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Mount St. Joseph's Darryl Morsell, right, controls the ball while the trying to fend off pressure by Indian Creek's Cole Washington during a boys basketball game in 2015.
Mount St. Joseph's Darryl Morsell, right, controls the ball while the trying to fend off pressure by Indian Creek's Cole Washington during a boys basketball game in 2015. (Brian Krista / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

1. Mount Saint Joseph

Coach: Pat Clatchey

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Last season: 33-6, No. 3

Postseason: Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference finalist; Baltimore Catholic League finalist

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Outlook: The pieces are in place for a special season in Irvington.Do-it-all senior Darryl Morsell brings leadership and winning intangibles, junior center Jalen Smith is primed for a breakout season and the surrounding cast is deep and versatile.Heartbreak losses in the MIAA A Conference and BCL title games serve as valuable experience and motivation.

2. Poly

Coach: Sam Brand

Last season: 20-4, No. 7

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Postseason: Class 3A North Section I semifinalist

Outlook: Poly was enjoying an epic season — highlighted by the Baltimore City Division I title — before it came to an abrupt halt with an upset loss to Woodlawn early in the playoffs.With four starters back and plenty of incoming talent in the fold, the Engineers are hungry for more.All-Metro forward De'Vondre Perry is on the short list of the area's most dominant players.

3. John Carroll

Coach: John Zito

Last season: 27-11, ranked No. 2

Postseason: MIAA A Conference semifinalist; BCL champion

Outlook: The Patriots are set up for another fine season under first-year coach Zito, who replaces Tony Martin and brings a fast and physical style with an emphasis on pressure defense. The junior backcourt of Immanuel Quickley, the All-Metro Player of the Year, and transfer Montez Mathis (Mt. Carmel, Oak Hill) is the area's best, to go with a big and athletic frontcourt.

4. Glenelg Country

Coach: Kevin Quinlan

Last season: 19-9, No. 8

Postseason: MIAA A Conference semifinalist

Outlook: The Dragons went from five league wins in 2014-15 to 11 last season and the upward trend should continue. They have a quality mix of experienced returning players and promising transfers. Anthony Longpre, C.J. Wilson and Isaiah Burnett are returning leaders and Jalen Gabbidon (Harrisburg Academy) is an explosive scorer who heads the list of five transfers.

5. Lake Clifton

Coach: Herman "Tree" Harried

Last season: 16-10, No. 14

Postseason: Class 1A state finalist

Outlook: Last year's team featured a promising but inexperienced sophomore class that found its way to the state title game.The core is stronger, more cohesive, eager to take the next step. Guard Rasheed Brown is the Lakers' go-to player with point guard Steven Parker and forward Ronald Lucas also returning as impact players. St. Frances transfer Andre Rafus is a big addition.

6. Calvert Hall

Coach: John Bauersfeld

Last season: 17-14, not ranked

Postseason: MIAA A Conference quarterfinalist; BCL semifinalist

Outlook: In complete rebuild mode last season, Calvert Hall made steady strides and its young talent gained confidence and experience. That should translate into more wins this season.All-Metro junior guard Brendan Adams is one of four starters back and freshman forward Justin Lewis is ready to make an immediate impact to make the Cardinals a viable contender.

7. Perry Hall

Coach: George Panageotou

Last season: 21-3, No. 12

Postseason: Class 4A state semifinalist

Outlook: With four starters and nine players back from last year's state playoff team, the Gators have lofty goals and the goods to reach them. Senior guard James Rider is the glue with Laquill Hardnett and Anthony Higgs leading the frontcourt. They have the depth, experience, size and skills for a special season.

8. Dunbar

Coach: Cyrus Jones Sr.

