Nebraska high school girls basketball starts Thursday. Here's a scouting report on every team in Class A, Class B and the Omaha area.

NOTE: Not all schools returned preseason information sheets.

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Class A

Bellevue East

Coach: Brittany Wilson, 1st year. 2018-19: 3-20.

Returning starters – Seniors: Keiley Hein, 5-11, F. Sophomores: Baylee Egan, 5-10, F/G; Avery Heilig, 5-6, G.

Outlook: Young Chieftains hope to show improvement for new coach Wilson.

Bellevue West

Coach: Dane Bacon, 2nd year. 2018-19: 8-15.

Returning starters – Seniors: Siarra Roberts, 5-8, F. Sophomores: Taryn Wharton, 5-5, G; Emma Crisman, 5-7. G.

Outlook: Thunderbirds look to build on a young core of players.

Columbus

Coach: Dave Licari, 22nd year. 2018-19: 4-18.

Returning starters – Seniors: Gracie Luebbe, 5-5, G. Juniors: Jaleigh Adams-Tuls, 5-11, F.

Outlook: The Discoverers should have a good balance of inside and outside; newcomers will be counted on to contribute.

Elkhorn

Coach: Jennifer Wragge, 14th year. 2018-19: 19-6, Class B state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Maddy Meehan, 5-10, G/F. Juniors: Tia Murray, 6-2, F.

Outlook: The return of leading scorer Meehan (14 ppg.) should help the Antlers’ transition to Class A.

Elkhorn South

Coach Terry Graver, 10th year. 2018-19: 13-14, Class B state semifinalist.

Returning starters – Seniors: Reese Baltzell, 5-7, G. Juniors: Rylee Gray, 6-3, C; Cami Small, 5-10, F.

Outlook: The Storm step up to Class A this season but without point guard Lily Ziemkiewicz, whose family moved to Texas; Gray averaged 10.5 ppg and 8.8 rpg.

Fremont

Coach: Kelly Flynn, 2nd year. 2018-19: 18-8.

Returning starters – Seniors: Sydney Golladay, 5-9, G. Sophomores: Taylor McCabe, 5-9, G; Macy Bryant, 5-10, C.

Outlook: Tigers came within one win of state last season for veteran coach Flynn; heavily-recruited McCabe set a school record as a freshman with 72 3-pointers.

Grand Island

Coach: Scott Hirchert, 2nd year. 2018-19: 2-21.

Returning starters – Seniors: Rya Chavez, 5-6, G; Tori hale, 5-6, G; Katie Zuelow, 5-7, F.

Outlook: Islanders return three senior starters in hopes of improving.

Gretna

Coach: Jerome Skrdla, 27th year. 2018-19: 7-12.

Returning starters – Seniors: Hanna Spearman, 5-8, G; Madison Haddix, 5-10, F; Jaiden Albright, 5-5, G. Juniors: Avery Kallman, 6-1, F.

Outlook: Dragons will be looking to make amends after a rare losing season; longtime coach Skrdla is sixth all-time in Nebraska with 560 wins.

Kearney

Coach: Kyle Fletcher, 1st year. 2018-19: 13-11.

Returning starters – Seniors: Adi Wood; Lily Novacek; Aspen Rusher

Outlook: The Bearcats return three starters, including two – Wood and Rusher – who averaged more than 10 points per game; Fletcher takes over as head coach.

Lincoln East

Coach: Dennis Prichard, 14th year. 2018-19: 19-7, state semifinalist.

Returning starters – Seniors: Delaney Roberts, 5-7, G; Taylor Searcey, 5-9, G; Skylar Kreifels, 5-10, F; Charley Bovaird, 5-10, F. Juniors: Olivia Kugler, 5-7, G.

Outlook: Spartans return everyone from last year’s state tourney squad; Bovaird averaged 14.1 ppg.

Lincoln High

Coach: Dominique Kelley, 2nd year. 2018-19: 11-13.

Returning starters – Seniors: Nyayongah Gony, 6-3, F; Nyayien Koang, 6-3, C; Kaysia Woods, 6-0, G. Sophomores: Kaysia Woods, 6-0, G.

Outlook: The Links have the height and a talented freshman class to make some noise in Class A; Gony is a Miami recruit.

Lincoln Northeast

Coach: Charity Iromuanya, 1st year. 2018-19: 16-7.

Returning starters – Seniors: McKenna Minter, 5-10, G.

Outlook: Rockets move on as former player Iromuanya takes over for Steve Bartek; Minter, who averaged 17 points last season, is committed to Seton Hall.

Lincoln North Star

Coach: Ellen Jorgenson, 4th year. 2018-19: 10-11.

