The Wildwood Catholic High School girls basketball team has had to overcome obstacles before the season even started.
A slew of injuries left an already thin team sometimes without enough players to practice.
Once the actual games start, though, the Crusaders should have a starting five capable of matching up with most opponents. They did not lose any seniors from last year's team, which went 8-16 and hung tight against third-seeded Wardlaw-Hartridge in the first round of the state Non-Public B playoffs.
"Everybody contributes," said coach Vicki Dilmore said. "Everybody has their job they need to do."
The Crusaders are led by 5-foot-11 captain Jenna Long, their only senior. Long might not lead the team in scoring, but she does the little things.
"She always has to go up against everyone's big girl," Dilmore said. "She battles in there."
The junior class is led by Press honorable mention All-Star selections Katie McCallion and Sarah Jo Ballman. McCallion scored a team-high 15 points in the season-ending 59-46 loss to Wardlaw-Hartridge.
"Katie McCallion can play guard, or she can play (against) a big girl," Dilmore said. "She's very versatile."
Contact Jason Mazda:
League: Cape-Atlantic United
Group: South Jersey Non-Public B
Coach: Vicki Dilmore (8-16, one season)
2011-12 record: 8-16
2012-13 prediction: Rebuilding - The Crusaders have just one senior, but they do have some experience with last season's entire team back.
Key players: Jenna Long, Sr., F, 5-11; Katie McCallion, Jr., G/F, 5-9; Sarah Jo Ballman, Jr., G, 5-4; Kimberly Gawarzewski, Jr., G, 5-4; Morgan Mulhollan, Jr., G/f, 5-7; Caitlin Nanos, Jr., G/F, 5-5; Olivia Rulon, So., G/F, 5-6; Becky Andress, So., G, 5-3.
Top newcomers: Eileen McNulty, Fr., G, 5-3; GraceAnn Carroll, Fr., G/F, 5-7.
Games to watch:
5:30 p.m. Dec. 17 vs. Cape May Tech
5:45 p.m. Dec. 22 vs. Wildwood at Wildwoods Convention Center
Noon Jan. 19 vs. Lower Cape May Regional
; 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7 vs. Cedar Creek.
Dec. 14: vs. Sacred Heart, 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 17: vs. Cape May Tech, 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 20: at St. Joseph, 7 p.m.
Dec. 22: vs. Wildwood at Wildwoods Convention Center, 5:15 p.m.
Dec. 28: vs. Council Rock North (Pa.) at Wildwoods Convention Center, 11 a.m.
Dec. 29: vs. TBD at Wildwoods Convention Center, time TBA
Jan. 3: at Pleasantville, 4 p.m.
Jan. 7: vs. Atlantic County Institute of Technology, 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 9: at Bridgeton, 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 10: at Cedar Creek, 7 p.m.
Jan. 14: at Buena Regional, 6 p.m.
Jan. 16: at Oakcrest, 6 p.m.
Jan. 19: vs. Lower Cape May Regional, noon
Jan. 22: at Sacred Heart, 7 p.m.
Jan. 24: at Cape May Tech, 7 p.m.
Jan. 28: vs. St. Joseph, 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 29: vs. Bridgeton, 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 31: vs. Pleasantville, 4 p.m.
Feb. 4: at Atlantic County Institute of Technology, 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 6: vs. Oakcrest, 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 7: vs. Cedar Creek, 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 11: vs. Buena Regional, 5:30 p.m.