The game was only minutes old last February when Scottsboro varsity girls basketball coach Derek Wynn emerged from a sadness-filled locker room following the Wildcats’ season-ending sub-regional loss to Boaz.
Scottsboro was in sub-regional play for the first time in nine years, but there was no joy in that accomplishment.
Wynn and Co. were disappointed. But they was also determined.
With a strong nucleus returning, Wynn encouraged the team to work to get over the sub-regional hurdle. He wanted them to make a postseason run during the 2017-18 season, because “I know they can.”
Eleven games in to the new season, everyone else is finding out what the coach already knew.
Scottsboro, which faced rival Fort Payne in the Wills Valley Shootout championship game late Friday night, started 10-1 with some impressive victories, including a 32-point drubbing of Arab — on the road at one of 5A’s toughest places to win — as well as 4A No. 4 Anniston and several Class 7A squads. The Wildcats’ only loss was a one-point setback to Class 6A No. 7-ranked Austin.
There is a competitive streak in this team that Wynn loves. He sees it not only in games, but in everything they do, including drills against one another during practice.
“They’re so competitive,” he said. “That’s a great mindset to have.”
There is chemistry with this team. Watching them play, you can see everyone pulling in the same direction.
“Each one of them has a job to do,” Wynn said. “Each one of them knows their role and they go out there and do that.”
The Wildcats are off their best start to a season since the 2007-08 team opened 13-1. That Scottsboro team played in the Northeast Regional championship. game Time will tell if this Scottsboro team’s start is a coincidence or an indicator of what’s to come.
For now, the focus is on being focused from game to game. That means no looking back at what they’ve done and no looking ahead at what might be.
The Wildcats have started strong. Now, it’s up to them to finish that way.