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The Inquirer preseason girls' basketball Top 10

The Inquirer 2011 girls' basketball preseason Top 10 rankings.

The Inquirer TOP 10


Team   Record

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