Despite on more than one occasion not having a single reserve on the bench, the Scotland County junior varsity girls basketball team closed out the 2017-2018 season with a winning record and even brought home a tournament championship.
Faced with a numbers crunch across the entire girls program, the jayvee squad regularly went to battle late in the season with just five players dressed out.
Despite the disadvantage, Scotland County actually got better as the season wore on.
The Lady Tigers dropped the season opener to Clark County 39-18 on November 21 in Kahoka. Despite having a season-high seven players dressed out, SCR-I struggled to put points on the board, with sophomore Micah Cooley the lone player in double figures with 13 points.
SCR-I won its home-opener on November 27th, defeating Schuyler County 31-18 behind 21 points by Cooley.
The following evening, SCR-I improved to 2-1 on the year with a 46-23 win over Highland, with boys coach Kyle Ellison filling in for coach Karri Feeney at the helm to beat his former school. Cooley again had a big night, scoring 21 points and Kylee Stott added nine.
SCR-I fell on hard times to close out 2017, dropping three straight. Clark County topped SCR-I 48-14, followed by a 41-28 loss to Van Buren and a 60-23 defeat by Keokuk to drop the team to 2-4 overall.
SCR-I turned a new page on the year heading into 2018. Cooley scored 15 points and Kilee Bradley-Robinson added 10 as SCR-I bested Schuyler County 33-20.
The Lady Tigers fell to Canton 25-21 on January 27th despite 10 points by Kylee Stott.
The Putnam County Tournament was where the season came full-circle. Despite playing without leading scorer Cooley, SCR-I bested Brookfield, Putnam County and Schuyler County to win the championship and improve to 6-5 on the year.
SCR-I beat Brookfield 33-29 despite having just five players dressed out. Bradley-Robinson led the way with 13 points and Morgan Blessing added eight.
The Lady Tigers pounded Putnam County 47-30 with the same five-player lineup the entire 28 minutes of play. Bradley-Robinson finished with 14 points while Stott had 12, Blessing had 11 and Jansen Alexander had eight.
The trophy came home with SCR-I after a 30-25 win over Schuyler County when Hailey Kraus scored a season-high six points.
SCR-I battled the weather the following week, managing just one game at the Knox County Tourney, a 55-34 loss to Palmyra, due to cancelations.
Scotland County finally made it back to Edina on February 14th and came home with a 41-34 victory. Morgan Blessing had a career-high 17 points. The freshman sank a pair of three-pointers in the third period to help SCR-I overcome a halftime deficit.
The Lady Tigers punctuated the turnaround of the season, avenging two previous losses with a 35-29 victory over Clark County. Cooley led the way with 15 points and Blessing finished with 12 to help SCR-I close out the year with an 8-6 record.