The Inquirer TOP 10
PRESEASON GIRLS' BASKETBALL
Records are from last season.
1. Rancocas Valley (23-5). RV was the No. 1 team from start to finish last season and is clearly capable of being the same this season. The Red Devils are big, strong, and fast. The team is led by 6-foot-2 sophomore forward Lauren Moses, 5-10 junior shooting guard Dominique Ward, and 5-4 senior point guard Brianna Logan. Those players are part of a deep and talented rotation.
2. Willingboro (22-6). The loss of guard Kara Cezar, who moved out of state, hurts, but Willingboro is still led by the most dynamic player in New Jersey. Senior forward Micahya Owens can shoot from outside as well as drive to the basket, and she has a real chance to reach 2,000 career points this season. She leads a strong and balanced Willingboro team.
3. Washington Township (27-4). The back-to-back South Jersey Group 4 champion returns four starters, led by identical twin guards Kelly and Kylie Giedemann. The Giedemanns formed one of the area's best backcourts as freshmen and sophomores, and they should improve in their junior seasons.
4. Cedar Creek (25-4). The Stefanski quadruplets - Mercina (guard), Morgan (forward), Mikila (guard), and Monique (guard) - return for a seasoned Cedar Creek team, which cruised to a state Group 1 title last season. While the quadruplets were the team's backbone, senior forward Kristine Miller (18 ppg.) was its star, especially down the stretch. Cedar Creek moves to Group 2, but didn't graduate a single player and should contend again for a state title.
5. Williamstown (20-6). Williamstown was one of South Jersey's up-and-coming young teams last year. This season, with almost everyone returning, the Braves should be among the area's elite. Sophomore Haley Parks was the team's leading scorer, averaging 12.4 points, before suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament five games into her season. Parks, a 6-0 guard, should pick up where she left off. Sophomore forward Taylor Bynoe and junior guard Taylor Walker add to what could be the first of several memorable seasons for Williamstown.
6. Ocean City (24-5). Ocean City lost some talent to graduation, but led by 6-1 senior center Julia Duggan (16.7 ppg.), the Red Raiders are the team to beat in South Jersey Group 3.
7. Gloucester Catholic (20-6). The Rams return just one starter, but they benefit from the transfer of junior guard Becky Pund, who joins Gloucester Catholic after playing an important role for perennial state power St. John Vianney. The Rams also feature a promising freshman class, led by forward Mary Gedaka. Gedaka is the daughter of Rams coach Lisa Gedaka, one of the most decorated players ever to come out of South Jersey girls' basketball.
8. Sterling (20-8). Sterling returns a dynamic one-two punch in senior forward Anyssa Sanchez (12.9 ppg., 9.7 rebounds) and senior guard Tyra Satchell (13.3 ppg.). Both will look to score their 1,000th points this season.
9. Sacred Heart (25-2). Senior guard Mandy Buirch and 6-2 junior center Kennedy Johnson give Sacred Heart a balanced attack. The Lions are young in spots but are perennially among the area's top teams, and that shouldn't change this year.
10. Seneca (25-5). The Golden Eagles lost a strong senior class, including Inquirer Player of the Year Brittany Snow, from a team that won the South Jersey Group 3 title. But the Golden Eagles return a strong backcourt in junior guard Erica Snow and senior guard Molly Garthwaite.
- Chris Melchiorre