As freshmen and sophomores, Theo Holloway and Saleem Little were part of Paulsboro's small army of athletic swingmen.

Now juniors, they are leading the charge.

"It's no different," Holloway said after Paulsboro, the No. 8 team in The Inquirer Top 10, opened the season with a 72-49 victory over Gloucester Catholic in the Jimmy V Foundation Classic Saturday at Schalick High School.

Holloway meant that he is playing his same game: Slashing to the basket on offense, rebounding in traffic, covering the court with his speed and wingspan on defense.

The same goes for Little, who has a similar style to a teammate who has been his partner since they started playing peewee basketball in the third grade.

"Sometimes I know what he's going to do out there before he does it," Little said of Holloway.

But while the pair of 6-foot-4 athletes might be taking the same approach and playing the same way, their roles within the team are different this season.

Paulsboro was 57-4 with a pair of South Jersey Group 1 titles and a 57-1 mark against South Jersey competition - the lone loss to Group 4 state champion Atlantic City last February at Cherry Hill East - over the last two seasons behind two-time Player of the Year Xavier Lundy as well as 6-8 center Julien Davenport.

So while this season marks the start of the post-Lundy era for Paulsboro, Holloway and Little are determined to keep the Red Raiders in the mix with the best teams in South Jersey.

"People know we lost 'X' and big Jul, and they don't think Paulsboro is going to be the same anymore," Holloway said. "But we're going to prove otherwise."

Said Little: "People are talking Pitman and Schalick [as teams to watch in South Jersey Group 1]. That motivates us."

Holloway and Little controlled the game against Gloucester Catholic. Holloway generated 19 points with 12 rebounds, while Little collected 19 points with 10 boards.

Both were active on defense, as Paulsboro used its zone pressure to create turnovers and transition baskets. Both banged the offensive glass. Both showed three-point shooting range.

"If we had gone to another school, we might have been doing this right away," Holloway said. "At Paulsboro, we knew we had some guys in front of us. But we know that now is our time."