The defending Class 5A Girls Northeast Regional champion is headed back to Jacksonville.
Scottsboro earned its return trip to Jacksonville State University’s Pete Mathews Coliseum with 56-43 sub-regional win over visiting Sardis Monday night at Hambrick Hall.
“I knew it was going to be crazy getting there again,” said Scottsboro senior point guard Keara Sexton. “I’m just glad we worked through it, we pushed through it and we showed everybody that we could get back, just like last year.”
It’s Scottsboro’s sixth all-time regional appearance. Scottsboro (22-10) plays Southside (20-5) in the Class 5A Northeast Regional semifinals on Monday, Feb. 18 at noon.
The Wildcats have won six straight games since mid-January when injuries and sickness played a role in the Wildcats suffering four losses in a five-game stretch.
Senior center Abby Jones said the players never doubted they would get back on track.
“We had a team-bonding sleepover, talked about everything we’d been through and everything we could do,” Jones said. “We just worked through it and are back to where we need to be. It feels awesome to get a win in our last home game. It feels awesome to go back to Jacksonville.”
Sexton led a balanced scoring attack for Scottsboro with 16 points while Carley Bell netted 11, Madison Holland 10, Emily Garner eight, Caitlin Terrell four and Jones and Allie Scott two each.
Mallory Willis scored 10 points and Emily-Kate Jones added nine for Sardis (14-11).
Scottsboro got little resistance from the Lions. After taking an early 5-2 lead, Sardis fell victim to Scottsboro’s press and committed seven first-quarter turnovers that turned into 11 Scottsboro points.
“We started slow, missed a couple of easy shots and weren’t able to press,” said Scottsboro head coach Brandon Childers. “We finally, once we made a few layups, got to pressing, got the game to our pace like we wanted it and made it a full-court game.”
Scottsboro led 23-9 after one quarter and pushed their lead to 39-19 at halftime after Garner hit two 3-pointers and a putback in the final 1:24 of the half.
Sexton the converted a 3-point play on the opening possession of the second half for the Wildcats, who led by as many as 33 in the third quarter and carried a 56-27 advantage into the fourth quarter.
Scottsboro’s starters, expect for a late appearance from Carly Bell, spent the final frame on the bench counting down the Wildcats’ official return to the Northeast Regional.
“We’re over there just cheering because we knew we where headed to Jacksonville,” Garner said. “It’s such an amazing feeling. We’re headed back [to JSU], and we’re going strong.”