1. Ferndale: The answer is simple: Ferndale went undefeated in conference last year, and didn't lose a player.

2. Lynden Christian: Led by a trio of seniors - Courtney Hollander, Sally Vlas and Karley De Jager - LC is going to be tough to stop.

3. Blaine: Blaine has the size and defensive capabilities to play with anyone, and its scoring is pretty good, too.

4. Mount Baker: Emily Yost is primed for a big season, and the Mountaineers return several key players from last season.

5. Nooksack Valley: The Pioneers have a senior-laden squad led by 5-foot-10 guard Lindsay Hayes. Look for them to take another leap this year.

6. Lynden: Senior do-it-all guard Stephanie Somers isn't the only player the Lions have that can compete with the NWC's best players.

7. Burlington-Edison: The Tigers lost a key player last year in Mariah Swanson, but the drop off shouldn't be too drastic.

8. Bellingham: The Red Raiders don't have a ton of size, but with an up-tempo system, they should pose a threat to teams prone to turnovers.

9. Anacortes: The Seahawks have a combined 10 upper classmen who should help lift them past their 4-16 record last year.

10. Sehome: The loss of guard/post Rachel Albert is going to be hard to make up. Time will only tell if the Mariners can start anew.

11. Squalicum: Coach Mark Wright made one thing clear: The key to this season is whether or not his team can cut down on turnovers.

12. Sedro-Woolley: The Cubs scraped near the bottom of the NWC last year, and their roster remains very much the same.

13. Meridian: The Trojans, led by senior Taylor Lunde, should be better than last year's 1-19 record. Just not a lot better.

14. Lummi: The rebuilding process from a year ago led to a 2-17 record, with this year yielding much of the same growing pains.

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