The Greenbrier Middle School girls basketball team made history last week, finishing with a home-victory to post a 14-0 record for the 2002 season.
With the 29-12 win in Tuesday's finale against Columbia Middle School, the Lady Wolfpack became the first Greenbrier Middle hoop squad to go unbeaten.
The Lady Pack doesn't mind if you add this footnote - they are the 2002 Columbia County middle school champions.
"You can call us that," Greenbrier guard Brooke Jackson said. "It was a great year."
Greenbrier coach Meredith Levesque is accustomed to success. Before coming to Columbia County, she coached the Glenn Hills Middle School girls to a perfect season, and those players moved on to high school and claimed a Class AAAA state title.
When the Lady Wolfpack started practice for this year, Levesque sensed another special season on the horizon.
Greenbrier guard Brooke Jackson fights for position against Columbia Middle School's Janay Moore (right) and Jennie Maxwell. The Lady Wolfpack won the game Tuesday to complete a perfect season.
Photo by Mike Howell
The team had several solid returning players, and the roster was really bolstered when Michelle Swiec moved in from Tennessee, and Kelsey Sheron arrived from Washington state.
"At the very beginning of the year I saw the talent," Levesque said. "One of our goals for the season was to go undefeated."
While the newcomers made significant contributions, the unbeaten season was a group effort, and so was the victory that capped the perfect campaign - seven Greenbrier Middle players scored during the win over Columbia Middle, with point guard Swiec leading the Lady Pack with 13 points.
Greenbrier struggled in the opening quarter against the Raiders, and things didn't look good when Jackson took the brunt of a head-on collision with A Columbia Middle player.
"It scared me for a minute, because she never comes out of a game," Levesque said. "She can have a broken leg and keep playing, so I knew that she was hurting when she asked to come out and take a breather."
But the eighth-grader came back and helped finish the job - strong front-court pressure by team co-captains Jackson, Swiec and Stephanie Schultz blew the game open.
Members of the Greenbrier Middle School Lady Wolfpack are: Megan Duffin; Christine Edell; Sarah Grant; Brooke Jackson; Susanna Jenkins; Ashley Jones; Tiffany Nichols; Stephanie Schultz; Kelsey Sharon; Michelle Swiec; Alex Kizer; Cherish Richardson; and, Chelsea Maxwell. The team manager was Quintella Thurmond, and the Lady Pack was led by head coach Meredith Levesque and assistant coach Billy Jackson.
Greenbrier Middle didn't coast to its 14-0 record. The Lady Pack had to survive a couple scares along the way, but the team preserved its perfect mark by pulling out two close wins over Riverside Middle School earlier this season.
Coming through in the clutch came as no surprise to their coach.
"The players were very unselfish, they had great attitudes and were hard workers at practice," Levesque said. "A lot of the players are multi-sport athletes. They're winners, they're champions, and they play like that all the time."
Levesque expects the Greenbrier Middle players to one day excel at the high school level, but she won't be around to see it - she is getting married and plans to move to the Netherlands.
The Lady Pack has already given their coach a perfect going-away present.
"It's nice to end on a high note," Levesque said. "This season was very special."
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