Top 100: Christy Winters, South Lakes, Basketball, 1986

Top 100: Christy Winters, South Lakes, Basketball, 1986

Christy Winters was recently inducted into the South Lakes High School Hall of Fame as a part of the school's first Hall of Fame Class. Grant Hill, a seven-time NBA All-Star and former High School McDonald's All-American while at South Lakes, was inducted alongside of Winters. When Hill took the podium at the reception, he grabbed the microphone and said that he was glad to be known as "The Male Christy Winters."

Winters, arguably the greatest female athlete in the history of South Lakes High School, guided the Seahawks girls basketball team to the 1986 AAA state title and championed an undefeated 29-0 season that immortalized the 1986 girls basketball team. She was named the DC Metro Area's All-Met Player of the Year as a senior by The Washington Post.

"I've just really been very nostalgic actually," said Winters just days before being inducted into the South Lakes Hall. "It just makes you think first and foremost and what a ride that was that season."

Winters averaged 22 points, 13.9 rebounds and 4.6 blocks per game in her senior year en route to totaling career numbers that included 1,785 points, 1075 rebounds, and 492 blocked shots. She is still the all-time leading scorer and rebounder in South Lakes' girls basketball history. The former Maryland star and European pro-league player, who now works in Broadcast media and is the head coach of the South Lakes girls basketball team, was simply dominant leading the Seahawks to the Northern Region title and AAA state title in 1986.

In a 1986 article in the Connection, Winters' coach Jill English said "Having a 6-1 player with that kind of skill on a high school level was a huge factor. [In addition] she gave 100 percent whether she had a good night or not, and she was really, really a nice person."

WINTERS, NOW known as Christy Winters Scott after marrying former South Lakes boys basketball star and Miami University record-holder Jerome Scott (#71 Greatest of All Time), was a versatile forward that made a name for herself down low battling against Northern Region opponents in the paint and blocking 492 shots in four years.

"It wasn't me," said Winters. "That's what I always try to tell people. I never played for the accolades. I played to win. That's why we had that special something. If you had asked before the season what were our goals, they weren't individual things."

Winters Scott uses that same kind of unifying talk now as she is rebuilding what she once helped create — a successful and powerful basketball program. As she blows her whistle in practices and calls out plays from the sidelines at South Lakes, the banner from her senior year of high school hangs as evidence that she knows the game.

When the first-year girls basketball coach at South Lakes High School accepted the position last year after the girls team finished with an 0-21 season under then head coach Lindsay Trout, Winters Scott said that she felt that her life had come full circle. Winters Scott coached the girls basketball team to a 3-win season this year and broke a 28-game losing streak that spanned over three seasons. Her experience as a player translates to coaching. "What I will take away from that whole thing?" said Winters Scott of the 1986 season. "Just knowing that you can set a goal and it's not a crazy goal to set. We just wanted to keep going. We got to 25-0 and it was a lot of pressure. It was quite something to keep the balance on the tight rope there. You want to go out on a high note and try to win them all."

AND WIN THEM all they did. Winters Scott led South Lakes past J.E.B. Stuart in a state title game victory that came down to the very last play. The Seahawks nailed Stuart in a 40-38 victory to become what Reston Connection Sports Editor Frank Carulli wrote was the "winningest team in recent Virginia High School League memory" in the March 19, 1986, Connection article entitled "SLHS Caps Perfect Season." Winters scored 14 points (11 rebounds) and fueled a South Lakes offense that hit only 11 of its first 38 shots (29 percent), but hit six of its last eight shots to hang on to the victory over a Stuart team that built a 24-6 record that season with two of its losses to South Lakes. Winters' teammate Amy Strobel stepped in front of Stuart All-American star Penny Moore, whose lay up missed at the buzzer forcing overtime in the AAA state title game played at James Madison University in front of a crowd of 2,000. As a junior, Winters played against the nation's best in the USA/AAU Junior Olympics Girls Basketball National Championships as her team, the Vogues of Virginia, took second place. She was a third team Parade All-American and Virginia's Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior. It brought her attention from college recruiters. "For me personally, I would say the one thing for me personally, having been a college coach..." said Winters Scott, who worked on GMU and Georgetown's girls basketball coaching staff. "As a recruiter, you want the recruits to make their commitments early. I wish I would have done that. I had my visits, but I wanted to wait to see where the teams were going. I got kind of bombarded. It was a big distraction for me."

Winters Scott, named a team captain at Maryland in her senior year, helped the Terrapins to two Atlantic Coast Conference Championships (1988, 1989), and into the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in 1988, 1989, and 1990, to the Elite Eight in 1988 and into the Final Four in 1989 — the year that Maryland finished with a No. 3 ranking. She played professionally for the Fibourg Women's Basketball team in Switzerland as well as a team in Italy.

Christy Winters is 48 in a survey of the area's Top 100 Athletes by Connection Newspapers in 2000.