It’s been a year since COVID-19 sent our world into uncertainty.
The high school sports world was one of the many things that got put on hold. Last summer, the AHSAA announced it planned to play high school sports in the face of the pandemic, but we all knew the ground we walked on was not solid.
The fall sports seasons made it through, though there were many games lost to COVID-19. Winter sports was no different. A number of Jackson County teams had times they had to halt activities.
Most local basketball teams had to pause their seasons. But thankfully the pause wasn’t permanent. The second half of the season was quarantine free as it shaped up to be another remarkable year in our basketball-loving county.
Skyline’s varsity girls won their first state title. Pisgah’s varsity girls four-peated. Scottsboro’s varsity boys had a season for the ages. NSM and Skyline’s varsity boys advanced to the Northeast Regional. And so on and so on. Here are some notable notes from the 2020-21 season:
› This is the first season that two Jackson County girls basketball teams won state championships in the first season.
› This is the first season since 2002-03 that two teams from Jackson County won a state championship during the same season (Pisgah girls, Section boys).
› The Scottsboro varsity boys became the first team from Jackson County to play in — and win — the Northwest Regional at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville. Until this season, every team from Jackson County that advanced to a regional played in the Northeast Regional at Jacksonville State University.
› Senior BJ Harris became the Scottsboro varsity boys basketball program’s third all-time leading scorer.
› Skyline became the third Jackson County school to win a girls basketball state title, joining Pisgah and Section.
› Two players, NSM’s Russ Marr and Woodville’s Jackson Peek, topped the 2,000-point mark for their career during this season.
› The North Sand Mountain varsity boys went 2-0 against Class 3A state champion Fyffe, winning both games by double figures.
› Skyline now has the state’s long boys basketball area tournament championship streak after winning their 12th straight area tournament title.
› The Scottsboro varsity boys basketball team won the most games in a season for the program since 1967. The Wildcats also had a 14-game winning streak this past season, the program’s longest since in 40 years.
› Skyline varsity girls basketball head coach Ronnie McCarver became the third coach to ever win both an AHSAA girls and boys state championship (Skyline girls in 2021 and Section boys in 2003).
› Scottsboro varsity boys head coach Jason Bell tied Red Garrett (1945-46) for the most wins (25) in a season for a first-year Scottsboro head coach.
› Four Jackson County teams won at more than 20 games. Those teams were Skyline (30) and Pisgah (25) girls and Scottsboro (25), NSM (25) and Skyline (22) boys. The Section boys finished with 19 wins.
› Pisgah’s varsity girls won the seventh straight county tournament championship.
› NSM’s varsity boys won its second straight county tournament title.
› Scottsboro, Skyline and NSM boys and Skyline and Pisgah girls won area tournament titles. The Section and Woodville boys and the Scottsboro and North Jackson girls were area tournament runners-up.
› Pisgah has now won seven state championships and played in the state championship game in 13 of Carey Ellison’s 24 seasons as the school’s varsity girls basketball head coach.