Thursday, February 23, 2017

Is this year's girls team at Hillcrest High School the best in school history?

Hillcrest's 1995 girls basketball team.
There’s a lot happening on the local sports scene this week as high school basketball continues and baseball, softball and soccer begins.

Conecuh County was well-represented at the South Region basketball tournament in Dothan on Saturday, and all of the coaches and players appreciated the support. I know that a lot of local fans attended the game because I saw more than a few 21 tags on the way to and from the game on Saturday.

Many fans have asked me about how this year’s girls basketball team at Hillcrest stacks up against past teams at the school. As of Monday, the Lady Jags, under head coach Tammie Patrick, were 23-1 overall, and my gut feeling is that this is the best ever record in the history of the school. However, I can’t say this with any degree of certainty because I’m not 100 percent sure.

Hillcrest first opened during the 1989-1990 school year, which is when they fielded their first football team. While I’m not sure, I think that they also fielded their first boys basketball team during the 1989-1990 season. In all likelihood, Hillcrest probably also fielded its first girls team that season as well, but I can’t swear to it. The girls program may have started at some point after that.

I did do a little research on Monday and learned some things for sure about Hillcrest’s girls basketball program. First, Alabama High School Athletic Association records show that Hillcrest has never won a state title in girls basketball. (Hopefully, that will change very soon.)

However, Hillcrest has made it to the state finals before. In 1995, they lost, 68-61, to Hazel Green High School in the Class 5A state championship game. That game was played on March 4, 1995.

According to newspaper accounts, Hillcrest’s girls finished the 1995 season with a 27-4 overall record, a winning percentage of .871. Three of their losses that season came against T.R. Miller High School, who won the 4A state title that year. Their other loss was to Hazel Green in the state title game.

Players on Hillcrest’s girls that season included Natasha Walton, Kwanis Bryant, Kanescha Nevlous, Cammie Roach, Christy Maxwell, Beverly Riley, Gennifer Meeks, Tamila Lampley, Shantell Scott and Dina Bartkowiak.

In my opinion, prior to this season, the 1995 was likely the best girls team that Hillcrest has ever put on the court. However, I can’t say that with any certainly, so if anyone out there knows of another Hillcrest girls team that had a better record please let me know by e-mailing me at

With that said, everyone here at The Courant is wishing the Lady Jags good luck as they continue to represent Conecuh County in their quest for a 3A state title. As of Monday, they had to win just three more games in order to claim this year’s 3A state championship.

That would mark the first girls state basketball title in school history and would also leave the Lady Jags with a 26-1 overall record, a winning percentage of .962. At that point, I think you could safely say that this year’s team is the best in school history. However, they would fall one win shy of the 1995 team when it comes to most wins in a single season.

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