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Del-Val League girls' preview

Expect much of the same in the Del-Val as the rising program at Academy Park will continue to battle stalwart Chester for the stop spot.

Head coach Amy Straup led Academy Park to its first league title, as the Knights shared the crown with Chester last season.

After finishing 7-1 in the five-team league last season, the Knights lost their team leader, Mercedes Vaughn, to graduation. The 6-foot-1 center is now playing volleyball at the University of Tennessee.

Straup said she plans to rely on the guard combination of senior captain Brianna Macauley and junior Jordan Matthews.

"With the loss of most of our experienced height, we will have to rely on our speed this season," said Straup, who also teaches at the Sharon Hill school.

The 5-8 Macauley averaged 15 points a game in Academy Park's last four league games last season.

Aiding Macauley and Matthews will be senior point guard Megan Donegan and sophomore forward Darriel Bennett.

Chester will rely on the scoring ability of senior guard Janera Handy to mask the absence of 1,000-point scorer Maya Nelson, who graduated.

Handy averaged 13.2 points in the Clippers' last five league games.

She rang up a season-high 27 points in the regular-season finale to top Academy Park and force a tie atop the league standings.

The three remaining teams combined for five wins and none had a winning record.

Interboro will look to bounce back from a 2-6 record behind senior guard Lauren Munro and junior guard Olivia Encarnacion.

- Matt Breen