Thursday, February 19, 2015

Another season of high school basketball has come to a close in Conecuh County

Another season of high school basketball came to a close during the past week, and all four of our local teams had outstanding seasons.

Hillcrest’s varsity boys and Sparta Academy’s varsity girls were ranked in their respective classes during the entire season. Hillcrest’s boys finished the season ranked No. 5 in Class 3A, and Sparta’s girls were ranked No. 7.

Sparta’s girls made it all the way to the Final Four round of the AISA state tournament, and Sparta’s boys made it to the Elite Eight round before being eliminated. Hillcrest’s boys were eliminated by one point in the opening round of the South Regional tournament, the equivalent of the Sweet 16 Round. Hillcrest’s girls were put out of contention in the sub-regional round of the playoffs, which featured the best 32 teams from each classification.

All things being equal, and based on overall records alone, Hillcrest’s varsity boys had the best season of our four local teams. The Jags went 21-4 overall, a winning percentage of .840. Sparta’s girls were next with a 19-8 overall record, a winning percentage of .704. Hillcrest’s girls were third with a 15-8 overall record, a winning percentage of .652. Sparta’s varsity boys were fourth with a 15-11 overall record, a winning percentage of .577. Moral of the story is, they all finished the season with winning records.

Hillcrest’s varsity boys appeared to have the most potent offense this season. They scored an average of 68.9 points per game. Sparta’s boys scored an average of 60.1 points per game, and Sparta’s girls scored an average of 48.3 points per game. Hillcrest’s girls scored an average of 44.3 points per game.

On the defensive end of the court, Sparta’s girls were tops in the county, allowing just 35.7 points per game this season. Hillcrest’s girls followed, allowing 38.6 points per game. Hillcrest’s boys allowed 51.4 points per game, and Sparta’s boys allowed 54.3 points per game.

All four of our local teams played well at home this season, going a combined 34-3 in Evergreen this season. Hillcrest’s varsity boys were 10-0 on their home court, and Sparta’s boys went 9-1 in Evergreen. Sparta’s girls went 8-1 at home, and Hillcrest’s girls went 7-1.

Only two of the local teams had winning records on the road, Hillcrest’s boys and Sparta’s girls. The Jags went 11-4 in road games (.733), and Sparta’s girls went 11-7 (.611). Hillcrest’s girls went 6-9 on the road (.400), and Sparta’s boys went 5-11 in road games (.313).

Sparta’s girls had the best start to the season, opening with nine straight wins. Hillcrest’s boys opened with three straight wins before losing their first game. Sparta’s boys and Hillcrest’s girls opened the season with a win each, but lost their next games.

Hillcrest’s boys and Sparta’s girls tied for longest winning streaks of the season. Hillcrest won nine straight games between Dec. 2 and Jan. 9. Sparta’s girls won nine straight between Nov. 17 and Dec. 12. The longest winning streak of the season for Sparta’s boys was six games long. Hillcrest’s girls won five games in a row twice during the season. 

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