2012-13 Top 15 girls basketball preseason poll

The Baltimore Sun

1. Aberdeen

Coach: Amber Milnes

Last season: 26-1, ranked No. 1

Postseason: Class 3A state champion

Outlook: The Eagles graduated eight players, have a new coach and face a tougher schedule, but they shouldn't lose much ground with last season's All-Metro Player of the Year -- 6-foot-3 senior center Bri Jones -- returning, along with defensive gem Jimmia McCluskey and point guard Kierra Palmer.

2. McDonogh

Coach: Brad Rees

Last season: 28-2, No. 2

Postseason: IAAM A Conference champion

Outlook: After winning their first title in 13 years, the Eagles may be even better than last season. They return precocious point guard Danielle Edwards, and have more depth with six or seven potential Division I players, but new leaders need to emerge.

3. Archbishop Spalding

Coach: William "Bookie" Rosemond

Last season: 20-11, No. 5

Postseason: IAAM A Conference finals

Outook: The Cavaliers, who have reached four straight IAAM A Conference finals, are looking to reclaim the crown they won in 2011. With a veteran squad and a solid inside-outside game, they should give McDonogh a run for the title this season.

4. Poly

Coach: Kendall Peace-Able

Last season: 23-1, No. 3

Postseason: Class 4A state semifinals

Outlook: Last winter's All-Metro Coach of the Year, Peace-Able molded a team of role players into the Baltimore City champion. The Engineers, who allowed just 27.95 points per game, should go far again with the defensive-minded team approach.

5. St. Vincent Pallotti

Coach: Josh Pratt

Last season: 16-8, No. 8

Postseason: IAAM A Conference semifinals

Outlook: Pratt said this may be the best team he has coached in his four years at the school. With three starters and five reserves back, along with three key additions, the Panthers are athletic, bigger and deeper than last season and should make a run at the A Conference title.

6. Milford Mill

Coach: DeToiya McAliley

Last season: 25-1, No. 9

Postseason: Class 3A North regional finals

Outlook: The Millers posted the best record in school history last season. With three starters back and a key transfer, they should pick up where they left off, despite a challenging schedule that includes Aberdeen and Digital Harbor.

7. Digital Harbor

Coach: Patrick McDonald

Last season: 18-8, No. 7

Postseason: Class 3A North regional semifinals

Outlook: The Rams, who have been to the state tournament in four of the past five years, return five players, including versatile All-Metro forward-guard A'Lexus Harrison and 6-foot-5 center Infiniti Alston. They have the supporting cast to compete for the city title.

8. River Hill

Coach: Teresa Waters

Last season: 22-5, No. 11

Postseason: Class 3A state finals

Outlook: The Hawks played Aberdeen tough before falling, 62-48, in the state title game, and with a solid backcourt returning, as well as a couple of post players who saw plenty of action last season, they have the early edge in Howard County.

9. Glenelg

Coach: Don Beall

Last season: 24-2, No. 6

Postseason: Class 2A South regional finals

Outlook: Only two starters return, and one, Sam Heisig, is out until January after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament. With All-Metro guard Emily Russo and several players with varsity experience, the Gladiators should still challenge for another Howard County title.

10. City

Coach: George Petrides

Last season: 17-7, No. 13

Postseason: Class 3A North regional first round

Outlook: The Knights return all but one player from a team that barely lost to Poly in the Baltimore City final and then gave Milford Mill a battle in the regional opener before falling, 48-45. Look for them to make another run at the city title.

11. Roland Park

Coach: Scott Buckley

Last season: 16-11, unranked

Postseason: IAAM A Conference quarterfinals

Outlook: The Reds' roster includes only two upperclassmen, but their youngsters are athletic, talented and versatile. If they can overcome the inconsistencies of youth, they could compete with the league favorites this season.

12. Seton Keough

Coach: Jody Powell

Last season: 13-13, No. 15

Postseason: IAAM A Conference semifinals

Outlook: Injuries were a problem for the Gators last season, especially with stellar guard Aaliyah Wilson sidelined, but with Wilson and a solid supporting cast back for Powell's second season, they should vie for a spot among the IAAM A Conference's top four.

13. St. Frances

Coach: Jerome Shelton

Last season: 10-16, unranked

Postseason: IAAM A Conference quarterfinals

Outlook: With four returning starters and more depth, as well as speed and quickness at every position, the Panthers could be the most improved team in an IAAM A Conference field that appears even more competitive than usual.

14. South River

Coach: Mike Zivic

Last season: 19-5, unranked

Postseason: Class 4A East regional finals

Outlook: The Seahawks lost three starters, but they return one of Anne Arundel County's best players in guard Bre Bolden. They don't have a lot of height, but with their speed and potential to create turnovers, they should make a run at the county crown.

15. Meade

Coach: Reggie Leach

Last season: 17-7, No. 10

Postseason: Class 4A East semifinals

Outlook: The defending Anne Arundel County champions lost key players, including All-Metro guard Imani Bailey, but a lot of girls return with varsity experience and that should give the Mustangs a chance to repeat.

Others considered: Broadneck (16-7, unranked), Howard (17-8, unranked), John Carroll (23-3, No. 12), Oakland Mills (19-5, unranked), St. Mary's (15-7, unranked), Severna Park (9-15, unranked)

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