There are sure to be some intense contests on the girls' court this winter. Here are some games to circle on the schedule (all contests start at 7 pm unless otherwise noted):
Dec 23 - Masuk at Bunnell; Jan 23 - Bunnell at Masuk: The teams split last winter and neither game was particularly close. The fact they play very early and again a month into the campign could serve as a good progress barometer.
Dec 23 - New Milford at Stratford, 5:15; Jan 10 - Stratford at New Milford: Stratford won both meetings, including a five-point contest last winter.
December 23 - Brookfield at Weston, 1:30 pm: The Bobcats claimed a three-point win last year.
Jan 6 - Stratford at Immaculate: Both teams have new coaches and this is an early-season matchup.
Jan 9 - Notre Dame at Bethel, 6 pm: ND went unbeaten against SWC competition until being upset by Bethel in the SWC semis last February.
Jan 14 - Newtown at Pomperaug: The place to be for defense, perhaps. Newtown won 37-30 last winter.
Jan 16 - Newtown at Bethel, 6 pm: Rematch of last year's title game, won by Newtown.
Jan 17 - Notre Dame at Pomperaug: ND won 71-66 in OT last year, a rare high-scoring contest for the Panthers.
Jan 28 - Barlow at Masuk: Most of Barlow's games were double-digit outcomes, including a 12-point loss to Masuk in their second meeting last winter. The Falcons also beat Masuk by three in their first go-around.
Feb 7 - Brookfield at Masuk: Brookfield won a three-point clash between these teams last winter.
Feb 7 - Bethel at New Fairfield: The Rebels hung close in a low-scoring two-point setback to Bethel last winter.
Feb 11 - Notre Dame at Kolbe: Last year, the Lancers won this matchup by seven. Two years ago Kolbe beat ND in the title game.
Feb 14 - Kolbe at Newtown: Most of Kolbe's many wins last year were lopsided, but the Newtown game was close.
Feb 18 - Kolbe at Pomperaug: This is the last game of the slate for both and could determine a lot for SWC playoff seeding, Masuk Coach Micahel Collins notes. Pomperaug handed Kolbe one of its few losses a year ago.
Feb 18 - Newtown at New Fairfield: Same as above; seedings could be altered by this regular-season finale.