MISSOULA – Missoula Hellgate is almost always a force to be reckoned with in Class AA boys basketball. But one previous group of Knights still holds the gold standard at the school.
The 1993 Hellgate team went 23-0 on its way to a state title, becoming the first AA team since 1969 to finish perfect. Last week at Hellgate’s game against Billings West, the 1993 team was honored on the 25th anniversary of its incredible run.
Former center Ryan Dick said he remembers the excitement of that team like it was just yesterday, and he also had some advice for the current Knights.
“What we accomplished was special, and we realize that now more than ever,” said Dick. “So it’s really a special treat to get back together and celebrate all that we achieved. (The current Hellgate) team is talented, and we had a chance to meet with them last night. It’s difficult. You can have all the talent in the world but lack chemistry. So, while we’re excited for this team and we think that it will come together for them, they’ve got their work ahead of them, just like we had our work ahead of us.”
It seems that advice has worked, as the Knights sit at 2-0, winning their last game against Billings Senior by more than 30 points. They’ll play a huge showdown at Eastern AA powerhouse Bozeman on Friday night.