5. Milford Mill
Coach: DeToiya McAliley
Last season: 23-3, No. 6
Postseason: Class 3A North regional semifinalist
Outlook: The Millers return every starter, including All-Metro guards Dionna White and Qierra Murray, from the team that fell to City in the regional semifinals. With their quickness, inside-outside game and White's ability to make things happen, look for the Millers to make another run.
Coach: Kendall Peace-Able
Last season: 22-6, No. 8
Postseason: Class 4A state finalist
Outlook: After four trips to the Class 4A state semifinals and two title-game appearances, the Engineers are now in 3A and in a region with City and River Hill. With four starters back, look for the same stingy defense that held opponents to 39.2 points a game in last season's playoffs.
7. St. Frances
Coach: Jerome Shelton
Last season: 15-11, No. 10
Postseason: IAAM A Conference semifinalist
Outlook: Last winter, the Panthers rebounded from a couple of losing seasons that followed their seventh A Conference title in eight years in 2010. Always a quick, up-tempo team, look for St. Frances to contend again with three starters back and much more depth.
Coach: Kyle Sullivan
Last season: 17-4, No. 13
Postseason: Class 4A East regional semifinalist
Outlook: The Gators return four starters from a team that fell to Howard in a close regional semifinal. Led by Howard County's top returning player, senior forward-guard Zelor Massaquoi, they should have the firepower to make a run at county and regional titles.