To see the result from February 3 when these two teams met previously, you would think this would be a blow out in favor of Hoover. The Bucs ran away with the first game 66-40 over the Jags.
After a back and forth game that had buzzer beaters and multiple lead changes, Hoover did emerge victorious again, this time 51-47.
Spain Park took the first lead and held that lead for the entire first half, going into the locker room up 26-19.
Claire Holt had 14 in the first half, and no other player had more than six points. Holt would finish with 22 points.
Hoover made a comeback in the second half, finally taking the lead with 1:28 left in the third. The fourth quarter then turned into a back and forth.
Hoover took the lead 41-39 as the clock ticked under a minute. After a few foul shots, the Bucs took a 44-41 lead with just a few seconds remaining. That’s when Sarah Ashlee Barker hit a game-tying three pointer as time expired to send it into overtime.
— JoxPreps (@JoxPreps) March 4, 2017
In overtime, the back and forth continued for a short while, but Hoover then got a lead and never let it go. Another last second three fell short and Hoover wound up on top.
For Spain Park, behind Holt was Barker who finished with 11 points and nine rebounds. Ahrielle Parks had four points and ten rebounds.
Angela Grant led scoring for Hoover with 13 points and eight rebounds. Eboni Williams had a double-double with ten points and 11 rebounds.
The Jags return all five starters next season, and Barker is only a freshman. Hoover only loses a couple of key contributors so both teams expect to be in this same position next year.
This is Hoover’s fifth state championship, but first in the new seven classification system in 7A.