It’s been over a decade since Crawford County’s last District 10 championship in girls basketball.
Will this be the year the locals finally break through?
Can Linesville, which features several players from its state champion girls volleyball team, continue its success and do some damage in Class A basketball amidst the likes of Kennedy Catholic and Farrell? What about Saegertown or Conneaut Valley, led by coaching legends Steve Scott and Rick Chesko, both of which are approaching head coaching milestones?
In Class AA, can first-year head coach Rick Grubbs lead a talented Cambridge Springs squad to the postseason in a region that includes two of District 10’s best in Villa Maria and Girard?
What other stories might unfold in 2011-12?
It all begins tonight as the 2011-12 season officially gets underway.
A total of 10 local teams are participating in tip-off tournaments across District 10 tonight, three of which will be taking part in the second annual Mindy Kardosh Tournament at Conneaut Valley High School.
Linesville, the 2010-11 Region 3 co-champion, and backyard rival Conneaut Lake get things started at 4 p.m. with the Lakers’ Christine Krankota making her head coaching debut.
The meeting is the first of possibly four between the Lions and Conneaut Lake. The two face each other twice in region play and are also participating in Linesville’s holiday tournament.
Conneaut Valley faces Northwestern at 5:30 p.m. This matchup could be a big one. The Indians return nearly everyone from last year’s team that finished 14-7. The Wildcats, meanwhile, are expected to be much improved from their 9-13 record from a year ago and return all-Region 4 first team selection Haley Schaef at guard.
Linesville took last year’s Mindy Kardosh Tournament title with a 45-39 win over Conneaut Valley.
Two other Crawford County teams take the floor at Meadville Area Senior High School for the annual Sertoma Tip-off Tournament, which has proved to be pretty exciting over the years. Last year, Meadville was forced to hold off a pesky Seneca squad to earn a spot in the championship game against Saegertown.
The host Bulldogs, of course, are back after topping Saegertown, 54-31, in last year’s title game. Meadville has won four out of the last six Sertoma titles.
The Panthers are also back and face Seneca in the tournament opener at 6 p.m. Meadville will then take on Central Tech at 7:30 p.m.
Perhaps one of the best matchups today is at the Fort LeBoeuf Tournament where Corry and Cambridge Springs meet at 4 p.m. The Beavers finished 14-8 last season, while the Spa finished 13-9.
The Spa, led by first-year head coach Rick Grubbs, returns nearly everyone including all-Region 4 second teamer Kendall Spaid and its entire backcourt. The Beavers did lost quite a bit, but the cupboard is not bare.
At Grove City, Cochranton opens its season with a date with Greenville and star forward Brooklyn Taylor, who has committed to play basketball at St. Francis (Pa.) University. Taylor enters the season with 1,177 points.
The game could be a good test for a young Cochranton squad. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. West Shamokin and Grove City face off in the second game at 7:30 p.m.
Of other local interest, Titusville is at the Oil City Tournament and faces North East at 6:30 tonight. General McLane takes on Farrell at 7 p.m. to open the Sharon Tournament. At West Middlesex, Lakeview plays the host Big Reds at 7:15 p.m.