Hoover Lady Bucs/Spain Park Jags - BJCC
BIRMINGHAM -- A cluster of black jerseys spilled onto the court when the final horn sounded Saturday evening at the BJCC's Legacy Arena. After 36 minutes of heart-stopping action that included five lead changes and buzzer-beating heroics, the Hoover High School girls basketball team could finally exhale.
And it did -- in the form of hugs, smiles, tears and cheers.
In the immediate aftermath of the Lady Bucs' 51-47 overtime victory against crosstown rival Spain Park in the Class 7A state final, there was no shortage of reasons to explain the whirlwind of emotion that engulfed Hoover and its first-year head coach, Krystle Johnson.
Johnson, a former Lady Buc, helped lead Hoover to a state title in 2001. This year's ride, she said, wasn't comparable.
"It's completely different than my first as a player just to be here and see these girls grow throughout the season," Johnson said through tears at the postgame press conference. "When I came back and took this job, it was a different type of pride that I had in getting these girls ready to win a state championship."
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