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Boys basketball Top 5 countdown: No. 1 Perry Hall

Perry Hall's Laquill Hardnett, left, and Anthony Higgs sit in their high school basketball team's locker room last year.
Perry Hall's Laquill Hardnett, left, and Anthony Higgs sit in their high school basketball team's locker room last year. (Steve Ruark / Baltimore Sun)

It's time to reveal the team that has claimed the top spot in The Baltimore Sun's Top 15 preseason poll. On Thursday, the boys basketball preview — including a feature on how the new 35-second shot clock with impact the public schools, the Top 15 poll and top players to watch — will be available online. The entire package will run in Friday's print edition of The Baltimore Sun.

Here's a look at No. 1 Perry Hall:

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After sweeping the MIAA A and BCL championships last season, the Gaels are hungry for more led by All-Metro co-Player of the Year Jalen Smith

Coach: George Panageotou

Last season:26-2, No. 1

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Postseason: Class 4A champion

Key players: Anthony Higgs, Sr., F; Laquill Hardnett, Sr., F; Tyler Holley, Sr., G

Outlook: All-Metro standouts Higgs and Hardnett — often referred to as the team’s “Twin Towers” — have already left their mark by helping the Gators capture their first state title. But they are determined to add to their legacy and have plenty of help to get more big things done this season. The two combined to score around 30 points per game and can take turns taking over in different ways. Holley became instrumental down the stretch last season when teams were too worried about Higgs and Hardnett and can do anything needed to help bring home wins. The Gators lost a couple of significant players to graduation but have reinforcements in emerging forward Anthony Walker and point guard D.J. Cloud. Baltimore County is as deep as ever with Dulaney, Woodlawn, Milford Mill, New Town, Dundalk and Randallstown viable challengers. But this much is clear: Perry Hall is the team to beat.

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