It seemed like the low point of Mimi Walters' six-year coaching career at Bryn Mawr came early last year.
The Mawrtians lost productive forwards Zoe Zawisa (knee) and Grace Greene (concussion) both to season-ending injuries last winter.
A season that started with great promise turned into a nightmare. Bryn Mawr finished a woeful 5-16.
"It was heartbreaking and so tough to lose both of them because they are impact players and scorers," Walters said.
But Walters is finding just how valuable this season the 6-foot Zawisa and the 5-foot-9 Greene are to the team's success when healthy.
They give the Mawrtians quite a low-post presence.
Zawisa leads the team in rebounding (averaging 9.0), blocks (3) and ranks second in scoring (10.5) to Greene (11.8).
Green also averages seven rebounds.
They've powered Bryn Mawr to a big turnaround. The Mawrtians have fashioned a 9-5 overall record, and appear to be peaking with Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference tournament two weeks away.
They have won six of their last seven games.
"I love our attitude and the way the team competes," Walters said. "We have a great camaraderie and chemistry. We are getting production from a lot of different people I am really pleased with how we have been playing of late."
Walters is hoping for a strong finish. Bryn Mawr closes out the regular season with a five-game stretch, which includes home games against St. John's Catholic Prep and St. Paul's School for Girls and road contests at Gerstell Academy, St. Mary's and Severn.
The Mawrtains figure to be tested most by league leader Severn (Jan. 29) in Severna Park and defending league champion St. Mary's (Feb. 5) in Annapolis.
Any road to the championship probably runs through either team.
"We definitely have the playoffs on our mind," Zawisa said. "If everybody plays like they have the past few weeks, we can hang with them. We will bring our A-game. Early in the season, we weren't quite as confident. We had a lot of new players."
The Mawrtians bottomed out in December when they lost three of four games, including a blowout to the Institute of Notre Dame, a one-point loss to Annapolis Area Christian School and a two-point setback to Dulaney.
Those struggles came at about a time when Bryn Mawr lost freshman point guard Jordan Askew to a hip injury.
Junior Alex Argo replaced a player who could return late in the season.
Argo, who starts in the backcourt with senior shooting guard Georgia Carroll, sat out last year and played on the junior varsity as freshman.
Her standout lacrosse skills have helped her on the court.
"She was put in a tough situation and she has been tremendous," Walters said. "There's been a number of games where she played the entire game or just barely came out. She has a real high basketball I.Q. and picks ups things very quickly. She has a great understanding of the offense and defense."
Argo has been feeding the ball plenty to Zawisa and Greene plenty. The duo and 5-foot-11 senior forward Katie Groenke form an imposing frontline.
Greene has had some eye-catching games. She scored 26 points in a 67-60 victory over Indian Creek and totaled 20 points, including going 10-for-10 from the free throw line, in a 49-46 conquest of Notre Dame Prep.
"When she gets good shots, she is so tough to defend," said Walters, who also likes the production she's getting from reserves Alexa Philippou, Quichey Johnson and Shannon Bittner. "She gets to the free throw line because she is so strong and she is a great offensive rebounder."
It sound like Notre Dame Prep coach Katie Marks wouldn't want to face the Mawrtians in the playoffs because of their inside game.
"Their starters are so big on the frontline," Marks said. "They have three big girls. It's just tough to match up against them."