When Luke Dickson looks underneath for Dylan Colgate, he isn't just looking for a four-year teammate.
When Colgate grabs a rebound and looks to deliver an outlet pass to Dickson, he isn't just looking for an old buddy from middle school.
The Pitman seniors have been together since kindergarten. They started playing together as 5-year-olds at the YMCA in Woodbury.
"It seems like every year since then, we've always been on the same team," Dickson said. "It's like we've known each other our whole lives."
Dickson, Colgate, and a handful of experienced seniors are determined to make the most of their final season with the Panthers.
Pitman has seven seniors, and the Panthers loom as heavy favorites in the Tri-County Classic Division as well as a strong contender for the South Jersey Group 1 championship.
"This whole group has been together since fourth grade," Colgate said. "It would be awesome if we could go out doing something special for this program and something special for Pitman."
Pitman has experienced seniors such as 6-foot-3 forward Alec Matchett, 6-5 forward Joe Kelly, 5-10 guard Joe Sayer, and 6-0 senior Jeff Wood.
But the heart and soul of the team is the duo of the 5-8 Dickson and the 6-4 Colgate.
"They are the engine that makes us go," Pitman coach Kevin Crawford said. "I call them the Stockton and Malone of South Jersey basketball."
Dickson and Colgate are four-year starters who have led a resurgence in Pitman basketball. The Panthers have gone 59-20 in the players' first three seasons, including a 46-10 mark over the last two seasons.
Dickson is one of South Jersey's most prolific scorers. He averaged 20.8 points last season. He has 1,608 career points.
"It's his work ethic," Colgate said of Dickson's strongest asset. "He's in a whole other class when it comes to that. On the court, he works so hard he goes 10 times faster than anyone else."
If Dickson is fast and flashy, Colgate is sturdy and dependable. He has 1,306 career points.
"He seems like he gets every rebound," Dickson said of Colgate. "Dylan just always makes plays for us. He's big time."
Both seniors are three-sport athletes. Dickson, who has committed to play basketball at Chestnut Hill, plays soccer and runs track. Colgate plays football and baseball.
So they are always on the field, or the track. But this is the last time they will be together on the court.
"For as long as I can remember, it's been our dream to win at least a South Jersey title," Dickson said. "We have the tools to do it this year and maybe even go far in the states. We want to finish as strong as we can."