Girls’ basketball preseason Super Ten

I’ve been meaning to get this out and am finally getting around to it. This was done before any games were played and will be reflected as such.

This includes the 75 or so Gazette-area teams.

1. LINN-MAR (22-3 in 2007-08) — This is an easy selection as No. 1. The Lions are ranked 4A No. 1 preseason by The Gazette and the IGHSAU. Jaime Printy is an Iowa signee and Kiah Stokes is a superstar-to-be. Stokes looked a lot stronger and a lot more mature in the Lions’ preseason scrimmage last week.

2. MFL MAR MAC (27-1) — Yes, we’ve got a sort-of-small school in at No. 2. The Bulldogs have virtually everything back from last year’s 2A state runner-up squad. They’ll torture their UIC foes at the defensive end.

3. MARION (21-3) — It’s going to be a fun winter in Marion; too bad the Indians and the Lions don’t play this year. This team will be the class of the Wamac Conference. It was extremely impressive in the Metro Jamboree.

4. SPRINGVILLE (25-3) — The defending 1A state champions welcome back 100 percent of their roster. Credit Brian O’Donnell for upgrading the Orioles’ schedule; they’ll play Cedar Rapids Kennedy again (this time at home) and face MFL MarMac at Rivalry Saturday.

5. CEDAR RAPIDS KENNEDY (14-7) — Whenever Jade Rogers returns, it won’t be soon enough. She averaged 22 points and 13 rebounds per game as a sophomore. Her early absence (ACL tear, she’s scheduled back in January) could be a blessing, forcing her teammates to find ways to score without her.

6. CEDAR RAPIDS XAVIER (17-8) — The Saints will make a smooth adjustment to Class 4A (really, it makes no impact until the postseason). On the other hand, it gives the IGHSAU bracketologists one more good Metro team to consider when dividing up the regionals.

7. IOWA CITY WEST (8-14) — Year 2 of the B.J. Mayer administration will be far more fruitful than the debut season. The Women of Troy will be the most improved team in the area behind Emma Krieger-Kittle and Madison Sadecky.

8. IOWA CITY HIGH (22-3) — Coach Bill McTaggart pleaded in his preseason questionnaire not to place City in the top 10 in 4A. Sorry, with Virginia Johnson back, you’re too good to be ignored. The Little Hawks won’t repeat as 4A state champions, but they’ll be plenty competitive.

9. MOUNT VERNON (19-2) — Last year’s EIHC champion now resides in the East Division of the Wamac Conference. The Mustangs will be tall and very strong defensively. Will the disappointment of the last day of the volleyball season be a distraction or motivation?

10. TIPTON (17-5) — The favorite in the debut season of the Cedar Valley Conference. Missy Miller, one of the favorites for 2009 Gazette Female AOY, leads a veteran team.

The class-by-class top fives:

4A: 1. Linn-Mar, 2. Cedar Rapids Kennedy, 3. Cedar Rapids Xavier, 4. Iowa City West, 5. Iowa City High.

3A: 1. Marion, 2. Mount Vernon, 3. Vinton-Shellsburg, 4. Washington, 5. Benton Community.

2A: 1. MFL MarMac, 2. Tipton, 3. Sigourney, 4. Maquoketa Valley, 5. Turkey Valley.

1A: 1. Springville, 2. Midland, 3. Valley Community, 4. Highland, 5. Olin.

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