A quick look at some story lines for the upcoming boys basketball season.
Several of the area's top teams return a slew of starters. Peters Township, Monessen, South Fayette, Washington and Carmichaels all have top scorers back and each is excited about its chances for the upcoming season.
Coaches in Section 2-A aren't likely to be overly upset about California's move up to Section 5-AA. The Trojans have dominated the section after Monessen moved into 5-AA. The veteran lineups at Carmichaels and Beth-Center are the early favorites.
Wash High coach Ron Faust needs five wins to reach 50 in his career. California coach Phil Pergola has won 511 games. Carmichaels coach Don Williams has coached the Mikes for 33 years.
It might be difficult watching a few teams in Section 2-A defend Beth-Center's Ryne Niemiec, a consistent 22-point per game scorer at the Class AA level and a Califonia University of Pennsylvania recruit.
Bentworth lost four starters from a team which reached the PIAA Class A quarterfinals. Inexperience may hurt the Bearcats early, but a move to Section 2 and the potential on a 19-player roster will keep them in the playoff hunt.
Avella lost coach Joe Johnson after he was arrested in early October. Assistant coach Joe Hough takes over the Eagles, who return three starters and should once again field a competitive Class A team.
On Jan. 13, 2009, Chartiers-Houston travels to Burgettstown in a Section 5-AA contest. The Bucs are coached by Jerry Cypher. The Blue Devils are coached by Brenden Cypher, Jerry's son and a 1,000-point scorer at C-H. The two meet again in the regular season finale on Feb. 6.