Notre Dame-Fairfield girls basketball coach Eric DeMarco knows a thing or two about coaching high school girls basketball in the state of Connecticut.

DeMarco, who has a career record of 37-27 at Notre Dame in his three year tenure at Notre Dame, has been to the state playoffs in each of his three years as Lancers head coach. He's never missed the state playoffs in his time as a head coach in the state, including 10 straight trips to the playoffs as a coach at Seymour.

DeMarco expects more of the same from his team in 2010, however, he may be forced to look for new ways for his team to succeed. The Lancers were 8-13 in 2009-10, and were dealt a tough blow when three-year varsity starter Destiny George injured her ACL in the summer. That injury will likely cost George her senior season.

"She's our only legitimate 6-footer," DeMarco said. "We're going to have to compensate for her absence."

DeMarco still has a relatively senior-laden class, one that has oodles of experience. That squad will be led by his three senior captains, Bonnie Broome, Nicole Negron and Annie Sutila.

However, DeMarco is content with the leadership that any of his five seniors provides him at any one time. The other two are Brittany Perez and Monique Plumber.

"I'm comfortable with any of my seniors in a leadership role," DeMarco said.

Beyond the senior class, the Lancers are led by an experienced group of underclassmen. Junior Tory Wainwright and Allie Furgiuele will spearhead a group that should be deep and quick at the guard position.

"We're hoping for good things from both of them," DeMarco said.

DeMarco will also look for support from a pair of newcomers. Bianka Bell is a guard, who transferred in from Stratford. Freshman Brianna Mann will also look to give ND a lift and sophomore Caitlin Budek will gain varsity experience, as well.

"We're hoping that they get experience and can help us as well," DeMarco said of his younger kids.

DeMarco's style this year will likely be to play smaller than usual. He's hopeful that his litany of guards will be able to aid the Lancers, and that his veteran team will force bigger, slower teams to play his style.

"A lot of success is based on which team has the willpower to execute a game plan," DeMarco said. "A lot of teams have won with guards on the floor, and we want to emulate them."

As far as goals are concerned for the team, he knows that his team may compete and play at its full potential, and still have that not translate with wins and losses. He expects the SWC to be a difficult trail for the Lancers to cross.

"The league is very strong," DeMarco said. "We can still play well and run into some significant talent around."

But, DeMarco is content to let his team to continue to improve and let the chips fall where they may.

"They've been working hard," he said. "We're optimistic that it's going to pay dividends."