Alexis Olson expected to go into the season with a good friend, fellow team captain and four-year starting point guard feeding her the ball for the Cape May Tech High School girls basketball team.
Those plans changed when Jade Miller tore an anterior cruciate ligament playing soccer this fall. Now the responsibility of getting the ball in to the 6-foot Olson falls on a group of younger players led by sophomore Jen Woolley and freshman Katie Ferrante.
"It's definitely hard," Olson said of Miller's injury. "We knew exactly how to play together, and having that loss with her and her knee, it's sad, but it's something that happens to everybody and we've just got to push through it."
Woolley played some point guard at the junior-varsity level last season.
"She's gotten a little older," coach Ginny Roma said. "She's a little more mature."
Olson said she has been impressed with the speed of Ferrante and the other freshmen. Still, there has been an adjustment period after losing Miller.
"Our first scrimmage was a little difficult because it obviously was our first one so we're going to have to get used to things, but (the freshmen) seem like they know what they're doing," Olson said.
Olson was an honorable-mention Press All-Star last season, and she said she improved by playing with a club team in the offseason.
"She's my center, my go-to girl," Roma said.
The rest of last year's team is mostly intact, other than Miller.
"If we can fill that ball-handling spot," Roma said, "the rest of the (team will) get on board."
Contact Jason Mazda:
League: Cape-Atlantic League United
Group: South Jersey Group II
Coach: Ginny Roma (29-114, six seasons)
2011-12 record: 5-16
2012-13 prediction: Spoiler - The Hawks have mostly young players surrounding star center Alexis Olson.
Key players: Alexis Olson, Sr., C, 6-0; Jessica McAnulty, Jr., G, 5-5; Jen Woolley, So., G, 5-4; Cezanna Czworkowski, Jr., SF, 5-5; Rachel Sittineri, Sr., G, 5-3.
Top newcomers: Aras Walker, Fr., G, 5-5; Danielle Pennington, Fr., G, 5-5; Katie Ferrante, Fr., G, 5-5.
Games to watch:
5:30 p.m. Friday vs. Atlantic County Institute of Technology
5:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at Wildwood Catholic
5:30 p.m. Feb. 16 vs. Glassboro
5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 3 vs. Cedar Creek;
Dec. 14: vs. Atlantic County Institute of Technology, 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 17: at Wildwood Catholic, 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 20: at Buena Regional, 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 26: vs. Oakcrest at Wildwoods Convention Center, 2 p.m.
Dec. 27: vs. TBD at Wildwoods Convention Center, time TBA Jan. 3: vs. Cedar Creek, 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 7: vs. Sacred Heart, 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 10: vs. Pleasantville, 4 p.m.
Jan. 11: vs. Atlantic Christian, 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 15: at St. Joseph, 7 p.m.
Jan. 16: vs. Glassboro, 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 24: vs. Wildwood Catholic, 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 26: at Atlantic County Institute of Technology, 12:30 p.m.
Jan. 28: vs. Buena Regional, 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 29: at Wildwood, TBA
Jan. 31: at Cedar Creek, 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 4: at Sacred Heart, 7 p.m.
Feb. 6: vs. Bridgeton, 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 7: at Pleasantville, 4:30 p.m.
Feb. 12: vs. St. Joseph, 5:30 p.m.