ATHENS — There are lot of new faces in the Region XIV women's basketball conference, but once again a familiar team is the favorite to win the league.
Trinity Valley, which has won 17 straight league championships, is the pick by the conference's coaches to capture the Region XIV title and head to the national for the 11th consecutive season.
The poll results were announced on Tuesday during the 21st Annual Region XIV Basketball Conference Media Tipoff at the Cardinal Fitness Center on the Trinity Valley Community College campus.
The event was sponsored by Trinity Valley Community College.
TVCC captured nine of the 10 first-place votes for 99 points, while Panola College received the other first-place vote and tallied 84 points. Angelina College is picked third with 77 points, followed by Tyler Junior College (72), Kilgore College (60), Blinn College (54), Paris Junior College (31), Bossier Parish Community College (31), Jacksonville College (25) and Coastal Bend College (17).
Women's coaches attending were TJC's Trenia Tillis Hoard, Bossier Parish's Brenda Nichols, Kilgore's Addie Lees, Jacksonville's Savannah Carter, Angelina's Byron Coleman, Panola's Eddie Kite and Trinity Valley's Gerald Ewing.
New coaches include Nichols, Lees, Carter and, although not new to the league but to her school in Paris, Rosalyn Tindel.
Benny Rogers, TVCC sports information officer, served as master of ceremonies and Dr. Jerry King, TVCC president, welcomed the attendees. He gave special recognition to legendary coach Leon "Red" Spencer who has in attendance.
Rogers also noted the passing during the summer of longtime league statistian Rob Ludwig and Navarro College athletic director Roark Montgomery with a moment of silence.
Tillis Hoard, after last year's injury-filled season, is excited about her 2018-19 squad.
"We tried to make chicken salad out of chicken poop last year," Tillis Hoard said.
She lost all of her point guards last season and the result was signing three point guards. The Apache Ladies were down to seven players after the 13-18 season.
Two players are returning — guards Trelyn Tyler (5-7, Grand Prairie) and Kierra Brimzy (5-8, Natchitoches, Louisiana).
Tillis Hoard said she has brought in transfer Quatera Limbrick from the University of Houston, a 5-6 point guard. Other floor generals are Diamond Atchinson (5-4, Waxahachie) and Kharisima Brown (5-4, Fort Worth).
The TJC coach, entering her 19th season at the helm of the Apache Ladies, said she liked being picked fourth because it gives her team the opportunity to improve and grow.
Tillis Hoard noted the signing of All-East Texas star guard Te'Aire Hambrick from La Poynor High School and Marshall foward Frankzia Boyd.
She also inked two players from Kenya — 6-1 forward Felmas Koranga (Rift Valley) and 6-2 center Melvin Iminza (Nairobi).
The Apache Ladies open their season Nov. 5 at Lone Star College-Tomball. They will then host the Holiday Inn Classic Nov. 9 (vs. Crowder College of Missouri) and Nov. 10 (Collin College of Plano).
Ewing said after losing three straight national championship games, he is ready to win it all this season.
Two of his players guard Arleighshya McElroy of Richardson and forward/center Jada Wright of Park Forest, Illinois have committed to play for West Virginia.
The Region XIV Tournament will be hosted by Bossier Parish Community College the next two seasons with the event being held on the Centenary College campus in Shreveport, Louisiana from March 5 to 9.
All the coaches expect to send three teams from the conference to the national tournament which is scheduled for March 18 to 23 in Lubbock.