Ali Cyr-Scully believes the East Chapel Hill girls basketball team has improved a great deal during the season. She hopes the team will get to improve some more and that the season isn't over.
East Chapel Hill finished fourth in the PAC-Six 4A regular season and is scheduled to play Northern Durham in the first round of the league tournament.
The PAC-Six tournament opener was scheduled for Monday and then for Tuesday. No one is sure when, or if, the tournament will be played.
Cyr-Scully believes the Wildcats will get an N.C. High School Athletic Association playoff berth, but it isn't a sure thing.
"I hadn't thought about not having another game," she said. "That didn't cross my mind after last Friday's game. That would be abrupt."
Wildcats coach Michelle Wood said she expects the club's 9-9 overall record to earn an at-large seed in the NCHSAA tournament, but she doesn't know.
"We've missed the playoffs the last couple of years," she said. "It would be good to make it."
The NCHSAA requires league tournaments to be completed by Friday night so that teams can be seeded for the playoffs on Saturday.
The N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs begin next week and there is little room to adjust. The regionals and championship games are scheduled for neutral venues and corporate sponsorship is in place.
This week's wintry weather has pushed conference tournaments back and the leagues are running out of days as schools are closed and after-school activities are canceled.
The NCHSAA advances teams, and seeds teams, based on the regular season. The exception is that conference tournament champions get the league's No. 2 seed into the state playoffs unless the regular-season champ wins the tournament, too.
A team such as the East Chapel Hill girls could win the league tournament and advance as the No. 2 seed from the conference.
Cyr-Scully said it is exciting to play in a tournament with its win and advance style.
"It is just a lot of fun," Cyr-Scully said. "It is like a regular game except you're playing for a title."
The 5-foot-3 junior has started since her freshman year and already is the school's all-time leading scorer. Every bucket pushed the record a little higher.
"She does a good job creating space to shoot a three and she is incredibly good at driving in and getting a shot off when you don't think it's possible," Wood said.
"There are some big girls in the league, but she works inside and gets the shot. If it doesn't go in, she is good at getting on the line."
Cyr-Scully scored 15 of her 31 points on Friday at the free throw line.
She is averaging 26.7 points with a high of 47 in an early season 72-64 win over Orange.
"It was a night when I made a very high percentage of my shots," she said. "It was a high-scoring game."
The Wildcats have been overwhelmed at times this season, particularly against in-conference opponents Durham Hillside and Durham Riverside.
"We love the competition and it is great to play really good teams," she said. "We love those games, but they are so big and deep. They wear us down. We can play better than we have against them, though."
Cyr-Scully said East Chapel Hill is getting better. The team is young. She pointed to a 64-59 overtime victory against Wilson Hunt in the season opener as an example of the improvement.
"We might not have won that one in the same situation last year," she said. "We're going to have a nice nucleus back for next year."
First, she hopes to play some more this year.