Graduation back in May took a number of three- and four-year varsity players from the Scottsboro varsity girls basketball program’s roster.
Shirley Dubose, Emily Garner, Abby Jones, Keara Sexton, Lilian Stewart and Caitlin Terrell were part of a stellar run for the Wildcats that resulted in a Class 5A state tournament appearance and two Northeast Regional finals appearances.
Their departures mean the 2019-20 Scottsboro Wildcats won’t be as seasoned as last year’s team, as only two starters (Carley Bell and Madison Holland) and three full-time varsity reserves (Annalyn Buckner, Daylee Dudley and Allie Scott) return.
Scottsboro head coach Brandon Childers entered the Wildcats’ summer work looking to give his team varsity experience above everything.
“I think the summer was very beneficial for us,” Childers said. “I think we learned a lot about ourselves, learned where some strengths are and what we’ve got to improve on.”
Also playing games for the Wildcats this summer were Kami Willis, Lexi Bennett, Audrey Holland, Olivia Tubbs, Ella Lee and Maggie Armstrong.
Scottsboro played 16 summer games during four play dates and a team camp in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
The Wildcats went 6-2 on their trip to the Gulf Coast and finished 10-6 overall. Scottsboro hosted a play date in which it played Section, Fort Payne and Buckhorn before playing Fort Payne, Boaz and Anniston at Fort Payne and playing Section and DAR at DAR. Scottsboro also played at Jacksonville State, taking on Blount, Hazel Green, G.W. Carver and a team from Georgia.
Childers said the Wildcats were playing a more fast-pace, pressing style by the time the summer ended.
“We experimented some with style (of play), kind of looked at what worked and what didn’t,” Childers said. “The JSU trip, we had really started playing better, kind of figured out a style we needed to play and that kind of carried over to the Fort Walton Camp.
“That’s what summer is about, find out what you can do and can’t do. The kids played hard, played for each other, wanted to improve. We definitely benefited from (the summer).”