Defending IAAM A champ Panthers headline VSN Girls’ Basketball Top 20 poll


Coming off a second straight IAAM A Conference championship, St. Frances Academy is the No. 1 team in VSN’s Girls Basketball Preseason Top 20 poll.

Despite graduating last season’s VSN Player of the Year Mia Davis (Temple University), the east Baltimore school returns Gatorade Maryland Player of the Year in Nia Clouden (signed with Michigan State), senior guard Taneara Moore (Southern University) and sophomore forward Angel Reese, one of the nation’s elite underclassmen.

McDonogh School and Roland Park Country School, the Panthers’ main adversaries in the IAAM, are 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Defending Class 4A state champ Catonsville and Howard completes the Top 5.

Pictured above: The 2017-18 St. Frances Academy girls’ basketball team celebrate senior mates Nia Clouden and Taneara Moore (wearing hats) signing college scholarships last month. The east Baltimore private school is No. 1 in the VSN Preseason Top 20 after going wire-to-wire last season.

Here is the entire 2017 Preseason VSN Girls’ Basketball Top 20:

VSN GIRLS BASKETBALL PRESEASON TOP 20

1. SAINT FRANCES ACADEMY PANTHERS

Final 2016-17 VSN Top 20 rank: #1

Final 2016-17 record: 31-1

Player to watch: Nia Clouden, senior, guard

In the paint: Led by last season’s Gatorade Maryland Player of the Year and Michigan State University recruit Clouden, the Panthers are ready to three-peat in the IAAM A Conference.

2. MCDONOGH SCHOOL EAGLES

Final 2016-17 VSN Top 20 rank: #2

Final 2016-17 record: 26-4

Player to watch: Kayla Liles, senior, guard

In the paint: The Eagles, featuring the backcourt of Elon-bound Liles and Loyola signee Taleah Dixon, are again biggest threat to St. Frances in IAAM A.

3. ROLAND PARK COUNTRY SCHOOL

Final 2016-17 VSN Top 20 rank: #3

Final 2016-17 record: 18-7

Player to watch: Mir McLean, sophomore, forward

In the paint: Reds have talented nucleus back to challenge for elusive IAAM A trophy.

4. CATONSVILLE COMETS


Final 2016-17 VSN Top 20 rank:
#4

Final 2016-17 record: 24-2

Player to watch: Jasmine Dickey, senior, guard/forward

In the paint: Comets, led by Delaware recruit Dickey, looking to go back-to-back as Class 4A state champions.

5. HOWARD LIONS

Final 2016-17 VSN Top 20 rank: #5

Final 2016-17 record: 23-2

Player to watch: Taylor Addison, senior, forward

In the paint: Lions look to repeat in Howard County and breakthrough into 4A state final four.

6. WESTERN DOVES

Final 2016-17 VSN Top 20 rank: #7

Final 2016-17 record: 20-4

Player to watch: Jasmen Walton, senior, guard/forward

In the paint: The Doves seek a three-peat in Baltimore City Division I and advance out of mega-tough 4A North Region with Catonsville and Howard.

7. OLD MILL PATRIOTS


Final 2016-17 VSN Top 20 rank:
#12

Final 2016-17 record: 21-3

Player to watch: Sydney Faulcon, junior, center

In the paint: Patriots get the edge in tough Anne Arundel County league race.

8. JOHN CARROLL SCHOOL PATRIOTS

Final 2016-17 VSN Top 20 rank: Not ranked

Final 2016-17 record: 12-12

Player to watch: Savannah Simmons, senior, guard

In the paint: The Patriots, with Kansas State-bound Simmons, are primed to improve in IAAM A.

9. LONG REACH LIGHTNING

Final 2016-17 VSN Top 20 rank: #16

Final 2016-17 record: 19-6

Player to watch: Kiana Williams, senior, guard

In the paint: The Lightning will challenge Howard for supremacy in Howard County.

10. SAINT JOHN’S CATHOLIC PREP VIKINGS

Final 2016-17 VSN Top 20 rank: #9

Final 2016-17 record: 22-3

Player to watch: Morgan Dombroski, senior, guard

In the paint: The Vikings seek three-peat in IAAM B Conference.

11. INSTITUTE OF NOTRE DAME PENGUINS

Final 2016-17 VSN Top 20 rank: Not ranked

Final 2016-17 record: 15-6

Player to watch: Ja’lyn Armstong, senior, guard

In the paint: With experienced cast along with a couple of key transfers, Penguins set to challenge St. John’s Catholic in IAAM B.

12. POLY ENGINEERS

Final 2016-2017 VSN Top 20 rank: #18

Final 2016-2017 record: 15-8

Player to watch: Dasia Townes, sophomore, guard

In the paint: Engineers set to challenge Western again in city Division I with young roster that gained much experience last winter.

 

 

13. MOUNT DE SALES ACADEMY SAILORS

Final 2016-17 VSN Top 20 rank: #20

Final 2016-17 record: 20-6

Player to watch: Allie Berlin, senior, guard

In the paint: The Sailors return entire starting cast looking for redemption and a title after close loss to St. John’s Catholic in last season’s IAAM B final.

 

14. SOUTH RIVER SEAHAWKS

Final 2016-17 VSN Top 20 rank: Not ranked

Final 2016-17 record: 13-12

Player to watch: Paris Plummer, senior, guard

In the paint: Seahawks return entire cast, looking to win first Anne Arundel County crown since 2014.

15. MANCHESTER VALLEY MAVERICKS

Final 2016-17 VSN Top 20 rank: #6

Final 2016-17 record: 24-1

Player to watch: Mackenzie Dewees, senior, guard

In the paint: The Mavericks will be again the team to beat in Carroll County.

16. NEW TOWN TITANS

Final 2016-17 VSN Top 20 rank: #14

Final 2016-17 record: 23-5

Player to watch: Mykiah Ross, sophomore, center

In the paint: Titans look to defend Baltimore County and 2A state crown with new, but talented cast.

17. ATHOLTON RAIDERS

Final 2016-17 VSN Top 20 rank: #11

Final 2016-17 record: 20-5

Player to watch: Zhuri Cannon, sophomore, forward

In the paint: Raiders seek encore to last season’s 3A state final run.

18. CITY COLLEGE KNIGHTS

Final 2016-17 rank: Not ranked

Final 2016-17 record: 16-7

Player to watch: Mya Henson, sophomore, guard/forward

Outlook: Knights will be tough out for Western and Poly in city Division I league.

19. MOUNT HEBRON VIKINGS

Final 2016-17 VSN Top 20 rank: Not ranked

Final 2016-17 record: 14-10

Player to watch: Satori Valentine, sophomore, guard

In the paint: With Valentine, a breakout star as a freshman last season, Vikings look to get back into Howard County title chase.

20. PIKESVILLE PANTHERS

Final 2016-17 VSN Top 20 rank: Not ranked

Final 2016-17 record: 4-16

Player to watch: Teylah Sauders, junior, center

In the paint: The Panthers, under former St. Frances assistant Mike Dukes, could be a surprise in Baltimore County.