Last season: 16-9, No. 13

Postseason: Class 2A North finalist

Outlook:Still young, the Poets find themselves in the mix in tough Baltimore City with a talented group that gained valuable experience last season. Junior Da'Shawn Phillip (16 ppg, 7 rpg) brings take-over skills and a positive tone with his hard work. Senior Damonte Moore and junior Tyree McNair are back, but sophomore Jalen Willis transferred to Joppatowne.

9. St. Frances

Coach: Nick Myles

Last season: 31-11, No. 4

Postseason: MIAA A champion; BCL semifinalist

Outlook:With the graduation of All-Metro backcourt mates Kurk Lee Jr. and Daquan Bracey, the Panthers will be taking on a new identity. Experience and depth remains.Senior forward Eral Penn will be counted on for points and leadership with fellow returning players Elijah Epps and Jordan Goodwin taking over the backcourt duties and 6-8 forward Koran Moore providing strong inside play.

10. Pallotti

Coach:Dennis Murphy

Last season: 15-14, not ranked

Postseason: MIAA A quarterfinalist

Outlook:The Panthers showed they belonged in the A Conference last season, taking perennial power Mount Saint Joseph down to the wire in the playoffs, and will look for more consistent play to build off the success.Senior point guard Everette Hammond is the floor leader and 6-8 sophomore center Abdoul Karim Coulibaly (13.5 ppg, 9.0 rpg) comes of a fine freshman season.

11. Woodlawn

Coach: Bobby Richardson

Last season: 20-4, No. 10

Postseason: Class 3A North finalist

Outlook:Woodlawn had its share of special moments last season, including a trip to the Baltimore County championship game and an upset playoff win over then-No. 1 Poly. With three starters back and some promising newcomers, the Warriors are primed to make more.Senior forward Juwan Lane (16 ppg, 7 rpg) leads the way.

12. Glen Burnie

Coach: Mike Rudd

Last season: 18-6, not ranked

Postseason: Class 4A East Section I finalist

Outlook: Led by the dominating inside duo of seniors Dayvon Cuffey (18 ppg, 14 rpg) and Markell Watkins (14 ppg, 6 rpg), the senior-laden Gophers are poised to battle their way to the top in Anne Arundel County.Eight players return from last year's team, with point guard Rocky Santos and shooting guard Troy Smoot also playing big roles.

13. Patterson

Coach: Harry Martin

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Last season: 14-9, not ranked

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Postseason: Class 2A North Section I semifinalist

Outlook: How well Patterson can blend some quality transfers with returning players from last year's varsity and junior varsity will be critical this season. The two biggest additions are backcourt mates Marvin Price (Dematha) and Gerard Mungo (St. Frances). Forward Chris Adams, who averaged 10 ppg last season, is the lone returning starter.

14. Joppatowne

Coach: Jermaine Head

Last season: 18-4, not ranked

Postseason: Class 1A North Section I semifinalist

Outlook: Joppatowne claimed a share of the UCBAC Chesapeake division and then had an early exit in the region playoffs last year, leaving the team with unfinished business this season. With some quality returning players — led by junior guard Montrell Horsey — and promising newcomers — Dunbar sophomore transfer Jalen Willis heading the list — the Mariners have the goods to make good on their big plans.

15. McDonogh

Coach: TJ Jordan

Last season: 18-12, not ranked

Postseason: MIAA A quarterfinalist

Outlook: Jordan, who spent the previous eight seasons as an assistant coach in the program, takes over for David Gately. He emphasizes tough team defense and will encourage his Eagles to get up and down the floor at a fast pace. The team's strength is its backcourt, with senior Damian Chong-Qui and junior Noah Locke the lone starters back. Senior guard Jaedon Willis also will play a big role.

Others considered

Annapolis, (13-9, not ranked); C. Milton Wright (24-3, No. 5); Centennial (17-8, not ranked); Century (17-7, not ranked); Douglass (21-2, not ranked); Dulaney (18-5, not ranked); Edmondson (11-11, not ranked); McDonogh (18-12, not ranked); New Town (23-2, No. 1)

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