* ATHOLTON (15-10): The Raiders posted their third-best record in Howard County last season and lost to Middletown in the Class 2A, Region I final. Two starters are among the seven returning lettermen. Atholton's strength is its frontcourt of 6-2 senior Jermaine Reynolds (11 ppg, 10 rpg) and 6-0 senior David Snyder. Coach Jim Albert will need to find help in the backcourt from juniors Brian Van Deusen, Brian Smith and Chris Poe and senior Kori Hunter.
* CENTENNIAL (7-13): Centennial won only three league games last season and has five returning lettermen, but there are talented players coming from a strong junior varsity.. F Charlie Stewart, a 6-0 junior; F Damian Biggs, a 6-1 sophomore; and 6-0 junior G Tod Downen are key newcomers. Senior Chad Harris, 6-2 shooting G, started last season, and 5-9 point G Austin Groves saw a lot of playing time.
* GLENELG (14-10): Seven lettermen return from the Gladiators' most successful team since 1983, but only 6-2 senior G Juan Dorsey started. Three juniors from the junior varsity are likely to start: 6-3 F Jeff Slack, 6-3 F Kevin Roland and 5-9 G Craig Flurry.
* HAMMOND (19-8): The Bears lost in the state Class 2A final to Central in overtime. Seven lettermen are back, including two starters, 6-3 senior F Kyle Jefferson (15.7 ppg, 8.4 rpg) and shooting G Adam Walker. Coach Jack Burke can put a tall lineup on the floor with 6-9 Ira Burcham, 6-6 Greg Keiner, 6-5 Richard Williamson and 6-4 Andrew Teteh, but he plans to start 6-3 Karl Williams, 6-2 Mike Sanders and 5-4 Tom Costell with Jefferson and Walker.
* HOWARD (6-14): The eight returning lettermen include four starters, 6-0 senior G and leading scorer Alex Sutton (15 ppg), 5-10 senior point G Terry Troy, 6-1 senior small F Dax Matthews (8.0 rpg) and senior 6-6 C Tim Day, who has an injured back and hasn't practiced. The Lions expect rebounding help from 6-4 senior transfer Ermundo Russell from Bronx, N.Y.
* MOUNT HEBRON (8-14): Chuck Monninger, who was Mount Hebron's head coach from 1977 to 1987 and won five county and one state title, replaces Steve Secrest. Last season, Mount Hebron lost seven times by eight points or fewer. There are seven lettermen who played a lot, but only one starter, senior point G Derrick Dorsey. Senior shooting G Bob Sites should lead the scoring. Senior swing man Andre Johnson transferred from Wilde Lake and should add some quickness.
* OAKLAND MILLS (22-2): The defending state Class 3A champion and three-time defending county titlist again should be the top contender in the league, although only four lettermen are back: 6-0 senior shooting G Carruthers Gant, 6-5 sophomore C Mark Terry, 6-1 senior point G Travis Williams and senior shooting G Joe Coughlan. A lot of help is expected from 6-5 junior F Greg Washington (15 ppg on junior varsity). Although he will have two big men inside, coach Dave Appleby said he doesn't think he'll change Oakland Mills' running style.
* WILDE LAKE (11-11): The Wildecats, who have won only one county title since the school opened in 1971, should give Oakland Mills a run for the title. Coach Paul Ellis has eight lettermen and hopes for a big season from 6-4 senior F Phil Chenier (10 ppg, 4 rpg).Senior shooting G Joe Guiton averaged