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Despite losing top players, a Bright outlook for Academy Park girls basketball

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Academy Park will have a different makeup this season following the graduation of its leading scorers, Mahya Woodton and Shantalay Hightower, both of whom were four-year starters. Woodton became the program’s all-time leading scorer during her All-Delco senior season.

The reigning Del Val League champions will feature senior returners Taylor Flores (guard), Taylor Smith (forward), Anissa Fleming (center) and Kiasa Cunningham (forward). Junior guard Gabrielle Jackson and sophomore guard Lashay Jackson will play key roles for the Knights, who last season posted a 15-7 record and qualified for the District 1 Class 5A playoffs.

“We should be harder to game plan for without Woodton and Hightower,” third-year coach Ron Bright said. “Shooting and defense will again be the key to our success. Along with five seniors our rotation will include one junior, two sophomores and one freshman, so contributions from the underclassmen will be expected. We will have to overcome a lack of varsity experience, but I am hopeful that a tough non-conference schedule will prepare us for a run at a third consecutive Del Val title and playoff appearance.”

Penn Wood moves on without its best players from the previous two seasons, Carle Andrews, a 1,000-point scorer. Forward/center Jada Hutt averaged 8.9 points as a sophomore for the Patriots, who went 10-12 and lost in the first round of districts. Others to watch include senior forward Awa Dicko and sophomore guard Raquel Curry.

Interboro is beginning a new season with its third head coach is as many years. Ty Taylor takes over at the helm for a Bucs team that went 10-11 but closed the season on a three-game winning streak and narrowly missed qualifying for the District 1 Class 5A playoffs. Sophomore combo guard Keri Barnett started every game as a freshman.

This could be another trying season at Chichester, which won three games in 2017-18. Ava Franz showed potential as a freshman last winter.

Preseason information on Chester was not made available to the Daily Times.

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