1. WOODBRIDGE (23-5, 2017-18 overall record): Vikings bring back four starters from a program looking for its fourth straight state tournament appearance: 5-5 senior guard Tae’lor Willard, 6-foot junior guard/forward Aaliyah Pitts (second-team, all-state), 6-1 junior center/forward Vanessa Laumbach and 5-8 junior guard Alia Denwiddie. Camryn Platt-Morris, a 5-5 senior guard/forward, also returns.
Platt-Morris, Willard and Laumbach were all-second-team all-district picks last season. Adaija Bender, a 6-2 sophomore transfer from Harrisonburg High School, gives Woodbridge another presence in the post. Woodbridge has won four straight conference/district regular-season titles by going 31-0.
2. COLGAN (17-8): The Cardinal District regular-season and tournament runner-up returns three starters in 5-9 senior guard Jordan Smith (Shepherd signee, second-team, all-district)), 5-10 senior forward Naya Smith and 6-foot sophomore Alyssa Andrews (first-team, all-district). Jennifer Roderick, a 6-foot junior forward, is also back.
3. OSBOURN PARK (17-9): Defending Cedar Run District regular-season and tournament champions lost some key players (first-team, all-district pick Mia Buchanon to graduation), Bel Tillett (second-team all-Cedar Run District guard who moved out of the area), junior Carole Johnson (transferred to Patriot) and senior Erica Lee (chose not to come out).
The Yellow Jackets are also young with seven sophomores and one freshman and need help in the post. But they do have district player of the year Sha’Lynn Hagans (5-8 senior) back as well as sophomore guards Jo Raflo (5-7, second-team, all-district guard) and 5-10 Maddie Scarborough and 6-0 senior forward Karissa Highlander. Battlefield transfer Alex Harju (5-8, sophomore) will also contribute.
4. HYLTON (14-11): The Bulldogs return four starters for Cardinal District coach of the year Lou Perkins: 5-5 junior shooting guard Josie Rodas, 5-10 junior power forward Kiyah Clark, 5-10 junior center Kayla Burton and 5-9 sophomore power forward Trinity Epps. The key is replacing leading scorer and all-district point guard Camahni Kelly who graduated. Look for 5-5 senior Sumaiya Blount, a military transfer from England, to step in at the point.
5. SETON (20-7): Conquistadors return three starters from a program that’s reached the VISAA Division 2 state semifinals three straight seasons: 5-6 guard Mary Pennefather (eighth grade, first-team, all-DAC, top returning scorer and 3-point shooter with 12.2 ppg, 2.2 3’s a game), 6-0 senior center Emma Clifton (second-team all-DAC) and 5-9 senior forward Alana Compton (honorable mention all-DAC).
Julie Hill, a 5-11 senior forward who transferred from Maryland, is an athletic post player who can score, rebound and run the floor.