District — 16-3A
Coach — Shane Chambless
Last year — 2-6 in district
Key returnee — Chandler Clark (6-foot-6)
Fast facts — The Panthers should show improvement in what will be Chambless' second year in Bullard...Don't count the Panthers out of the playoff hunt in 16-3A...Bullard plays at home for the first time at 7 p.m. on Nov. 16 when the Panthers are slated to test Pittsburg.
District — 19-3A
Coach — Zach Allison
Last year — 7-12, 0-8 in district
Key returnees — Chaston Bennett (5-foot-9, Sr.), David Overstreet (6-foot-2, S.r) and Ray Foreman (6-foot, Jr.)
Fast facts — Overstreet and Foreman were both injured in football and may be joining the team late...If either or both are unable to play, it could be another long season in Eagleland...Allison, a Carthage native, played college basketball and has had success at DeKalb...Bennett was second team all district a year ago and Overstreet was newcomer of the year... Losing a couple of off season transfers to Alto will hurt the Eagles in 2012-13...Rusk should be a team on the rise, but may not have the fire power to challenge Fairfield and Mexia at the top of the loop pecking order just yet.
District — 18-2A
Coach – Jody Sory
Last year — 25-9, 12-0 in district
Key returnees — Bradley Stewart (6-foot-1, Sr.,), Wesley Thompson (6-foot-2, Sr.), Richard Lacy (5-foot-9, Sr.)
Fast facts — Troup returns six lettermen off of last year's team that made it as far as the regional quarterfinal...Tigers look to be poised to win a slew of games once again...Sory comes in after serving as a long-time assistant at Henderson and is recognized as a veteran coach that is very adept in the game of basketball...Troup, Frankston and Sabine are the league's elite programs.
Brook Hill Guard
District — TAPPS Division III, District 4
Coach — Wally Dawkins
Last year — 14-15, 4-5 in district
Key returnees — Grant Hanks (Soph.), Chase McDermott (Soph.), Andrew Swink (Sr.), Luke Humphries (Sr.), Phillip Kitt (Jr.)
Fast facts — Dawkins returns a nice core of players from last year...Add in newcomer Malik Alley and a winning season and another trip to the TAPPS state playoffs could easily be within reach for this group...District appears to be a bit weak, with McKinney Christian and Brook Hill the pre-season favorites.
Editors Note: Jacksonville's Robert Loper, long time head coach at Frankston High School, needs only 23 wins to reach the 800-career win plateau...Roper's team went 19-10 last year, so keep an eye on the Indians this year.