Returning starters – Juniors: Abby Krieser, G; Saylor Schaefer, G. Sophomores: Alivya Bollen, F/G.

Outlook: Navigators will be young and small but very quick; looking to build on last year’s 10-win season.

Lincoln Pius X

Coach: Ryan Psota, 2nd year. 2018-19: 20-5, state semifinalist.

Returning starters – Seniors: Lauren Taubenheim, 6-2, C. Juniors: Jillian Aschoff, 5-7, G; Alexis Markowski, 6-3, C.

Outlook: Thunderbolts look to take next step after a triple-overtime loss in last year’s state tourney semifinals; must replace graduated Kloee Sander (14 ppg).

Lincoln Southeast

Coach: Isaiah Dell, 2nd year. 2018-19: 11-13.

Returning starters – Seniors: Kennedy Kirkendall, 5-3, G; Mackenzie Toomey, 5-7, G. Juniors: Brittany Wulf, 5-11, C.

Outlook: Knights need to replace eight seniors, and that won't be easy.

Lincoln Southwest

Coach: Jeff Rump, 6th year. 2018-19: 22-5, state runner-up.

Returning starters – Seniors: Emerson Barada, 5-5, G. Juniors: Katie Carpenter, 5-8, G; Skylor Pieper, 5-7, G; Kate Dilsaver, 5-10, F; Riley Wells, 5-11, C; Carly Coen, 5-11, F.

Outlook: Silver Hawks’ top three scorers from last season graduated; an emphasis on defense will be part of a new scheme.

Millard North

Coach: Dave Diehl, 5th year. 2018-19: 23-4, state champion.

Returning starters – Seniors: Nicole Avila-Ambrosi, 5-9, G; Elle Danley, 5-9, G.

Outlook: The defending champs graduated three starters but the return of Avila-Ambrosi (13 ppg) is a plus.

Millard South

Coach: Bryce Meyers, 7th year. 2018-19: 21-4, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Maddie Krull, 5-11, G; Jayme Horan, 6-0, G/F; Chloe Carr, 5-11, F; Makenna Bray, 6-0, F; Haley McClanathan, 6-0, F. Sophomores: Megan Belt, 5-7, G.

Outlook: Patriots return most of the firepower from last year’s squad that fell in the first round at state; the Class A preseason favorite.

Millard West

Coach: Marc Kruger. 2018-19: 13-11.

Returning starters – Seniors: Honnah Leo, 5-10, G/F; Kennedy Darner, 5-9, G; Jenna Bohaty, 6-0, F.

Outlook: Wildcats must replace a trio of three-year starters; newcomers will need to step up.

Norfolk

Coach: Jared Oswald, 5th year. 2018-19: 5-18.

Returning starters – Seniors: Anden Baumann; Jalen Hoffman; Jordyn Schommer.

Outlook: Panthers will rely heavily on younger players; Schommer will be sidelined this season by a knee injury.

North Platte

Coach: Tyson Hammond, 2nd year. 2018-19: 12-10.

Returning starters – Seniors: Callie Haneborg, 5-5, G. Juniors: Gracie Haneborg, 5-8, G; Abby Orr, 6-1, F/C.

Outlook: Bulldogs return three starters and hope to build off last year’s 12-win performance.

Omaha Benson

Coach: Finis Jones, 3rd year. 2018-19: 18-7, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Daisha McGlothin, 5-8, F. Juniors: Kiera Estima, 5-8, G.

Outlook: The Bunnies graduated their top three scorers from last season; younger players will be counted on immediately.

Omaha Burke

Coach: Randall Howard, 3rd year. 2018-19: 11-12.

Returning starters – Juniors: Aanaya Harris, 6-0, F; Hailey Ingram, 5-7, G.

Outlook: Bulldogs could make some noise if returning non-starters step up; Harris, who has several Division I offers, is closing in on 1,000 points.

Omaha Central

Coach: Mike Kroupa, 1st year. 2018-19: 4-20.

Returning starters – Juniors: Nyanuar Pal, 6-3, F. Sophomores: Aaniya Webb, 5-10, G; Aniah Wayne, 5-8, G; Claire Williams, 5-7, G.

Outlook: The Eagles have some potential and could show improvement for new coach Kroupa.

Omaha Marian

Coach: Peter Cunningham, 4th year. 2018-19: 11-13.

Returning starters – Seniors: Parker Stafford, 6-0, F/C; Maggie Pallesen, 5-7, G. Juniors: Aryannah Harrison, 5-8, G; CeCe Hacker, 5-7, G.

