The Poll

The Baltimore Sun

1. Mount St. Joseph

Last season: 25-8, ranked No. 2

The Gaels graduated three seniors from last year's team and return Georgetown-bound Henry Sims, 6 feet 11, in the middle. He is flanked by guards Justin McCoy and Eric Atkins and a host of other outstanding players. Mount St. Joseph went 69-5 the past two seasons.

2. Towson Catholic

Last season: 32-5, No. 1

Despite losing a combined 38 points a game due to the graduation of Player of the Year Malcolm Delaney and Donte Greene, the Owls will still be a force. Towson Catholic returns three key starters in guards Larry Bastfield and Leshon Edwards and forward Brandon Greene.

3. St. Frances

Last season: 22-10, No. 7

Maryland-bound guard Sean Mosley and forward Anthony Oquendo return as starters, making the Panthers a contender in the Baltimore Catholic League and Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference.

4. Randallstown

Last season: 24-3, No. 3

Coach Kim Rivers just keeps producing championship contenders, as the Rams of Class 2A are ready for a run at a fourth consecutive state championship. Tione Womack is back at the point and Alexander Jackson and Marcus Jeter are in the paint on a deep team.

5. City

Last season: 20-5, unranked

In their third season under coach Mike Daniel, the Knights are potentially Baltimore City's top team and are in the 2A North region with Randallstown. The Knights return the Bartons, forward William and guard Antonio, and junior forward Maurice Johnson.

6. Northwestern

Last season: 14-8, No. 11

After playing on the road all last season, the defending Baltimore City champion Wildcats will be in their new gym. They return four key seniors, led by guard Warren Wright and 6-8 center Jeremy Brightford.

7. Douglass

Last season: 22-2, No. 8

The Ducks won their first 20 games last season, led by All-Metro shooting guard Omar Strong, who is back for his senior season.

8. Broadneck

Last season: 22-3, No. 6

With three returning starters -- leading scorer J.J. Hicks (guard), leading rebounder Kevin Hunt (forward) and forward Mike Atkins, the Bruins are ready to defend their Anne Arundel County title and contend for the 4A East crown.

9. Walbrook

Last season: 15-7, unranked

The Warriors have a young team led by talented sophomore guard Roscoe Smith and junior Donte Stuckey.

10. Mervo

Last season: 18-8, unranked

Coach Daryl Wade welcomes back three outstanding seniors in forward Byron Westmoreland and guards Jamaal Ramsey and Dante Drake.

11. Lake Clifton

Last season: 18-5, No. 12

Senior guard Antione Allen and junior guard Jason Sharp provide experience and offense for the Lakers.

12. Dunbar

Last season: 16-6, unranked

Coach Darnell Dantzler begins his second season with the Poets waiting for Tavon Austin and at least four others who are still playing football in the state playoffs.

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 the loss of All-Metro guard Tommy Brenton to graduation and the possibility that junior guard Michael Campanaro might not play.

14. Winters Mill

Last season: 18-5, unranked

The Falcons have a key transfer in 6-8 forward Rashad Blackwell (from Franklin), who teams up well in the paint with 6-5 Cammeron Woodyard, a Division I prospect.

15. John Carroll

Last season: 28-8, unranked

Moving up from the MIAA B Conference to the A Conference, the Patriots are looking to make noise in the metro area.

Others considered -- Annapolis (19-6, No. 10), Cardinal Gibbons (16-13), Mount Carmel (19-13, un ranked), New Town (22-3, No. 13), St. Mary's (24-7, No. 14), Severna Park (18-8, unranked), Woodlawn (16-8, unranked).

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