Girls basketball: Parkersburg South tops preseason poll
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Class AAA defending state champion Parkersburg South was unanimously chosen as the top girls basketball team in the state Monday in the Associated Press Preseason Poll.
The Patriots went 20-7 in 2012-13 and won their third state title in March behind the leadership of then-freshman point guard Taryn McCutcheon and Keya Bartlett, who is now a junior.
Logan, which lost to South in last season's title game, enters the season tied for No. 2 in Class AAA with Spring Valley. No. 4 Morgantown and No. 5 University round out the top five, with George Washington coming entering the season at No. 9, the only Kanawha Valley team ranked in the top 10.
The return of two-time All-State center Hope Lester helped propel Class AA Westside to the No. 1 spot in the preseason poll. The Renegades, who lost to Bridgeport in the 2013 state championship game after winning the title a year earlier, took seven of the 10 first-place votes. Bridgeport took two of those votes, and is ranked fourth in the preseason poll.
North Marion is second, Fairmont Senior third and Sissonville fifth.
St. Joseph, which won its fifth consecutive Class A title last season, was a unanimous choice for the No. 1 spot in the small-school division. The Irish are led by Notre Dame commitment Mychal Johnson and Charlotte commitment Griffin Dempsey.
St. Marys is ranked second, Wheeling Central third, Tucker County fourth and Williamstown fifth.