PANAMA CITY BEACH — Preview capsules for the eight girls teams playing in the Marlin Christmas Classic basketball tournament at the Arnold High School gymnasium:
Location: Panama City Beach
Coach: Bryan Normand
Top players: JoJo Booker, sr.; Nina McClanahan, sr.
Noteworthy: Arnold plays in Class 5A’s District 1 with Bay, Gulf Breeze, Rutherford and Pensacola West Florida Tech. … The Marlins have advanced to the regional round in each of the past two seasons after not moving beyond the district stage until 2011. … Normand helped Arnold to its first winning record in 2009-10. … Arnold was eighth in the 2011 Marlin Classic, the inaugural girls’ draw, and fourth last year. … The Marlins are off to their best start in the history of the program
Briarcrest Christian Saints
Location: Eads, Tenn.
Coach: Lee Smith
Top players: Bailey Kramer, sr.; Rachel Peete, sr.
Noteworthy: Briarcrest plays in Division II’s Class 2A West grouping of private schools. … The Saints were 26-4 and lost in the state semifinal last season. … The team has won four state championships, the most recent in 2004. … The Saints capped an unbeaten season with a championship in 1998. … They have appeared in the state tournament 14 times and the finals on 10 occasions.
Location: Cookeville, Tenn.
Coach: Mindy Odom
Top players: Hannah Goolsby, sr.; Sydney Robinson, sr.
Noteworthy: Cookeville plays in Division I’s Class 3A, District 6. … The Cavaliers slumped to 9-20 and did not advance past the district round last season.
Crystal River Pirates
Location: Crystal River
Coach: Jason Rodgers
Top players: Megan Wells, jr.; Katelyn Hannigan, jr.
Noteworthy: Crystal River plays in Class 5A’s District 7. … It has advanced to the regional round nine times with the last coming in 2008.
Graves County Eagles
Location: Mayfield, Ky.
Coach: Amy Carrico
Top players: Erika Kelley, sr.; Lindsey Barton, jr.
Noteworthy: Graves County plays in Region 1, District 3. … There is only one classification in Kentucky. … The Eagles won the district title and fell in the regional opener in finishing 18-15.
Lake Mary Rams
Location: Lake Mary
Coach: Rick Weyers
Top players: Laniere Coleman, sr.; Chantelle Rumph, jr.; Morgan Ackermann, so.
Noteworthy: Lake Mary plays in Class 8A’s District 2, the state’s largest classification. … The Pirates were district champions and fell in the regional final last season. … They have made it to regionals in each of the last eight seasons and Weyers guided them to the 2010 Class 6A state championship. … Lake Mary has three state titles and has finished runner-up four times, the last in 2011 in its bid for a repeat.
Starr’s Mill Panthers
Location: Fayetteville, Ga.
Coach: Shane Ratliff
Top players: Katie Wilson, jr.; Danielle Garcia, jr.
Noteworthy: Starr’s Mill plays in Class 5A and the 11-team Region 4. … The Panthers are slotted into the five-team Subregion B.. … Class 5A is Georgia’s second-largest classification. … Starr’s Mill won last year’s Marlin Classic in the second title game to be decided by two points. … It fell in the second round of the regional tournament last season.
Location: Piedmont, S.C.
Coach: Lynn Hicks
Top players: Addie Merritt, sr.; Danielle Matthews, sr.; Nakol Franks, fr.
Noteworthy: Wren plays in Class 3A’s Region 1. … The Hurricanes finished as runners-up in the region and advanced to the second round of the Class 4A state tournament last season.