Carrington won its first-ever Class B girls basketball state championship last season.
Look for the Cardinals to make a serious run at a repeat this winter.
Carrington's three returning starters happen to be its top scorers from last season -
6-foot-1 Emily Thompson (15 points per game), Sierra Rosenau (13 ppg) and Becca Scherr
(10 ppg). All three are seniors. Thompson and Rosenau, who were named co-MVPs of the state tournament, also pulled down seven and eight rebounds per game, respectively. In addition, Rosenau contibuted three assists and four steals per game.
The Cardinals, the District 7 and Region 4 champions, also return Kayla Hochhalter, Nikki Braaten and Josey Page, all of whom played well off the bench. Breana Barton, a top reserve before injuring a knee, also returns.
"We have some experience in big games," Carrington coach Andy Braaten said. "Our post play is strong, and we pass the ball well. Our depth and quickness on defense will allow us to pressure teams."
Harvey-Wells County is beginning life without two-time all-state selection Maggie Lorenz. Most of the Hornets' returning letterwinners have little varsity experience.
Also in District 7, New Rockford-Sheyenne went 8-13 in 2010-11, but feels it can put a winning team on the court this season. The Rockets return every member of that team. They include seniors Taryn Jacob (12.3 ppg), Katie Jo Demester (9.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg) and Cassidy Weber (7.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg).
In District 15, Watford City is rebuilding after graduating four starters from last season's district and Region 8 champion.
The lone returning starter is McKayla Haugeberg, who averaged 10.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. She also led the Wolves with 130 assists and 93 steals.
Brianna Allex averaged 4.7 points and 3.2 rebounds as a reserve.
Stanley looks like a heavy favorite in both the district and region. The Blue Jays return all five starters from an 18-7 team. All of them averaged double-figures - ReeAnn Mehus 16, Jasmin Pappa 13, Chai Pappa 13, Karlie Hoherz 13 and Shaunessy Dauwalder 10.