Outlook: Crusaders, seeking their first state tournament berth since 2010, have a nice mix of returnees and newcomers.

Omaha North

Coach: Michaela Dailey, 4th year. 2018-19: 6-16.

Returning starters – Juniors: Kionna Moton, 5-6, G.

Outlook: With just one returning starter, young players will be counted on heavily.

Omaha South

Coach: Neil Askew, 1st year. 2018-19: 2-22.

Returning starters – Seniors: Paige McConnell, 5-11, C. Juniors: RaeShaun Richott, 5-7, G; Allie Dietz, 5-5, G.

Outlook: Packers return three starters for new coach Askew.​

Omaha Westside

Coach: Steve Clark, 9th year. 2018-19: 24-5, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Ella Wedergren, 5-9, G; Jasmine McGinnis-Taylor, 6-2, F; Abby Hellman, 5-8, F.

Outlook: Warriors return three starters but team chemistry will be a key; talented newcomers will provide depth.

Papillion-La Vista

Coach: Josh Siske, 5th year. 2018-19: 22-5, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Olivia Boudreau, 5-9, G; Lindsey Ingwerson, 6-0, C. Juniors: Jenna Hoelscher, 5-10, G.

Outlook: Monarchs return one high-scoring guard in Boudreau but must replace the other, graduated starter Josey Ryan.

Papillion-La Vista South

Coach: Andy Gerlecz, 9th year. 2018-19: 9-14.

Returning starters – Emily Richards, 5-6, G; Tate Norblade, 5-8, G; Lydia Hodges, 5-8, G.

Outlook: The Titans will rely on speed and 3-point shooting to be competitive.

South Sioux City

Coach: Steve Selk, 1st year. 2018-19: 16-6.

Returning starters – Seniors: Tiffany Tinker, 5-10, F. Juniors: Kyra Fischer, 5-8, G; Hannah Strom, 5-7, G; Jalen Galvin, 5-11, F.

Outlook: Cardinals seek to bounce back from a disappointing finish to last year, losing at home in the district final; former Elkhorn South assistant Selk takes over for Molly Hornbeck.

Class B

Alliance

Coach: Troy Unzicker, 2nd year. 2018-19: 7-15.

Returning starters – Sophomores: Angie Davis, 5-4, G.

Outlook: Bulldogs, who return just one starter, must rely on younger players.

Aurora

Coach: Cole Carraher, 1st year. 2018-19: 8-15.

Returning starters – Seniors: Paxtyn Dummer, 5-5, F. Juniors: Cassidy Knust, 5-3, G; Jaylee Schuster, 5-10, G/F.

Outlook: Huskies return three starters but just one senior for new coach Carraher.

Beatrice

Coach: Jalen Weeks, 2nd year. 2018-19: 9-12.

Returning starters – Seniors: Addie Barnard, 5-6, G; Olivia Aden, 5-6, G; Carley Leners, 5-9, F; Lexi Schwartz, 5-7, C. Juniors: Mak Hatcliff, 5-6, G.

Outlook: Lady Orange return everyone from last year; Leners, a Hastings College recruit, averaged almost 14 points.

Bennington

Coach: John O’Connor, 5th year. 2018-19: 14-10.

Returning starters – Seniors: Whitney Wullenwaber, 5-7, G; Miley Prine, 5-10, G.

Outlook: Badgers graduated five players who helped last year’s squad get within one win of state; Prine averaged 13.2 ppg last season.

Blair

Coach: Matt Aschoff, 5th year. 2018-19: 6-15.

Returning starters – Seniors: Sophia Grantham, G. Sophomores: Makayla Baughman, G; Avory French, C.

Outlook: Bears will field a very young team; speed could be the squad’s strength.

Crete

Coach: John Larsen, 2nd year. 2018-19: 21-6, state runner-up.

Returning starters – Seniors: Morgan Maly, 6-1, F; Ellie Allen, 6-3, C; Jayda Weyand, 5-4, G. Juniors: lexi Mach, 5-9, F; Hannah Newton, 5-9, G.

Outlook: The Cardinals return all but one from last year’s state tourney team; Maly (19.9 ppg, 8.5 rpg) is one of the best in the state.

Grand Island Northwest

Coach: Russ Moerer, 2nd yar. 2018-19: 21-5, state champion.

Returning starters – Seniors: Whitney Brown, 5-8, G; Lauren Hauser, 5-10, F. Juniors: Shanae Suttles, 5-7, G.

Outlook: A challenging early schedule will test the defending champion; Brown averaged 17 ppg last year and was named a first-team all-stater.

Holdrege

Coach: Derek Runcie, 1st year. 2018-19: 4-18.

