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Girls basketball: The poll

1. Archbishop Spalding

Coach: William Rosemond Last season: 23-6, ranked No. 2

Postseason: IAAM A Conference runner-up

Outook: The Cavaliers lost four games last year to AConference champion St. Frances, but they come back loaded, returning all five starters. Spalding is led by All-Metro guard Maggie Morrison, one of four seniors headed for Division I college programs.

2. Seton Keough

Coach: Jackie Boswell Last season: 16-11, No. 5

Postseason: IAAM A Conference semifinalist

Outlook: Defense has always been the Gators' strength, but they could also put up a lot of points, especially in the paint, where they can dominate with powerhouse 6-foot All-Metro forward Achiri Ade and 6-4 center Liz Brown.

3. Joppatowne

Coach: Michael Harris Last season: 26-2, No. 8

Postseason: Class 1A state champion

Outlook: The Mariners have size, experience and leadership — and know how to win. A new point guard will take over, but versatile veterans Zameria Jones and Shakara Head will anchor this Harford County team.

4. McDonogh

Coach: Brad Rees Last season: 17-6, No. 4

Postseason: IAAM A Conference semifinalist

Outlook: The Eagles bring back three starters and have plenty of speed as well as a solid defense. McDonogh's a young team that lacks an inside presence but should still make a run at the top of the A Conference.

5. St Frances

Coach: Jerome Shelton Last season: 25-3, No. 1

Postseason: IAAM A Conference champion

Outlook: The Panthers are coming off their seventh AConference title in eight years but graduated two All-Metro players. Still, St. Frances never falls far, and talent should keep the Panthers in the AConference hunt.

6. Poly

Coach: Kendall Peace Last season: 14-4, unranked

Postseason: Class 3A North region finalist

Outlook: The Engineers are loaded with talented guards and turned heads in the fall league. With a bevy of quick, athletic juniors and the addition of two solid freshmen, they could rise to the top of the Baltimore City league.

7. Digital Harbor

Coach: Patrick McDonald Last season: 19-6, No. 7

Postseason: Class 1A state semifinalist

Outlook: The Rams bring back just five players and graduated superb All-Metro forward Asia Logan, but they have the tools to defend their Baltimore City title. It all depends on whether the role players can pick up the slack.

8. Aberdeen

Coach: Stacy Liles Last season: 18-5, unranked

Postseason: Class 3A North region semifinalist

Outlook: The Eagles return four starters from a team that challenged Fallston and Joppatowne for the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference title last season. With that experience and plenty of speed, they should vie with Joppatowne for the top spot this winter.

9. South River

Coach: Mike Zivic Last season: 14-12, unranked

Postseason: Class 3A East region quarterfinalist

Outlook: Stuck in a region dominated by Arundel, the Seahawks have reached the state semifinals just once in

16 years, but they have the potential to make it this season with 11 returning players, led by guard Domonique Hagins.

10. Meade

Coach: Jonathan Mason Last season: 22-2, No. 11

Postseason: Class 4A East regional finalist

Outlook: Mason, an assistant with the boys last season, takes over a team that lost only to Arundel. Expectations are high for the Mustangs, who return three starters, but Mason is cautious as he implements his game plan.

11. Roland Park

Coach: Scott Buckley Last season: 15-9, No. 13

Postseason: IAAM A Conference quarterfinalist

Outlook: The Reds have the defense and the speed to excel in most conferences, but the A Conference is another story. Depth and rebounding could be problems, although Roland Park is capable of pulling an upset or two.

12. Oakland Mills

Coach: Seth Willingham Last season: 12-10, unranked

Postseason: Class 2A South semifinalist

Outlook: The Scorpions don't have a lot of size, but they can run. They lost just one senior and have a transfer point guard who can step right in for her, so look for Oakland Mills to make a strong run at the Howard County title.

13. Western

Coach: Tiffany Silver Last season: 18-7, No. 9

Postseason: Class 3A state runners-up

Outlook: The Doves graduated five seniors and lost two transfers from the team that came so close to winning the state title in March. Still, they return five seniors and plenty of athleticism to keep them in the Baltimore City race.

14. Arundel

Coach: Lee Rogers Last season: 23-4, No. 3

Postseason: Class 4A state champion

Outlook: Gone is the dominant post presence that led the Wildcats to four state tournaments in five years. This team is less experienced than any Arundel team in a while but could remain a factor in the Anne Arundel County race.

15. Liberty

Coach: Jessica Morgan Last season: 19-7, unranked

Postseason: Class 2A state semifinalist

Outlook: The Lions have a core group of players with four years of varsity experience coming off a state semifinal appearance. With a handful of versatile 6-footers who like to run, they could come out on top in Carroll County.

Other teams considered: City (20-5, No. 10), Glenelg (17-5, unranked), Notre Dame Prep (20-3, unranked), St.Vincent Pallotti (16-8, unranked), South Carroll (15-8, unranked)

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