Each of the two teams had just one loss in Pioneer Athletic Conference play last season, and it was to the other. The rivalry will only heat up even more this season as both Boyertown, the defending league champ, and Spring-Ford return key starters from last year's squads.

Boyertown coach Jason Beiber said his team returns a "solid nucleus," led by juniors Kaitlyn Eisenhard and Brooke Mullen. Eisenhard was named first-team all-conference, and Mullen was named to the second team.

The Bears backcourt will be led by sophomore point guard Dee Terry, who started last season.

Krista Schauder, a key cog in the team's run to repeat as league champion last season, will miss the season after suffering an ACL injury playing travel softball in the fall. Beiber said the senior forward will be missed, because she "did the little things, hustle plays, rebounds."

"We have a lot of good, young players who are coming up to fill in that role for her," Beiber said.

Boyertown graduated two players from last season's team, and the Rams graduated just one.

Beiber said Spring-Ford features quick, athletic guards who can pose problems for defenders. One of those is sophomore guard Sammy Stipa, the only freshman named to the all-conference second team last season.

The Rams will look to senior forward Mariah Traywick to fill the void left by Meagan Yates' graduation. Traywick was named second-team all-conference and averaged 10 points last season.

"It's definitely games we look forward to playing," Beiber said. "We had some exciting games last season for sure, and we hope we can have more games like that this year."

In addition to Boyertown and Spring-Ford, Owen J. Roberts could vie for the league crown. The Wildcats will be led by 6-3 senior center Anna Janisch. Last season, Janisch averaged more than 15 points while leading her team to a fourth-place finish.

- Matt Breen