The Ocean City High School girls basketball team represented perseverance this winter.

The Mainland Regional boys swimming represented excellence.

Both had seasons to remember.

The members of the Ocean City girls basketball team are The Press Female Athletes of the Winter, while the members of the Mainland boys swimming team are The Press Male Athletes of the Winter.

Ocean City finished 22-9, won its third straight South Jersey Group III championship and reached its fourth consecutive Cape-Atlantic League Tournament final.

“We knew our program had a lot of potential,” Red Raiders senior Michaela Baker said. “We showed what (Ocean City coach Paul) Baruffi has built with this program and what Ocean City is always capable of.”

The Mainland swimmers finished 15-0 and won their third straight state Public B title.

“To win back-to-back-to-back state titles hasn’t sunk in for me yet,” senior Glenn Lasco said. “Once I graduate, I will reminisce on these times. I’m glad I was part of it.”

Not many in the South Jersey girls basketball community expected the Red Raiders to reach such heights this winter. They returned just one starter from the 2016-17 team.

But inexperienced players, such as junior point guard Danielle Donoghue, stepped forward.

“The doubt that people had about us was our motivation for the season,” Baker said. “We have a lot of solid athletes on our team who don’t play basketball year-round but are capable of doing big things.”

The Red Raiders showed their determination in the South Jersey title game. Ocean City faced undefeated Mainland Regional. The Red Raiders already had lost to Mainland three times this season — all in overtime, including 41-39 in the CAL title game.

But Ocean City started fast in the sectional final and held on to beat Mainland 36-32.

“We were so close every time (against Mainland) — just something wasn’t there,” Baker said. “We knew we could stay with them and beat them, and we finally did.”

Meanwhile, the Mainland swim team was supposed to be a success this season. The Mustangs feature one of the nation’s top scholastic swimmers in sophomore Destin Lasco, Glenn’s brother.