With fall sports largely out of the way, focus is shifting to the winter with MCC girls basketball likely being very competitive.

Last season saw a dominant Pasco team go undefeated, win the league by four games, eventually finishing 3rd in state.

Richland was 6th.

This season, there's no clear front runner in the league, with a lot of the top scorers returning.

"The parity I think this year is going to be interesting to see," said Kamiakin coach Lane Schumacher. "We have a lot of experienced players coming back. Richland does and Chiawana does. It's going to be really interesting to see how everybody comes together and if they're able to gel and see how they do."

Richland coach Amy Westerfield concurred, "I think our league is a force to be reckoned with and I'm really excited to see that representation at the playoffs and at the state level too."

Of last season's top 15 scorers, only five were seniors and graduated, and only six of the top 20.

"I think the biggest key to winning in this league is being able to defend," said Kamiakin senior Nikole Thomas who is committed to play at the University of Memphis. "We have a lot of good shooters throughout this league. Kennewick has a couple shooters, Richland definitely has shooters. So I think the biggest key is to be able to play defense."

Richland senior Kylee Fox said, "I think just everyone knowing their role and making sure that we get little things out of everyone and using everyone the right way."

So that means a likely thrilling set of nights on basketball courts around the Tri-Cities and Walla Walla.

When asked, many around the league seem to think Kamiakin, Richland and Chiawana are the teams to beat.

Kamiakin senior Maddy Rendall noted, "Those are probably like the next top teams in the MCC this year so definitely going to keep an eye on them."

Fox added, "It'll be even. I feel like there's not one dominant team, there will be multiple dominant teams I think."

We asked the coaches for their thoughts on the upcoming season with Kamiakin topping the list of predicted MCC champs followed by Richland and Chiawana.

Kennewick was the top 3A team though Hermiston was close behind.

And a surprise as defending champ Pasco projected to finish 9th.

When it came to possible league MVP's, Richland's Fox, Chiawana's Malia Ruud and Kamiakin's Thomas were the most common names.