The Summers County Bobcats are the dominant team in girls high school basketball in West Virginia. They have won four straight Class AA Championships and 75 games in a row.
They are off to a 7-0 start this season, with an average margin of victory of over 40 points. The Bobcats are again on course for Charleston in March and another title.
Coach Wayne Ryan says he keeps his team focused by giving them new goals each year.
“Each year is a different goal and it’s a different group of kids,” explains Ryan. “This year we want to make history. No girls team has won five straight state championships. That’s clear cut, can’t be argued.”
Ryan believes that this year’s group has a good chance to win that fifth state championship. The Bobcats are led by four seniors that average 62 points per game: twins Hallie and Hanna Gunnoe, Leslie Mack and Kelsie Lively. Both the Gunnoe twins and Mack have signed to play college ball at High Point College.
“We’ve gotten off to a pretty good start. It’s a veteran group and we would expect that,” said Ryan. “At the same time we really haven’t played enough to establish some rhythm and to make sure we have some answers to a few things that we’re still wondering in the back of our mind if we can do ourselves.”
“They’ve been a tremendous group and certainly it’s always nice as a coach to have a veteran group and have that leadership and experience back,” continued Ryan. “They’ve been a steady group and they’ve been about the business of showing up to work hard everyday in practice and showing up for the game ready to compete.”
The Bobcats are again a fast break team, and that means a lot of points. It allowed them to score 90+ points in four games this season. Ryan’s Bobcats are having great success again even though the coach doesn’t believe he has gifted athletes. He does, however, have competitors.
“We’re blessed with tremendous athletes,” said Ryan. “Everything they do in practice is competitive. Everything has purpose, it has a goal and it has measurement. I think just because of that it becomes the habit of how we perform.”
These standout performances don’t just come against Class A or Class AA competition. Summers County will play seven or eight Class AAA schools, depending on who they play in the Big Atlantic Tournament, this season. Ryan guarantees that his team’s schedule is the toughest in Class AA.
“There is absolutely no AA school that comes close to playing the quality of schedule that we play,” said Ryan. “More importantly than the win streak is playing those teams (that) really prepare us for the AA state tournament.”