches but the Mavericks and Nashua-Opheim, along with Frazer, hope to contend.
Plentywood earned a third-place finish at the state tournament a season ago after entering the tournament as the Eastern C’s top seed. Froid-Medicine Lake also played in late March and hopes for a return trip to the final weekend.
Below are quick rundowns on teams from the Eastern C Division. MTN Sports did not receive questionnaires from teams not listed.
Record in 2015-16: 6-12
Tournament finish: Did not qualify for Eastern C divisional
Head coach: Toby Romo
Years with program: 2nd
Overall record: 6-12
Bainville will look to continue building the program under second-year coach Toby Romo with 12 combined freshmen and sophomores and just two juniors. The Bulldogs don’t have a senior on the roster.
Romo has six returning girls who started games last season, including junior captains Elise Romo (5-foot-8 guard) and Joely Picard (5-10 forward). Aubrey Picard (6-0 freshman center), Morgan Holte (5-7 sophomore guard), Allie Romo (5-8 sophomore guard) and Bonny Krogedal (5-7 sophomore guard) are also back for the Bulldogs.
Record in 2015-16: N/A
Tournament finish: Did not qualify
Head coach: Gregg Fromdahl
Years with program: 1st
Nashua has a new coach this year as Gregg Fromdahl will take over for the Porcupines. Nashua returns two starters in junior guard Taylor Laumeyer and senior post Ryleigh Delich.
Fromdahl has four other seniors on his bench. Zoe Glasoe, Grace Carroll, and Sarah Morgan will all stay out on the wing at guard positions. Nicole Williams adds to the senior crew, but she will stick to the paint this year.
Behind them are two junior guards: Shelby Fuhrmann and Hayley Fauth. Sophomore guard Amer Lee and two eighth graders are expected to see the floor as well. Devin Fromdahl and Kaydin Sibley are the two youngest expected to contribute for the Porcupines appearing on the roster as eighth graders.
Saco-Whitewater-Hinsdale Lady Mavericks
Record in 2015-16: 18-7
Tournament finish: Fourth at Eastern C divisionals
Head coach: Amber Erickson
Years with program: 15
Overall record: 237-109
The team known as North Country is returning three well-decorated starters this year. All three were awarded all-conference honors last year. Senior Kayleigh Cummings measures in at 5-foot-7, and juniors Mickayla Johnson and Jada Sudbrack are tip-toeing around the 6-foot line at 5-11 and 6-0, respectively.
Off the bench are two juniors, Bailey Funk and Casidy Boucher at 5-6 apiece.