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2019-20 Baltimore-area high school girls basketball preseason Top 15 poll

Top 15 poll

1. St. Frances

Coach: Jerome Shelton

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Last season: 24-4, No. 1

Postseason: Won IAAM A Conference championship

Outlook: The Panthers are trying for a fifth straight IAAM A title. Player of the Year Angel Reese (Maryland) and All-Metro pick Aniya Gourdine will make St. Frances rather tough to bring down this year — especially since the defending champions have some depth.

2. Poly

Coach: Kendall Peace-Able

Last season: 22-4, No. 4

Postseason: Lost in Class 3A state finals

Outlook: The Engineers bring back plenty of talent and hope to make the push to get a state title. In addition to All-Metro pick Dasia Townes, Ajae Petty transferred from IND and gives Poly even more punch up front.

3. Roland Park

Coach: Dani Steinbach

Last season: 26-2, No. 2

Postseason: Lost in IAAM A finals

Outlook: Mir McLean averaged a double double last season, and the Reds will look to her to lead the way. Injuries and the loss of some key parts from the IAAM A Conference regular-season title team could bother the Reds early.

4. McDonogh

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Coach: Brad Rees

Last season: 22-7, No. 3

Postseason: Lost in IAAM A semifinals

Outlook: The Eagles should be in the hunt for the IAAM A Conference title again. They’ll have Jayla Oden and others to help, but they’ll need depth to try and overcome St. Frances and Roland Park.

5. Pikesville

Coach: Michael Dukes

Last season: 26-4, No. 6

Postseason: Class 1A state champion

Outlook: Dukes has plenty of talent again as the Panthers move up to 2A after winning the program’s first state title. Charia Roberts and Kristin Sterling should lead the way as Pikesville should be balanced.

6. Old Mill

Coach: Rick Smith

Last season: 22-5, No. 5

Postseason: Class 4A state runner-up

Outlook: The Patriots will need to replace top scorer and rebounder Sydney Faulcon, but they’ll have plenty of talent once more. Deja Atkinson should play a big role again as Old Mill will be a force in Anne Arundel County.

7. Howard

Coach: Scott Robinson

Last season: 19-4, No. 11

Postseason: Lost in Class 4A North semifinals

Outlook: The Lions will have an experienced team. Players such as Anii Harris, Marisa Sanchez-Henry and others will give them a chance. They are a deep team.

8. South River

Coach: Mike Zivic

Last season: 21-4, No. 10

Postseason: Lost in Class 4A East finals

Outlook: Ashlynn Burrows, headed for Salisbury to play basketball, should help South River have another strong season. The Seahawks saw their season end last year with a tough overtime loss at home to Old Mill, and that should give them some extra motivation.

9. Western

Coach: Kenneth Robinson

Last season: 22-5, No. 8

Postseason: Lost in Class 4A state semifinals

Outlook: Robinson takes over a team that found lots of success last season despite relying a lot on younger players. Nycera Pryor and Gabby Johnson should help the Doves. They still have lots of talent.

10. River Hill

Coach: Teresa Waters

Last season: 20-7, No. 9

Postseason: Won Class 2A state championship

Outlook: The Hawks ended last season on a roll, winning 11 in a row en route to the state title. They’ll have a strong lineup once more with Kennedy Clark and Saniha Jackson leading the way.

11. St. Paul’s

Coach: Pat Conrad

Last season: 18-3, not ranked

Postseason: IAAM B Conference champion

Outlook: St. Paul’s knocked off Mount de Sales in the title game last year, led by a strong performance from guard Destiny Ryles. She returns and should be a big part of their offense. St. Paul’s should have another solid season.

12. Forest Park

Coach: Jermaine Dunn

Last season: 18-4, not ranked

Postseason: Lost in Class 1A North final

Outlook: Forest Park pushed state champion Pikesville to the limit in the Class 1A North Region final, but the Panthers escaped with a 65-62 victory. Neah Henry should help Forest Park on offense, and the Foresters could fare well once more.

13. Reservoir

Coach: Deb Taylor

Last season: 17-7, not ranked

Postseason: Lost in Class 3A East semifinal

Outlook: The Gators will need to make up for the loss of eight players, including top scorer Emily Dorn. But they have Tiffany Hooker back to lead the offfense.

14. Coppin Academy

Coach: Ulysses Hardy

Last season: 20-7, No. 14

Postseason: Lost in Class 1A state semifinals

Outlook: The Eagles feature a lineup that’s got plenty of talent. Nyshae Weaver and Kayla Henderson are back. Plus, the Eagles got a few transfers that will make an already-tough lineup even better.

15. Mount Carmel

Coach: Rob Long

Last season: 19-8, not ranked

Postseason: Lost in IAAM B semifinals

Outlook: The Cougars fell to eventual champion St. Paul’s in the IAAM B Conference semifinals. Mount Carmel played strong in the second half and down the stretch last season, and Long hopes that carries over to this season.

Others considered: Aberdeen (23-2), Catonsville (19-7), Chesapeake-BC (17-4), Oakland Mills (18-5), Mount de Sales (23-4), Severna Park (16-7)

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