Returning starters – Seniors: Jirsie Klein, 5-6, G. Juniors: Taylor Wiser, 5-5, G. Sophomores: Mallory Pfeifer, 5-9, F; McKenna Ortgiesen, 6-0, C.

Outlook: New coach and a new attitude for the Dusters, who haven’t reached state since 2014.

Lexington

Coach: Robb Koerting, 2nd year. 2018-19: 7-19.

Returning starters – Seniors: Madison Sutton, 5-11, C. Juniors: Klair Fagot, 5-8, G. Sophomores: Cordelia Harbison, 5-8, G; Sarah Treffer, 5-5, G.

Outlook: The Minutemaids return four starters but still have a very young team.

McCook

Coach: Amy Scheil, 22nd year. 2018-19: 10-11.

Returning starters – Juniors: Liviya Weir, 5-8, G; Tiara Matson, 5-7, G. Sophomores: Peyton Doucet, 5-6, G.

Outlook: Young Bison (one senior) graduated much of their height and scoring; defense and quickness will be two keys.

Norris

Coach: Mark Hagerman, 19th year. 2018-19: 11-12.

Returning starters – Seniors: Taryn Tracy, 5-5 G; Molly Ramsey, 5-1, G. Juniors: Brianna Stai, 6-0, C.

Outlook: Always-tough Titans hope to bounce back after a rare losing season; Stai averaged almost 13 ppg and 9 rpg last year.

Omaha Duchesne

Coach: Brad Thomas, 1st year. 2018-19: 8-14.

Returning starters – Seniors: Gracie Phillips, 5-4, G; Allie Caldwell, 5-11, F.

Outlook: New coaching staff and several promising freshmen give the Cardinals hope this season.

Omaha Gross

Coach: Marty Gilson, 1st year. 2018-19: 16-10.

Returning starters – Seniors: Mackenna Sidzyik, G; Julia Miller, G; Raegan Hughes, C.

Outlook: A new coach and a new system for the Cougars, who had a solid 16-win season last year.

Omaha Mercy

Coach: Scott Stara, 6th year. 2018-19: 8-15.

Returning starters – Seniors: Summer Mann, 5-7, G; Sierra Mann, 5-5, G; Anna Sommers, 5-4, G; Abbey Wilson, 5-7, G. Sophomores: Elizabeth Rosenthal, 5-4, g.

Outlook: Monarchs, seeking their first state tourney berth in almost 40 years, return everyone from last season; major improvement expected.

Omaha Skutt

Coach: Kip Colony, 2nd year. 2018-19: 18-7, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Juniors: CeCe Behrens, 5-9, G; Kae reeves, 5-6, F.

Outlook: SkyHawks hope to build on last year’s success, which included the school’s first trip to state since 2011.

Platteview

Coach: Gary Wood, 1st year. 2018-29: 15-11.

Returning starters – Seniors: Anna Koehler, 5-8, G; Halle Johnson, 5-7, G; Emma Lewis, 5-7, G/F.

Outlook: Trojans return eight players from the varsity for new coach Wood, a former assistant at Bellevue East.

Ralston

Coach: Paul Markley, 5th year. 2018-19: 0-22.

Returning starters – Seniors: E’saunjia Stewart, 5-8, G; Natalya Wells, 5-9, C. Juniors: Carmen Dudley, 5-6, G. Sophomores: Alex Johnson, 5-8, C.

Outlook: Rams ready to move on from last season; the return of four starters will help.

Scottsbluff

Coach: David Bollish, 3rd year. 2018-19: 13-10.

Returning starters – Seniors: Yarra Garcia, 5-7, G; Aubry Krentz, 5-6, G; Emma Herman, 6-0, C. Sophomores: Brady Laucomer, 5-7, F.

Outlook: Bearcats came close to state last year, losing to eventual state champion Grand Island Northwest 58-50 in the district final; four starters return.

Seward

Coach: Tom Tvrdy, 18th year. 2018-19: 20-5, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Sophomores: Hannah Benedict, 5-6, G.

Outlook: Rebuilding Bluejays graduated four starters; Tvrdy is 15th all-time in coaching wins with 464.

Sidney

Coach: Tyler Shaw, 14th year. 2018-19: 22-4, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Mattie Johnson, 6-0, F; Nicole Birner, 5-7, G.

Outlook: The graduation of five seniors from last year’s 22-win squad makes it tough; Johnson averaged almost 12 ppg.

Waverly

Coach: John Cockerill, 4th year. 2018-19: 23-3, state semifinalist.

