1. MOUNT ST. JOSEPH
Last season: 25-8, ranked No. 2
The Gaels graduated three seniorsfrom last year's team and returnGeorgetown-bound Henry Sims,6 feet 11, in the middle. He is flanked byguards Justin McCoy and Eric Atkinsand a host of other outstanding players.Mount St. Joseph went 69-5 the pasttwo seasons.
2. TOWSON CATHOLIC
Last season: 32-5, No. 1
Despite losing a combined 38 points agame due to the graduation of Player ofthe Year Malcolm Delaney and DonteGreene, the Owls will still be a force.Towson Catholic returns three key startersin guards Larry Bastfield and LeshonEdwards and forward Brandon Greene.
3. ST. FRANCES
Last season: 22-10, No. 7
Maryland-bound guard Sean Mosleyand forward Anthony Oquendo returnas starters, making the Panthers acontender in the Baltimore CatholicLeague and Maryland InterscholasticAthletic Association A Conference.
Last season: 24-3, No. 3
Coach Kim Rivers just keeps producingchampionship contenders, as the Rams ofClass 2A are ready for a run at a fourthconsecutive state championship. TioneWomack is back at the point andAlexander Jackson and Marcus Jeter arein the paint on a deep team.
Last season: 20-5, unranked
In their third season under coach MikeDaniel, the Knights are potentiallyBaltimore City's top team and are in the2A North region with Randallstown. TheKnights return the Bartons, forwardWilliam and guard Antonio, and juniorforward Maurice Johnson.
Last season: 14-8, No. 11
After playing on the road all lastseason, the defending Baltimore Citychampion Wildcats will be in their newgym. They return four key seniors, led byguard Warren Wright and 6-8 centerJeremy Brightford.
Last season: 22-2, No. 8
The Ducks won their first 20 gameslast season, led by All-Metro shootingguard Omar Strong, who is back for hissenior season.
Last season: 22-3, No. 6
With three returning starters -- leadingscorer J.J.Hicks (guard), leadingrebounder Kevin Hunt (forward) andforward Mike Atkins, the Bruins areready to defend their Anne ArundelCounty title and contend for the 4A Eastcrown.
Last season: 15-7, unranked
The Warriors have young team led bytalented sophomore guard Roscoe Smithand junior Donte Stuckey.
Last season: 18-8, unranked
Coach Daryl Wade welcomes backthree outstanding seniors in forwardByron Westmoreland and guards JamaalRamsey and Dante Drake.
11. LAKE CLIFTON
Last season: 18-5, No. 12
Senior guard Antione Allen and juniorguard Jason Sharp provide experienceand offense for the Lakers.
Last season: 16-6, unranked
Coach Darnell Dantzler begins hissecond season with the Poets waiting forTavon Austin and at least four others whoare still playing football in the stateplayoffs.
13. RIVER HILL
Last season: 23-5, No. 9
After winning their first state title in 3A,the Hawks have been re-classified to 2A.An encore is unlikely, especially with theloss of All-Metro guard Tommy Brentonto graduation and the possibility thatjunior guard Michael Campanaro mightnot play.
14. WINTERS MILL
Last season: 18-5, unranked
The Falcons have a key transferin 6-8 forward Rashad Blackwell (fromFranklin), who teams up well in the paintwith 6-5 Cammeron Woodyard, aDivision I prospect.
15. JOHN CARROLL
Last season: 28-8, unranked
Moving up from the MIAA BConference to the A Conference, thePatriots are looking to make noise in themetro area.
OTHERS CONSIDERED // Annapolis(19-6, No. 10), Cardinal Gibbons (16-13),Mount Carmel (19-13, unranked), NewTown (22-3, No. 13), St. Mary's (24-7,No. 14), Severna Park (18-8, unranked),Woodlawn (16-8, unranked).