New Town at Western Tech hoops. We need action shots for web and CA/AT as well as OMT print.

Defense like this from Western Tech's Sydney Clopton, left, and Daija Coles helped the Wolverines earn the school's first girls basketball regional title last year. Both players return for the Woverines. (File photo/2012 / December 7, 2012)

Mount de Sales, Seton Keough and Western Tech all had key players with injuries last season, but Western Tech survived and reached the Class 1A state championship game.

A three of the squads are much healthier this year, but perennial Baltimore County championship contender Catonsville must overcome injuries to a pair of projected starters to stay among the county elite.

Read on to find out who will be running the floor for the local girls squads this season.

Catonsville


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2011-2012: 18-5

Returning starters: Senior forward Deb Milani (5 feet, 9 inches), senior guard Maddie Hunt (5-7), junior forward Taylor Barton (5-10).

Breakdown: The injury bug bit the Comets well before preseason practice when sophomore guard Lauren McDonald tore her anterior cruciate ligament before the fall soccer season.

The Comets will miss McDonald's high energy on both ends of the floor.

Catonsville was dealt another injury blow on the first day of practice when Barton, the top returning inside scoring threat, suffered a hairline fracture in her ankle.

Coach Mike was happy she returned in time for the Comets' season-opening 62-27 victory over Fallston at home on Dec. 5.

Milani and Hunt will be counted on for veteran leadership and defensive intensity.

Hunt is a strong perimeter threat and Milani's versatility inside and out will be essential.

Replacing Rachel Schwaab, the co-Catonsville Times Athlete of the Year along with Milani, will be the biggest challenge.

"Our challenge is going to be rebounding," Mohler said. "We have got to be a good team rebounding team because we are not intimidating."

Senior forward Taylor Skidmore (5-8), junior Maddy Schwaab (5-8) and sophomores Renee Gast (5-8) and Maja Wichart (5-8) all have varsity experience.

Wichart has emerged as a solid inside threat and Gast had 11 rebounds in the opener.

Junior point guard Breya Wallace (5-4) will help to fill the void in the backcourt with the loss of McDonald.

Relying on defensive pressure and an up-tempo offense will be keys to success and they may need valuable minutes off the bench.

"We've got a lot of returning players and it's time for people to step up," Mohler said.

One strength will be versatility.