The Atlantic City High School girls basketball team saw the value of senior leadership in the playoffs last March.
The Vikings lost to a veteran Lenape team 58-51 in the South Jersey Group IV quarterfinals.
This season, the Vikings hope to be the experienced team in the postseason. Atlantic City returns several veterans from last season's 16-10 team led by senior point guard Sahara Lopez, who averaged 12.8 points last season.
"She is so under control with the ball," Ford said. "If it's in her hands, I'm 100 percent confident we'll get it over half-court, and we'll get into an offense."
The Vikings also feature 6-0 senior Quadjira Carpenter. Alexis Harris is only a sophomore, but the 5-5 guard saw plenty of time as a freshman.
"We'll look for our speed and quickness to (spark) us," Ford said. "We don't have much size. We depend on our defense and our athleticism to help us win games."
Atlantic City plays in what is probably the most competitive of the Cape-Atlantic League's three divisions. In addition to the Vikings, the American Division features contenders Holy Spirit, Egg Harbor Township and Millville.
"We have a lot of senior leadership and hopefully we'll be up to the challenge," Ford said.
Contact Michael McGarry:
League: Cape-Atlantic League American
Group: South Jersey Group IV
Coach: Chris Ford Jr. (27-17, two seasons) Last season's record: 16-10
2012-13 prediction: Contender - With the backcourt of Sahara Lopez and Alexis Harris, the Vikings are among several talented teams in the American Division.
Key players: Abby Anmuth, So., 5-3, G; Alexis Harris, So., 5-5, G; Deaja Reynolds, Sr., 5-6, G; Mone't Gist, Sr., 5-8, F; Sahara Lopez, Sr., 5-6, G; Erin Rafter, So., 5-11, F; Joey Nolan, Jr., 5-6, G; Quadjira Carpenter, Sr., 5-11, F; Cassidy Shea, Jr., 5-11, F.
7 p.m. Friday vs. Egg Harbor Township
Noon Saturday vs. Sacred Heart at Ocean City High School
3:30 p.m. Jan. 27 vs. Trenton Central at Holy Spirit
7 p.m. Feb. 12 vs. Holy Spirit