The Inquirer TOP 10
PRESEASON GIRLS' BASKETBALL
With last season's records.
1. Rancocas Valley 30-4
The 2010-11 Group 4 state champion lost just two starters from last season and returns plenty of strong, gritty talent, led by senior guard Natalya Lee and 6-foot-2 sophomore forward Lauren Moses.
2. Willingboro 19-9
New faces, including coach Marchelle Coleman and senior point guard Nola Henry, a transfer from Trenton Catholic, make Willingboro one of the best teams in the state. But Willingboro's backbone is its returning starters, led by junior forward Micahya Owens, who scored her 1,000th point as a sophomore, and speedy sophomore two-guard Kara Cezar.
3. Holy Cross 21-6
In terms of raw talent, it doesn't get any better than Holy Cross. Four of its starting five are Division I recruits, including freshman forward Aliyah Jeune, who committed to Rutgers in eighth grade. But Holy Cross is still young, and will need an inexperienced bench to step up to reach its potential this season.
4. Delran 19-6
One of the most well-rounded, experienced teams in South Jersey, Delran returns five players, led by senior guard Taylor Umbrell. Umbrell, one of the best outside shooters in South Jersey, is complemented by 6-1 center Crystal Cleveland, four-year starting point guard Tara Ballay, and 5-10 forward Aliyah Murray.
5. Sterling 27-3
Sterling finished as the No. 2 team in last season's South Jersey rankings. The Knights lost a strong senior class from that team but return plenty of talent, including junior forward Anyssa Sanchez and junior guard Tyra Satchell.
6. Seneca 17-8
Seneca returns three starters, including one of the strongest centers in South Jersey in Brittany Snow, who averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds last season. Complementing Snow in the frontcourt is a fellow 5-11 senior, forward Johanna Metzger, who averaged 10 points and six rebounds as a junior.
7. Sacred Heart 23-6
Sacred Heart returns three starters and one of the deepest benches in South Jersey. Senior guard Brittany Harden, junior guard Mandy Buirch, and junior forward Tay-Tay Loatman will lead the Lions.
8. Washington Township 16-14
The Minutemaids came out of nowhere in 2010-11 to win the South Jersey Group 4 title. This year, Washington Township will take no one by surprise, and neither will its star sophomore guards, identical twins Kylie and Kelly Giedemann, two of the best young players in South Jersey.
9. Gloucester Catholic 23-5
Nicole Fallon, a 6-1 center, provides a strong inside presence for a team striving to replace three strong starting guards.
10. Haddonfield 16-7
Haddonfield returns three starters and should be strong defensively, led by 6-0 senior forward Maddie Kiep and sharpshooting senior point guard Cat Senopoulos.
- Chris Melchiorre