Returning starters – Seniors: Ellie Bream, 5-11, F; Julia Martin, 5-7, G. Juniors: Macy Persinger, 5-10, F.

Outlook: The Vikings graduated seven from last year's 23-win squad, including most of their offensive firepower.​

York

Coach: Matt Kern, 14th year. 2018-19: 10-13.

Returning starters – Seniors: Natalia Dick, 5-11, C. Juniors: Maddie Portwine, 5-11, G. Sophomores: Masa Scheierman, 6-0, F; Destiny Shepherd, 5-5, G.

Outlook: Dukes return much of their scoring from last season and should show improvement.

Omaha-area

Ashland-Greenwood

Coach: Barry Fangmeyer, 6th year. 2018-19: 8-15.

Returning starters – Seniors: Mackenzie Mayer, F; Hannah Hatzenbuehler, F. Juniors: Kiara Libal, G; Chloe Bergsten, G; Saige Craven, F; Carly vonRentzell, F.

Outlook: The Bluejays return a nice nucleus, so improvement is expected.

Douglas County West

Coach: Russ Ninemire, 1st year. 2019-20: 2-21.

Returning starters – Juniors: Vassie Vieth, 5-5, G. Sophomores: Faith White, 5-8, F.

Outlook: Longtime Sandy Creek coach Ninemire (583 career wins) takes over the Falcons; heavy reliance on the young players this season.

Elmwood-Murdock

Coach: Paul Dwyer, 1st year. 2018-19: 9-14.

Returning starters – Seniors: Sydney Anderson, 5-7, G; Lauren Justesen, 5-8, F. Juniors: Jayden Halferty, 5-9, F; Payton Florell, 5-9, F. Sophomores: Brenna Schmidt, 6-4, C.

Outlook: The return of Anderson and Justesen helps; Dwyer takes over as head coach.

Fort Calhoun

Coach: Allie Schleifer, 6th year. 2018-19: 2-21.

Returning starters – Seniors: Kennedy Bradburn, 5-10, C; Kinsley Wimer, 5-9, C. Juniors: Rianna Wells, 5-3, G; Mackenzie Hansen, 5-7, G. Sophomores: Tessa Skelton, 5-2, G.

Outlook: Experience, leadership and a deeper bench fuel optimism for the Pioneers.

Louisville

Coach: Wally Johnson, 13th year. 2018-19: 21-4.

Returning starters – Seniors: Faye Jacobsen, 6-1, F.

Outlook: The Lions came within one win of state last season but return just one starter; young players will need to step up.

Omaha Brownell Talbot

Coach: Brad Dunlap, 1st year. 2018-19: 17-8.

Returning starters – Seniors: Grace Thaden, 5-11, C; Cecan Porter, 5-7, G; Emalie Wightman, 5-7, G. Juniors: Josie Petrulis, 5-6, G.

Outlook: The Raiders return four starters from last year’s 17-win squad; improved defense will be a key for new coach Dunlap.

Omaha Christian

Coach: Natasha Kerrigan, 1st year. 2018-19: 10-7.

Returning starters – None.

Outlook: The Eagles will rely heavily on the younger players for new coach Kerrigan.

Omaha Roncalli

Coach: Don Jensen, 23rd year. 2018-19: 16-9.

Returning starters – Seniors: Sam Mausbach, 5-7, G; Payton Stoffel, 5-4, G. Juniors: Abbey Schwarz, 5-5, G.

Outlook: Crimson Pride, who return three starters, came within one win of state last season; the athletic Schwarz is a Nebraska soccer recruit.

Wahoo

Coach: Linda Walker, 23rd year. 2018-19: 26-2, Class C-1 state semifinalist.

Returning starters – Seniors: Kendal Brigham, 5-5, G.

Outlook: The Warriors graduated four starters from last year’s third-place finisher; Brigham averaged 10.2 ppg.

Wahoo Neumann

Coach: Jason Simons, 12th year. 2018-19: 23-3, Class C-1 champion.

Returning starters – None.

Outlook: Cavaliers will need to replace all five starters as they move from C-1 to C-2.

Yutan

Coach: Rod Henkel, 13th year. 2018-19: 20-5.

Returning starters – Seniors: Molly Davis, 5-6, G; Johanna Vandenack, 5-8, F; Emma Lloyd, 5-8, F.

Outlook: Chieftains graduated four starters from last year’s 20-win team; key returnee is Davis, a varsity player since freshman year.


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Mike covers high school sports, primarily volleyball in the fall, girls basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring and summer. He also reports on horse racing for The World-Herald. Follow him on Twitter @MPattersonOWH. Phone: 402-444-1350.

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