The Mainland Regional High School girls basketball team is looking to do better than the playoff berth it earned last season.

The Mustangs finished the season 15-11 before a first-round exit in the South Jersey Group IV playoffs to Atlantic City. They graduated three seniors from that team - forward Alex Raring, guard Anna Gordon and guard Christina Urbon.

"You obviously can't replace them easily, especially a player like Alex," second-year coach Scott Betson said. "You try to find people who can account for their production.

"Alex was pretty rare. We'll have more of a scoring-by-committee attack to this year. Same thing with the defense Anna provided us with. We're looking for people to fill in pieces that they left."

Betson talked about a pair of sophomores who could help in that team-effort to maintain offense and defense.

Meghan Stafford averaged 10 points a game last season as a freshman. Melanie Malcolm is another sophomore who will add something to Mainland. She missed her freshman season with a torn ACL

Mainland is also returning starters Emilee Dalessio and Shea Scannell, a pair of small guards who will provide on-court leadership.

"We have a lot of question marks in terms of varsity play, but we definitely look to be competitive in most of our games," Betson said. "We're in a bit of a rebuilding season but that doesn't mean we're going to take a big step back either.

Contact John Russo:

609-272-7210

Girls

League: Cape-Atlantic League American

Group: South Jersey Group IV

Coach: Scott Betson (15-12, one season)

2012-13 record: 15-12

2013-14 prediction: Spoiler - Mainland may take a small step back, but will still compete.

Key players: Meghan Stafford So., 5-5, G; Melanie Malcolm So., 5-5, F; Emilee Dalessio Sr., 5-2, G; Shea Scannell Jr., 5-2, G; Sami Lopez Jr., 5-2, G.

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