Robinson finished second in the state last year with a senior-laden squad. The graduation of the Rams top seven players leaves Lake Braddock as the team to beat. Lake Braddock
The Bruins (20-3) had dreams of a state title before they were upset by Yorktown in the first round of the Northern Region tournament last year. This year they will have plenty of talent left from that squad as they attempt to make that dream a reality.
Lake Braddock returns the region's top player in Hubert Davis. The 6-foot-4 forward has signed a letter-of-intent to play for North Carolina next year after a junior year in which he averaged 23 points and five rebounds per game.
Jason Coleman (6-3, 12 points per game, five rebounds per game) has moved from forward to point guard. Guard Marcus Crockett, who was a reserve last year, takes over at the other guard spot. Oakton
The Cougars' (8-12) and coach Tom Casey hope that their height and a deep bench will wear down opposing teams this season.
Mark Mandrgok returns after missing much of last season to injury. The 6-6 senior center will get help up front from Roland Calvert and David Mason. Both are 6-2 and averaged eight points per game last year. Senior guard Tim Smith (6-1) may run the show.
Oakton lost several key players to graduation, but the return of Mandrgok plus Calvert and Mason gives the Cougars experience on the boards where many games are decided. Robinson
The Rams (24-6) won the Northern Region title last year before eventually losing in the state finals to Indian River and the nation's best player, Alonzo Mourning. Though little remains from that championship team, coach Bob McKeag warns that his team will be better than some people expect.
Peter Zophy (6-1, senior) and Keith Underwood (6-5, senior) return. Zophy will give the Rams leadership and Underwood began to play well the second half of last year. Randy Lawrence (6-2, junior) and will help Underwood on the boards. Marshall Durmia (6-2, sophomore), Chris Ihle and Joe Condie give the Rams depth at guard.
Despite the inexperience, the Rams are quick and determined which means opponents can expect another season of the relentless Robinson man-to-man pressure. West Springfield
The Spartans (6-19) were the surprise team of post-season play last year and Coach Jim Warren hopes the late success carries into this season. West Springfield upset T.C. Williams in the district tournament then shocked South Lakes in the regional playoffs.
David Wagner (6-0) and Tony Harahan (6-0) return to give the Spartans a solid backcourt. Wagner averaged 12 points per game last year and will be the player West Springfield turns to for scoring. Chris Riley (6-4) will play inside but he'll have to get help on the boards.
Though the Spartans aren't ready to contend for the district title, they should be much improved over last year. T.C. Williams
The Titans (12-10) have been down the last few years but coach Mike Hynson is optimistic that this is the year they turn things around.Guards Greg Ward and John Carr return to the backcourt and will be joined up front by Stacey Coleman (6-1) and Lawrence Morgan (6-1). Newcomers Shawn Andrews (6-0) and Avis Willis (5-10) will spell Ward and Carr in the backcourt, giving the Titans a lightning quick quartet.
T.C. Williams will use its speed with pressure man-to-man and an occasional zone defense. If T.C. can play as a team and with discipline it can beat people.W.T. Woodson
Despite losing the top six players from last year, Woodson (11-13) still has much for which to be optimistic. Six-nine junior Scott Bishopp and 6-2 1/2 Joe Crabill man the Cavaliers' double low post attack. Mark Bouck (6-1, senior) returns from last year's team as the only experience on a team that is made up of nine juniors and three seniors. Len Silvia averaged over 20 points as a sophomore on the junior varsity last year and guard William Weaver, a standout football player, should provide leadership. Rebounding should be the Cavs strength and if the shooting comes around they should do well late in the season. Beware of the Cavaliers at playoff time.