Paint Branch guard Daisa Harris will team with Kiara Colston to form one of the top duos in the area. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Top teams

Paint Branch (21-4), Whitman (21-5), Gaithersburg (18-5)

Top players

G Kiara Colston, Paint Branch, 5-7, Sr.

G Daisa Harris, Paint Branch, 5-5 Jr.

B.J. Koubaroulis, Chelsea Janes and Roman Stubbs preview teams and players to watch in Maryland basketball. (Nicki Demarco/The Washington Post)

F Janessa Fauntroy, Gaithersburg, 6-0, Sr.

F Sheri Addison, Wootton, 5-9, Sr.


Paint Branch has two of the area’s best players in Kiara Colston (17.8 points per game) and Daisa Harris (15.7 ppg), and returns Autumn Ashe after a stellar freshman campaign. . . . Whitman returns plenty of backcourt specialists from last year’s 4A state semifinal team, including senior Maddie Cannon and sophomore Marie Hatch, who missed part of last season because of a shoulder injury. . . . Gaithersburg returns a bevy of talent, starting with 6-0 swing-player Janessa Fauntroy, who averaged 12.4 points per game last year. The Trojans also have back two of their best outside shooters in senior guards Stephanie Pantos and Christine Mabry. . . . Walter Johnson will be led by senior guard Melanie Ackerman, who hit 36 three-pointers as a junior. . . . Springbrook has eight new players and will rely on veteran guards Lauren Moore and Ria Peralta for stability. . . . Magruder is expected to take the next step this winter and has its two top players returning in Janel Brown and Adjowa Pinkrah. . . . Wootton will contend again after a 17-7 finish last season, as the Patriots return eight players. The roster includes its top three scorers from last year in Sheri Addison and Cece and Ellie Kobylski, who each hit 42 three-pointers last season. Basketball Preview

Top 20 Rankings: Boys | Girls

Preseason All-Met Watch

Boys: Montgomery 4A | 3A/2A

Girls: Montgomery 4A | 3A/2A

Boys: Prince George’s 4A | 3A/2A/1A

Girls: Prince George’s 4A | 3A/2A/1A

Boys: SMAC | Howard | Anne Arundel

Girls: SMAC | Howard | Anne Arundel

Boys: DCIAA | Charters | Independents/Others

Girls: DCIAA | Charters | Independents/Others

Boys: WCAC | IAC | MAC | Capital Beltway | PVAC