There's a small part of Teresa Waters that was worried before the start of practice this season.

Would senior Megan Buescher be able to dribble with her hands and not her feet after another season of soccer? Would senior Allie Kupec be able to do more than block shots after another season of volleyball? Would senior Laura Hostetler's shot be accurate on significantly smaller targets than she was used to in girls' lacrosse?

Waters's concerns proved unfounded -- the Hawks' trio adjusted to life on the hardwood just fine, creating part of what may be the most talented girls' basketball team in the county, if not the most eclectic.

"I do worry about them recognizing a basketball, but I can't harp on what they do," Waters said. "I just have to utilize every minute to the fullest."

Buescher, Kupec and Hostetler have all committed to play Division I sports in college, but none of the three will play basketball.

Buescher will play soccer at North Carolina State, Kupec will play volleyball at Virginia Tech and Hostetler will play lacrosse at George Washington. All three started last season for the Hawks' basketball team, and should do so again this season.

"It's really not tough at all [to make the transition]," Kupec said. "I always get worried right before basketball season starts because I really don't play a lot over the summer and fall. I spend a lot of time on volleyball, but Waters works us so hard that after the first day or two it's just like last season."

Waters is hoping it doesn't turn out entirely like last season, and with the talent River Hill has on its roster, it's not likely the Hawks will repeat their 16-8 season, which ended with a loss in the 3A East Region quarterfinals.

In addition to its trio of multisport athletes, River Hill has basketball-only athletes in junior guard Ashley Thomas, sophomore center Brittany Gordon, junior Long Reach transfer Marche Westra and freshman point guard LeKeisha Eaddy.

"It's difficult when you've got players who play other sports but I am very fortunate that some of those kids that play other sports are very talented," Waters said. "I would like to have more commitment, but it's also good that I have some natural athletes."

With seven legitimate starters, River Hill's biggest problem may be finding playing time and developing chemistry among its players.

"We are so level that it could be anybody at any given time," Waters said. "We will probably have a core but it all depends. I would rather have that problem than the other. It all depends on who does well at practice the day before."

The Hawks' main focus will be regaining the county championship -- which they did not win last season for the first time in four years -- and advancing to the state semifinals. Despite River Hill's success in the county, the Hawks have never qualified for the state semifinals.

Often, teams from Prince George's County, with players who play year-round, have stood in the Hawks' way. Like last year, when the Hawks lost to Gwynn Park, 64-40, in the regional quarterfinals.

"We have everybody back and new people, and we think this is our year to go to states," said Thomas, who averaged 10 points last season. "We know in the playoffs we are going to have to face the P.G. teams, and it's really frustrating, but we definitely are going to change that this year."

Boys River Hill senior Matt Glover has the same long arms as Kevin Steenberge, last season's boys' basketball player of the year, and the same slim, tall body. He can block shots and post up virtually anyone in the county, but the comparisons should end at his shoes.

Despite his 6-foot-7 frame, Glover wears a size 13 shoe, much smaller than Steenberge's size 17.

"There was a bit of pressure at first, but I know I am not Kevin Steenberge," said Glover, who was a part-time starter last season for the county champion Hawks but will be thrust into the spotlight this year. "I know that I will do my best to fill his shoes and try to be the best big man I can be."

If anything, Glover learned from a good tutor. He averaged 5.7 points, six rebounds and two blocks last season, but did most of his learning in practice.

"He made me tougher, that's for sure," Glover said. "I had to get over him because he was so tall and everything. It was frustrating. I would have an open shot but Kevin would come out of nowhere to block me, or dunk on me.

"I would like to have the same type of success but I want to be my own player and play how I play."

River Hill Girls

Coach: Teresa Waters (fifth season).

Last season: 16-8 overall, 14-4 county.

Average points scored last season: 59.7.

Average points allowed last season: 48.9.

Last season in the playoffs: Lost to Gwynn Park in 3A East Region quarterfinals.

Last state semifinal appearance: None.

Last state title: None.

Returning starters/letter-winners: 5/9.

Key losses: None.

Top returners: G Laura Hostetler, Sr., 5-9; G Ashley Thomas, Jr., 5-7; F Megan Buescher, Sr., 6-0.

River Hill Boys

Coach: Brian Van Deusen (fourth season).

Last season: 17-6 overall, 14-4 county.

Average points scored last season: 67.9.

Average points allowed last season: 55.4.

Last season in the playoffs: Lost to Friendly in 3A East Region quarterfinals.

Last state semifinal appearance: None.

Last state title: None.

Returning starters/letter-winners: 2/7.

Key losses: C Kevin Steenberge, G Ivan Abrams.

Top returners: C Matt Glover, Sr., 6-7; G Richie Jackson, Jr., 5-9; G Wes McCoy, Sr., 5-11.

Girls' Schedule

Dec. 16 vs. Long Reach, 5

Dec. 18 at Oakland Mills, 5

Dec. 26-28 at IAABO Tournament, TBA

Jan. 3 vs. Wilde Lake, 5

Jan. 10 vs. Mount Hebron, 7

Jan. 15 vs. Glenelg, 5

Jan. 17 vs. Liberty, 5:30

Feb. 18 vs. Centennial, 5

Feb. 20 at Mount Hebron, 5

Feb. 24 at Glenelg, 5

Boys' Schedule

Dec. 14 vs. Urbana, 7:30

Dec. 18 vs. Oakland Mills, 5

Dec. 26-27 at Howard Tournament, TBA

Jan. 3 at Wilde Lake, 5

Jan. 8 vs. Centennial, 5

Jan. 10 at Mount Hebron, 7

Jan. 15 at Glenelg, 5

Jan. 17 vs. Liberty, 7

Jan. 24 vs. Hammond, 7

Jan. 29 at Howard, 5

Jan. 31 at Atholton, 7

Feb. 5 vs. River Hill, 5

Feb. 7 at Oakland Mills, 7

Feb. 11 vs. Wilde Lake, 5

Feb. 18 at Centennial, 5

Feb. 20 vs. Mount Hebron, 5

Feb. 24 vs. Glenelg, 5

River Hill's Matt Glover, left, and Ashley Thomas. Glover will fill the void left by graduated center Kevin Steenberge.