Final 2016-2017 VSN Girls’ Basketball Top 20 Poll
1. St. Frances Academy (Final record: 30-0; Last week’s ranking: No. 1)
Season review: The Panthers won their second straight IAAM A Conference championship and became the first undefeated area No. 1 since Western in the 1991-92 season. The east Baltimore school, ranked No. 11 in USA Today’s Super 25 national poll, defeated teams from six states at events in New York, New Jersey, Virginia and the District, and won the Bishop Walsh Invitational Tournament.
2. McDonogh School (26-4; No. 2)
Season review: The Eagles reached their sixth straight IAAM A Conference final, losing to St. Frances Academy. The Owings Mills school defeated eventual Class 3A state champ Frederick, 3A finalist Atholton, 4A state finalist Whitman and Baltimore City Division I finalist Poly. McDonogh’s four losses were to No. 1 St. Frances.
3. Catonsville (26-2; No. 4)
Season review: The Comets won their first state championship, defeating Montgomery County’s Walt Whitman in the 4A final at SECU Arena. Catonsville defeated 2013 state champ North Point in the state semifinals before denying Whitman a second straight 4A crown. The Comets (ranked No. 5 in preseason), who defeated eventual 2A state champ New Town, 3A state semifinalist Milford Mill Academy, Howard County champ Howard and won the Bernice Sandler bracket at the Title IX Classic in the District, is the first Baltimore County team to win the 4A state title since Dulaney in 1988.
4. Roland Park Country School (18-7; No. 3)
Season review: The Reds lost to McDonogh School in the IAAM A Conference semifinals. The Baltimore City private school defeated eventual Baltimore City Division I champ Western and New York’s Ossining, then-ranked No. 5 by USA Today. Roland Park, ranked No. 9 in the preseason, lost five games combined to area’s No. 1 St. Frances and second-ranked McDonogh School.
5. Howard (23-2; No. 6)
Season review: The Lions lost to eventual 4A state champ Catonsville in North Region final. The Ellicott City school (ranked No. 6 in preseason) won its second Howard County title, defeating eventual 3A state finalist Atholton. Howard also defeated Anne Arundel County champ Old Mill and Baltimore City Division I champ Western.
6. Atholton (21-6; No. 11)
Season review: The Raiders lost to Frederick in the 3A final at SECU Arena last Saturday. The Columbia school (ranked 16th in preseason) won three road games, including VSN Top 20 squads Chesapeake-Anne Arundel and Long Reach, en route to the East Region championship.
7. Manchester Valley (24-1; No. 6)
Season review: The Mavericks lost to eventual state 3A champ Frederick in the West Region final. Manchester Valley won its second straight Carroll County championship and defeated eventual 2A state champ New Town and semifinalist Marriotts Ridge.
8. Western (20-4; No. 7)
Season review: The Doves won their second consecutive Baltimore City Division I title before losing to Howard in the 4A North Region semifinals. Western, ranked No. 3 in the preseason, defeated eventual 2A state champ New Town during the regular season.
9. New Town (22-5; No. 14)
Season review: The Titans won their first state championship, defeating Prince George’s County’s Largo in the state 2A final last Saturday at SECU Arena. The Owings Mills school defeated eventual 4A state champ Catonsville in the Baltimore County final.
10. Seton Keough (15-13; No. 8)
Season review: The Gators reached the IAAM A Conference semifinals in the program’s final season. The Baltimore City private school, ranked 7th in the preseason, defeated eventual 4A state champ Catonsville and IAAM B finalist Mount de Sales Academy during the regular season.
11. St. John’s Catholic Prep (22-3; No. 9)
Season review: The Vikings won their second IAAM B Conference championship. The Frederick school, ranked 18th in the preseason, won its final 18 decisions.
12. Patterson Mill (26-1; No. 10)
Season review: The Huskies won their third state championship in four seasons, defeating Southern of Garrett County in the 1A final at Towson University. The Harford County school (ranked 10th in the preseason), which won the UCBAC Chesapeake title, finished the season with 18 consecutive victories.
13. Old Mill (21-3; No. 12)
Season review: The Patriots won their third straight Anne Arundel County championship before losing to Severna Park in the East Region semifinal. The Millersville school’s regular season losses were to Howard County champ Howard and IAAM A Conference finalist McDonogh School.
14. Severna Park (21-5; No. 13)
Season review: The Falcons reached the 4A East Region final, losing to southern Maryland’s North Point. The Anne Arundel County school (not ranked in preseason Top 20) defeated Old Mill in the East semifinals after losing twice to the Patriots, including the Anne Arundel final.
15. Milford Mill Academy (23-4; No. 15)
Season review: The Millers lost to Atholton in the 3A state semifinals at SECU Arena last Thursday. The Baltimore County school, ranked 19th in the preseason, lost to eventual state champs Catonsville (4A) and New Town (2A) during the regular season.
16. Long Reach (19-6; No. 16)
Season review: The Lightning reached the 3A East Region final, losing to eventual state finalist Atholton. The Columbia school handed Howard County champ Howard its only regular season loss.
17. Coppin Academy (29-8; No. 19)
Season review: The unranked Eagles won the second-most games in the area behind No. 1 St. Frances. The Baltimore City charter school defeated eventual IAAM B Conference finalist Mount de Sales Academy and lost to IAAM A Conference semifinalist Roland Park Country School and 3A state semifinalist Prince George’s County Oxon Hill.
18. Mount de Sales Academy (20-6; No. 20)
Season review: The Sailors reached the IAAM B Conference final, losing to St. John’s Catholic Prep. The Catonsville private school, unranked in the preseason, defeated eventual state champions New Town (2A) and Patterson Mill (1A) during the regular season.
19. Chesapeake-Anne Arundel (19-4; No. 17)
Season review: The Cougars lost to eventual 3A state finalist Atholton in the East Region quarterfinals. The Pasadena school, ranked No. 11 in the preseason, equaled its all-time single-season victory mark.
20. Poly (15-8; No. 18)
Season review: The Engineers reached the Baltimore City Division I final, losing to Western. The Cold Spring school (12th in preseason) lost to eventual 3A state semifinalist Milford Mill Academy in the North Region quarterfinal.
20. Northwestern (18-2; No. 20)
Season review: The Wildcats won the Baltimore City Division II championship, defeating eventual 1A state semifinalist Southwestern. The Park Heights Avenue school lost to eventual state 2A champ New Town in the North Region semifinals.