Mainland junior Shea Scannell drives down the court against Washington Township during a scrimmage. Scannell is one of two returning starters.

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.

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"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:



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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