League coaches eye Hanover for HCAC crown

Hanover College’s women’s basketball team has been picked to capture the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference’s 2012-13 championship.

Hanover, under 15th-year head coach Molly Jones, earned 91 points in a pre-season polling of the league’s 10 head coaches. The Panthers received four first-place votes in the poll.

Last season, Hanover was 21-5 overall to mark the program’s third consecutive 20-win season. The squad posted a 16-2 record in Heartland Conference games, shared the league's regular-season title and advanced to the HCAC tournament's championship game.

The Heartland Conference's coaches picked Franklin College to place second in the title chase. The Grizzlies, 25-3 overall last season, earned 89 points in the poll, but also five of the 10 available first-place votes.

Hanover will begin its 2012-13 season Friday-Saturday, Nov. 16-17, with a pair of games in the Tip-Off Classic. The Panthers will open at 6 p.m., Friday, Nov. 16, against Adrian College (Mich.). The squad will play Wittenberg University (Ohio) at 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 17.

Hanover’s first Heartland Conference contest will be Saturday, Dec. 1, against Manchester University. The game will start at 5 p.m. in Collier Arena.

Heartland Conference women's basketball pre-season poll