Gaithersburg's Colleen Marshall shoots between Arundel defenders during last year’s state tournament. Marshall returns to a Trojans team that last seven seniors from the squad that won the state title. (Mark Gail/WASHINGTON POST)
Top teams

Gaithersburg (25-0); Northwest (20-5); Springbrook (18-5)

Top players

G/F Carla Batchelor, Northwest, 6-0, Sr.

G Capree Garner, Springbrook, 5-8, Sr.

F Sarafina Arthur-Williams, Churchill, 6-1, Sr.

G Brigette Ocran, Paint Branch, 5-6, Sr.

G Colleen Marshall, Gaithersburg, 5-9, Sr.


Gaithersburg will be a different team after losing seven seniors, including All-Met Kara Marshall, off the squad that went undefeated a year ago en route to its first state title, but the Trojans remain stocked with talent. Kara’s sister Colleen (East Carolina) and senior forward Jackie Jackson (Temple) will lead the repeat bid. . . .

Batchelor (14 ppg, 10 rpg) and Northwest fell, 55-51, to the Trojans in last season’s Maryland 4A West final. . . . Springbrook compiled more wins last year than its previous two seasons combined. The Blue Devils will need guard Jasmin Dancy and forward/center Jessica Brooks to take some of the scoring load off Garner if they’re going to duplicate that success. . . .

Paint Branch’s Ocran (Army), Churchill’s Arthur-Williams (UNC-Greensboro) and Blair senior forward Johanna Lopez (Sacred Heart) could help separate their teams from the competitive pack. Perennial contender Blake (14-9) had a frustrating season in 3A last year but, now back in 4A, could make a run with three returning starters. . . . Wootton (17-7) graduated four of its top five scorers from last season.