Monday, December 3, 2012

Girls Basketball: Pre-Season Predictions and Top Players

By Andrew Marcus
Sportswriter for Montgomery Media
Follow me on Twitter @amarcus515

Welcome to the wonderful world of winter sports. Where it's cold outside and the games are indoors. I love football, but I am thankful this Holiday Season for no more standing on the sidelines while I lose the feeling in fingers.

High School Basketball, in my opinion, is at its best in and around this area. Teams from Montgomery Media's coverage area always seem to be in the mix for district and even state championships. There are always a handful of players that commit to Division-One schools and more than you can count that go one to play Division Two and Three.

So without further adieu... Here is one man's opinion on the best teams and the best players in Montgomery Media's coverage area prior to the 2012-2013 season starts.

Check back to this blog all season for stats and scores. Go to for stories everyday.

Montgomery Media'a Top 10 Pre-Season Teams
1. Archbishop Wood Vikings - I think it is safe to call the Vikings a dynasty, and if it's not, it would definitely be if Jim Ricci can make it four consecutive years as Class 3A state champs. Led by Jackie Pierson, who is fresh of her state championship appearance in girls' soccer, the Vikes have enough talent to tear the nets down again.

2. Germantown Academy Patriots - Led by Dempsey Cooper (Rhode Island) and Kiernan McCloskey (Lehigh) the Patriots have a strong chance to make it 15 straight Inter-Ac championships. Quite an accomplishment and I could only imagine what they would do in the PIAA.

3. Mount St. Joseph Magic - Year in and year out the Magic play some of the best team defense you will see in Montgomery Media's coverage area and beyond. Junior Alex Louin will be the focal point on offense.

4. North Penn Maidens - With the return of Lauren Crisler (American) and a ton of girls who played valuable minutes on their deep playoff run a season ago, the Maidens should be able to make a similar run this season. Even without Stepk Knauer, who is already succeeding at Shippensburg.

5. Spring-Ford Rams - The team that beat North Penn for the District One title a season is in a similar spot. They lost Mariah Traywick to Shippensburg but return a ton of talent that experienced the best competition the area has to offer.

6. St. Basil Academy Panthers - Basil is very lengthy and really control a game in the post by keeping team's to one shot per possession. Look for them to be in the hunt for a league title and possibly a district title too.

7. Souderton Indians - While girls are going to have to mature quickly, the Indians have some scrappy guards who know how to work their way to the basket between the trees of opponents. Junior Bianca Picard is a possible breakout player of the year.

8. Abington Galloping Ghosts - The losses of Sarah Listenbee and Aiyannah Peal is definitely a blow for the Ghosts, but they return enough scorers to continue to be in the chase for a league title and a spot in the playoffs.

9. Upper Dublin Flying Cardinals - This team could go one way or another in my mind after the controversial dsimisal of their long time coach Vince Catanzaro in the off-season, but if the girls can concentrate on basketball they do have enough talent to contend.

10. Methacton Warriors - Never thought I would see the day Cheltenham girls' basketball is not in my top 10, but with coach Bob Schaefer gone and a ton of seniors graduated they miss the cut. Plus, Methacton came on very strong last season and returns some talented players to the PAC-10.

Other possible title contenders: Cheltenham, Abington Friends, Lansdale Catholic, Perkiomen Valley, Pope John Paul II, Christopher Dock, William Tennent, Jenkintown, Upper Merion, Calvary Baptist

Pre-Season Montgomery Media All-League
Alex Louin (JR. guard)
Alex Louin (Mount St. Joseph)
Dempsey Cooper (Germantown Academy)
Kiernan McCloskey (Germantown Academy)
Lauren Crisler (North Penn)
Sammy Stipa (Spring-Ford)

Bianca Picard (JR. guard)

Bianca Adams (Abington Friends)
Bianca Picard (Souderton)
Jackie Pierson (Archbishop Wood)
Cutrena Goff (Upper Dublin)
Deja Rawls (Abington)

Mary Kate Brokans (SR. guard)
Jess Kaminski (Archbishop Wood)
Kelsey Watson (Methacton)
Mary Kate Brokans (Lansdale Catholic)
Emma Dorshimer (Jenkintown)
Sierra Guenst (Calvary Baptist)

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