When the season started, senior Jenna Hugic was a first-year varsity player for the Williamson Warriors.

At the same time, Danielle Cross was a sophomore on the JV team, getting some varsity experience on the bench.

With Cheyenne Jones, McKenna Greenwalt and Jamie Cook in the starting lineup the Warriors had some experience, and depth, in the backcourt.

Then injuries hit, costing Greenwalt the rest of the season and sidelining Jones for portions of the year.

"We knew we all had to step up and play as a team," Hugic said. "I've never expected this, I never expected to start."

But, once the injuries hit, it was time for people to take on some new roles.

"When McKenna and I were hurt we had some JV players up and they really stepped up," Jones said.

At times Jones wasn't even sure she would be able to return this year.

"I's been very hard," she said. "I didn't even know how much time I'd miss. The doctors told me I probably would not be back for basketball season, but it's great to be back. I have faith in my teammates and that they would have done good without me, but I'm happy to be back."

And missing time helped Jones realize how important the game is.

"When you aren't able to play, you realize how much you miss it," she said.

The Warriors know that even with Jones back, they can't afford to many more injuries.

"We have to take things a little bit easy sometimes in practice to make sure no one gets hurt," Cook said. "Coach said if anyone else gets hurt he might have a heart attack."

Since returning to the lineup Jones has played some of the best basketball of her career, including 27 points in a win over Cowanesque Valley.

While Jones has been a spark offensively since her return and while Cook and Hugic, along with Cross, all stepped up in her absence, the guards know what their job is.

"It's really important to get the ball inside to Lori (Horton) and Kim (Daugherty) and when they get doubled they kick it out," Cook said.

"It's important to start in the post early," Hugic added.

With two players six feet or taller inside, the Warriors know that's where they should start looking every game.

"The game plan is to start the game getting the ball to Lori and Kim as much as we can," Jones said. "When we get it to them, it helps create stuff for everyone."

In the fall Hugic was part of the Warriors volleyball team that made a run to the state final, and she's hoping to have a chance to get to states with the basketball team as well.

"It was so big making it to state finals in volleyball and hopefully we can make it to states in basketball now," Hugic said.

"It would just be the perfect way to top off our senior year," Cook said.

With four seniors in the starting lineup, they all want this final year to be special.

"We are mostly all seniors and have played since ninth grade together," Jones said. "We aren't just teammates, we are legit best friends. We all get along so well."

And, because the team is so close, it makes everyone work that much harder.

"You push harder to play for them," Cook said.