Seven months ago, the future of the Forbes Road girls basketball team was in question after low numbers nearly pushed the program to its breaking point.
But a number of up-and-coming players rejuvenated the program for the 2016-17 campaign - and even though the team completed the season 4-18, the program rebuild is in full swing.
"I think we are headed in the right direction," Cardinals coach Jamie Gelvin said. "We took a lot of beatings this year, but we learned a lot and improved. I'm a firm believer in the better the competition is the better you become. You have to play the best to be the best and some of these freshmen got some great experience where at other schools they wouldn't have played that much."
After completing last season with just six girls, this year's squad competed with 10, and looks to add six more players who are moving up from the junior high program. The Cardinals lose just one senior.
"We feel really good about the girls who are coming back," Gelvin said. "They were all sad when the season was over, and for most teams who finish 4-18, you can't wait for it to be over. But these girls were sad, and we're ready to get back to work in summer leagues."
Familiar opponents: Headed into district tournaments, three of the four area girls basketball teams in the postseason face familiar opponents in the first round of playoffs. In the first round of the District 3 tournament, Greencastle-Antrim will face West York, which handed the Blue Devils a hefty loss at the Lower Dauphin holiday tournament early this season.
Fannett-Metal's girls face off against Southern Fulton in the opening round of District 5 Class 1A tournament. Southern Fulton holds a 2-0 edge on the season series, and won by six over the Tigers in the last game of the regular season.
Record watch: Even though the regular season has come to an end, McConnellsburg's Bronwyne Mellott is still on the hunt for her final high school basketball record. She is 59 points away from the school's 26-year-old all-time scoring record of 2,281. Through the regular season she averaged 26 points per game and will likely need three games in the playoffs in order to hit the mark.
If the Lady Spartans win their District 5 Class 2A semifinal game on Friday against the winner of the first-round matchup between No. 3 Meyersdale and No. 6 North Star, the team will be guaranteed at least two more games, because the top two teams in 2A earn an automatic bid to the PIAA tournament.