The Inquirer TOP 10
PRESEASON GIRLS' BASKETBALL
Records are from last season.
1. Archbishop Carroll (29-2). Megan Creighton and Rachel Pearson are at Drexel now, but the Patriots still have senior forward Sarah Curran and point guard Kristie Constantino to lead their balanced attack. If the Patriots get good guard play from their underclassmen in particular, look for the defending champions to be a force again in the Class AAAA state tournament.
2. Spring-Ford (30-3). The District 1 Class AAAA-champion Rams had a tough end to the season last year, falling to Carroll in the semifinals of the state tournament, but they return nine players from that squad, which won 26 in a row at one point.
3. Cardinal O'Hara (21-5). A shocking loss in the state tournament last season should motivate this group, which includes forward Shanice Johnson and guard Mackenzie Rule. It doesn't hurt that the Lions lost only two seniors from last season's team.
4. Council Rock South (27-3). The Golden Hawks rolled through the Suburban One League's National Conference last season before losing in the quarterfinals of the Class AAAA state tournament. C.R. South can get far again behind the play of guard Alexis Hofstaedter.
5. Prep Charter (28-4). The Huskies lost an all-American in Kahleah Copper (Rutgers), but they still have some important pieces of last season's team that reached the Class AAA state semifinals.
6. Villa Maria Academy (25-5). The District 1 Class AAA champions last season, the Hurricanes will look to senior Lisa Mirarchi to lead them. Villa last season also reached the quarterfinals of the state tournament.
7. Downingtown West (27-4). The Whippets accomplished a lot last season, including their first Ches-Mont League championship and the most wins in program history. They will look to build on that success.
8. Archbishop Wood (21-10). Three-peat Class AAA state champions, the Vikings are also the defending Catholic League and District 12 champions. They lost a lot of players from last season, but the Vikings have shown that you should never underestimate them.
9. North Penn (21-7). The Maidens should win the Suburban One Continental, but they also will focus on returning to the Class AAAA state tournament, in which they suffered a disappointing first-round loss last season. It will be difficult, though, to replace Steph Knauer, a 6-foot center who graduated.
10. Academy of Notre Dame (14-12). Notre Dame's roster is senior-heavy, anchored by Megan McGurk and Kathleen Fitzpatrick. The Irish have a lot of talent in the backcourt and likely will contend for the Inter-Ac League title.
- Kate Harman