The Inquirer TOP 10
PRESEASON GIRLS' BASKETBALL
1. Archbishop Wood 26-5
Fourteen of the 15 members of last season's PIAA Class AAA championship team are back to make another run at state honors. A game Sunday against La Salle Academy (R.I.) could be a measuring stick for the Vikings, who figure in the Catholic League hunt.
2. Germantown Academy 22-4
The Patriots are seeking their 13th straight Inter-Academic League championship under coach Sherri Retif. Six-foot-one Alexa Gallagher and 5-8 guard Jaryn Garner, two nationally recognized players, could make that happen.
3. Mount St. Joseph 23-5
The Magic have moved up to Class AAAA this season, so they will have their work cut out when it comes to playoff time against bigger schools. But with a squad led by Steph Smith, coach John Miller says his team will be ready.
4. Prep Charter 22-6
The transfer of 6-2 Kahleah Copper from Girard College makes the Huskies that much stronger. With Copper, they will have three players over 6 feet and one just under. Tiffany Johnson heads a list of four senior guards.
5. Archbishop Carroll 25-4
The Patriots will miss Erin Shields but have 12 returnees from a team that won the Catholic League and District 1 Class AAA titles. Senior guard Jen Carney runs the team.
6. Council Rock North 21-8
The Gold sisters, Devon and Lauren, will lead a very experienced team that will have its share of height. Emily Grundman lists at 6-2 while Megan Cunningham and Helena Gemmell are each 5-10. Council Rock South and Abington will be the Indians' stiffest SOL competition.
7. Council Rock South 24-6
Alex Wheatley, a 6-3 junior, has shown that she can do it all for third-year coach Monica Stolic. Last season, Wheatley, a smooth operator for a tall player who moves very well with the ball, averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds per game.
8. Abington 24-5
Emily Leer is gone from the Ghosts' first team to win a District 1 championship in 35 years, but four out of five starters return. Sisters Aiyanna and Chyna West are part of a talented surrounding cast.
9. Cardinal O'Hara 16-8
The Lions may have dropped a notch last season, but look for transfer Shanice Johnson from Cardinal Dougherty to give them a boost. She's a 6-foot sophomore who will combine with 6-foot senior Marissa Manning, who earned all-Catholic League second-team honors last season.
10. Penn Charter 19-7
With high expectations, the Quakers have already opened the season with a nonleague win over Shipley. Seven returning varsity players, including Aleesha Powell and Brianna Butler, should give Penn Charter a boost in the Inter-Academic League.
Under consideration (listed alphabetically): Archbishop Ryan (22-7), Central (18-7), Cheltenham (27-3), Downingtown East (22-5), Downingtown West (21-7), Engineering and Science (20-4), Nazareth Academy (16-9), St. Basil (22-5), Upper Dublin (16-8).
- Don Beideman