At their Garnet Valley home, Jordan Ireland is the typical big sister to Maddie. She's the responsible one, the one in charge, the more controlling of the two.

Separated by just 17 months and one grade, Maddie, 16, jokingly calls Jordan, 18, "mom."

When the two guards for the Garnet Valley girls' basketball team are on the court, however, things are a little bit different.

On the floor for the Jaguars (3-0), Maddie is the one Jordan listens to, the one who grabs the bull by the horns, the sister who has ideas on what the team should do next.

And that's completely fine with Jordan, the senior says.

"She knows what she's talking about," Jordan Ireland says.

For Maddie, the leadership role is just the way she learned how to play basketball. "As a point guard, that's what I need to do for my team," Maddie Ireland said. "That's how I've grown up, grown my game."

The two combination guards have grown their games since they earned their way into the lineup as freshmen. Maddie is the shooter. If she knocks one or two down early, she'll light up the opposing team. Jordan gets her game going by driving to the basket.

"Jordan has an intensity about her," Jaguars coach Joe Woods said. "She'll bang, rebound, grab loose balls. . . . She has a strong-minded defensive attitude and just a will to win that's awesome."

"Maddie is more low-key but such a smart defensive player," Woods added. "Notice she's on [the opponent's best player]. Maddie is really smart."

Last season, Maddie averaged 11 points a game, knocking down 59 three-pointers in 29 contests, while Jordan averaged 9.4. This year, Jordan is scoring 15 points a game, while Maddie nets 14.

On Tuesday, the Irelands were all over the floor during the Jaguars' first Central League game of the season, a 56-38 win over visiting Marple Newtown.

The game, Garnet Valley's second contest of the season, was winding down. Both Irelands sat on the sideline after helping put their team ahead by almost 20 points. Before the buzzer sounded, Jordan looked up at the clock, started clapping, and got to her feet.

With her right foot, she nudged her sibling to do the same.

Maddie obliged. After all, they were off the court now, and Jordan was back to being the older sister.