CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — The undefeated Carl Junction girls basketball team gathered on the court Monday for what looked like a normal practice, but in truth was anything but.
That’s because just hours before, the Final Four bound Bulldogs were informed their season was over.
“Whenever we heard the news, we were all distraught,” 2020 Gatorade Women’s Basketball Player of the Year and Drury commit Katie Scott said. “But I think our first instinct was to come back together. I think that speaks volumes about what kind of program we have. Regardless of what’s thrown at us, we just want to come together as a family.”
With no numbers on the scoreboard, the same school name on every shirt and parents subbing in as cheerleaders – Scott and her teammates shared one final game on the court together.
“We’ve faced a lot of adversity this year,” Scott said. “I think it has strengthened us. To have such a great group of seniors that have been through pretty much everything together means a lot and has made our team what it is.”
With the decision, Scott’s time at Carl Junction High School comes to a sooner end than she would have wanted, and short of a championship.
But that’s a trait she shares with her future teammates.
“We’ve got a recruit in Katie Scott that, I think she’s going to be really, really hungry when she comes here,” Drury Head Coach Molly Miller said. “But to know that happened to her also, exact same situation that happened to us, it was heartbreaking. I just felt for her cause we were in the same boat. Undefeated season, two games away from being a potential state champion, it’s a tough pill to swallow.”
“Coach Miller and Coach Eagen both reached out to me today to console me because this is tough,” Miller said. “We talked about it, and it’s kind of fueling both of our fires. For both of us to go undefeated and not get any resolution to the season is kind of frustrating. But definitely, I think it makes us more hungry to succeed.”
That mutual hunger has both sides eager to finally unite and get to work.
“I’m not sure the last time a Gatorade Player of the year came to a Division II, but she’s going to make a total impact,” Miller said. “She’s just got a skill set.”
“It’s a great program,” Scott said. “I can’t wait. I love being somewhere where winning is not only wanted, but it’s expected. That’s definitely a place where it is.”
From one winning program to another with the goal still the same: bringing home that coveted championship.
NOTE: Matt shot the first part of the story on Monday before the rules came out limiting gatherings to less then 10 people.