These capsules are provided by newspapers throughout Idaho, including the Idaho Statesman. Statistics are provided by the teams.
Coach: Jim Chamberlain, first season
Road to state: Beat Hansen 59-27 in District IV-V-VI quarterfinals; beat Glenns Ferry 64-51 in semifinals; beat Raft River 69-58 in championship.
Key players: C Lauren Garlie, sr. (17.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.7 blocks), G Jenna Hamilton, sr. (10.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 36.1 pct. 3-pt.).
Team breakdown: Challis returns to state for the fourth-straight season looking to improve on its consolation trophy last year. Garlie, a three-year starter, will give Challis an advantage in the post against most teams. The key for Challis will be beating high-octane presses, especially if Challis runs into tournament favorites Clearwater Valley and Lapwai.
Clearwater Valley Rams (defending champions)
Coach: Krisi Pratt, 14th year
Path to State: Beat Genesee 49-28 in District II quarterfinals; beat Prairie 51-35 in semifinals; beat Lapwai 47-37 in championship.
Key players: Jade Gutzmann, Felicia Kolb, Mikel Harrington.
Team breakdown: Gutzman led the rams to the top seed from District 7 thanks to an 18-point effort in the title game against bitter rival Lapwai. It was the first District title for longtime coach Krisi Pratt, but her team is no stranger to success. Clearwater Valley has reached the State title game in each of the past two seasons, and won it all last year. Gutzman and Kolb are both savvy play-makers with scoring ability, while Harrington and Tisha Ruebens both bring an aggressive and opportunistic playing style under the boards.
Coach: Bruce Johnson, fifth season
Road to state: Beat Idaho City 39-21 in District III quarterfinals, Beat Rimrock 35-34 in semifinals to qualify for state, lost to Notus 49-14 in finals
Key players: Madison Johnson (15 ppg, 12 rpg, 4 apg); Haley Paulson 11 ppg, 3 rpg), Brandi Parker (6 ppg, 5 rpg).
Team breakdown: At the start of the season Greenleaf had six players on the varsity roster. ... Andrea Gooding, who averaged 7 points and nine rebounds per game, tore her ACL in the district championship game and will miss the state tournament.
Coach: Shawn Spencer, 15th season
Path to State: Beat Potlatch 57-21 in the District II quarterfinals; beat Kendrick 56-37 in the semifinals; lost to Clearwater Valley 47-37 in championship.
Key players: Katherine Samuels, Natahnee Spencer, Sierra Higheagle.
Team breakdown: The Wildcats’ record is even more impressive than it appears due to Lapwai’s daunting non-league slate. Losses to 5A Lewiston and 2A Grangeville (which both qualified for State in their respective classes) have prepared this perennial 1A Division I contender for yet another run at a state title. Samuels has a special knack for relieving opposing ball-handlers of their quarry, and when combined with the play-making of Spencer and the shooting of Higheagle the Wildcats appear to be poised for another run to the title game.
Liberty Charter Patriots
Coach: Mark Wachsmuth, third season
Road to state: Beat Cascade 48-30 in District III quarterfinals, lost to Notus 46-35 in semifinals, beat Rimrock 43-28 in third place game.
Key players: G Emily Rainboth jr. (10.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.9 steals); G Alivia Wachsmuth so. (10.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.4 steals).
Team breakdown: The Patriots are back in the tournament after making it for the first time in school history a year ago. ... Liberty Charter has a young roster, featuring just one senior and five freshman. ... The lone senior, Toree Marshall missed last year after tearing her ACL the first week of the season.
Coach: Brad Huter, second season
Road to state: Beat Wilder 74-13 in District III quarterfinals, beat Liberty Charter 46-35 in semifinals, beat Greenleaf 49—14 in finals.
Key players: Tarah Anderson, sr. (13.7 ppg, 7 rpg, 4 steals)l Yesenia Gomez, sr. (8.2 ppg, 2.6 apg, 3 steals), Jasmine Parra, jr. (8.7 ppg, 2.6 apg, 3 steals).
Team breakdown: The team is playing with the memory of its late coach Clint Burnett. Burnett, who coached the Pirates for three years, died two years ago. ... Notus has faced some injuries as of late. Huter said that the Pirates currently have seven players who are playing with knee braces.
Coach: Lori Mader, first season
Path to State: Beat Deary 63-33 in District II quarterfinals; lost to Clearwater Valley 51-35 in semifinals; beat Troy 61-48 in consolation round; beat Kendrick 45-37 in consolation championship; beat Lakeside 42-25 in inter-district play-in game.
Key players: Meshel Rad, Megan Sigler, Makayla Schaeffer.
Team breakdown: Returning to State for the first time in four years, the Pirates have a game-changing player in Rad, a junior forward that routinely pulls in double-digit rebounds. Rad collected 21 rebounds in Prairie’s inter-district play-in game victory over Lakeside. Sigler and Schaeffer can cause trouble for opponents that key in too much on Rad in the paint with excellent perimeter shooting.
Raft River Trojans
Coach: Garth Steed, first season
Road to state: Beat Hagerman 59-46 in District IV-V-VI first round; beat Shoshone 51-47 in semifinals; lost to Challis 69-58 in district championship; beat Shoshone 57-53 in second-place game.
Key players: F Kassie Ottley, sr.; G Echo Hansen, jr.; G Hailey Greenwood, soph.; F Wynter Holtman, soph.
Team breakdown: Raft River makes its sixth consecutive state tournament appearance. Last year’s third-place finishers, the Trojans like to play up-tempo with full court defensive pressure. ... The return of junior sixth-man Taylor Whitaker from injury should help Raft River’s depth.