Bucs basketball wins state championship

Hoover Basketball Champs

The boys basketball team won their first-ever AHSAA boys basketball state championship.

 

Hoover needed one final victory against a familiar area opponent to secure their first ever AHSAA boys basketball state championship, and they did just that, knocking off the defending two-time state champion Mountain Brook Spartans 50-43.

Hoover got off to a hot start in front of a packed BJCC Arena, as Austin Cherry and Kevy Eason connected on two 3-pointers. Then, a steal and layup by Sam Bowman gave Hoover an 8-0 lead with 4:26 left in the first quarter.

Mountain Brook would settle down and fight back to tie the game at 8 until Hoover’s Leonard Wood made a jumper with 5 seconds left in the first quarter to give Hoover a 10-8 lead going into the second quarter.

The second quarter was a back and forth affair that saw Hoover and Mountain Brook trade numerous baskets. Despite shooting just 27.3 percent from the field in the first half, Mountain Brook only trailed Hoover 21-20 going into the half.

Hoover would open up the second half similar to how they did in the first quarter. Cherry and Wood both made lay ups, and Wood stole the ball from Mountain Brook’s Hunter Lucas and made another lay up, extending Hoover’s lead to 27-22.

Mountain Brook used some key offensive rebounds and connected on back-to-back and-one drives by Terrell Guy and Hunter Lucas to give Mountain Brook its largest lead of the game at 30-27, with 3:52 remaining in the third quarter.

Hoover got help off the bench in the third quarter as 11 of the Bucs 15 points were scored from the help of bench players.

Shaquille Bracey was one of those players who came in and made a big play for the Bucs off of the bench. Bracey stole the ball from Mountain Brook’s Drew Smith and dunked the ball, giving the Bucs a 36-32 lead and the momentum.

Jack Kline made two free throws at the end of the third quarter to pull the Spartans to within 36-34 going into the fourth quarter. Kline finished with 15 points in the game.

Cherry’s clutch free throw shooting was the story of the fourth quarter as Hoover outplayed Mountain Brook in the last two minutes of the game to secure the victory.

Cherry finished the game with a team-high 14 points and tied for a team-high 9 rebounds as he was awarded the championship MVP.

“Winning the games the way we’ve been winning them just further cements our philosophy as far as defense wins basketball games,” says Hoover head coach Charles Burkett after the game. “It gives you an opportunity to win basketball games. At the end of the day, you have to put the ball in the basket. But our defense gave us countless opportunities, and eventually it came around.”

A disappointing stat for Mountain Brook was their shooting percentage, particularly from behind the 3-point line, as the Spartans made just one 3-pointer out of 18 total attempts in the game.

“Tonight we were 1 for 18,” says Mountain Brook head coach Bucky McMillan on his teams poor shooting. “Percentage wise, we shot 18 threes and made 5 percent of them. That’s tough against anybody, but it’s extremely tough against somebody like Hoover, because they have such athleticism that you can’t just take advantage of them inside.”

Mountain Brook shot just 27.9 percent from the field in the game.

Hoover players, coaches and administrators exchanged numerous hugs and high fives following the hard fought victory in a school that is well known for being a football powerhouse in the state.

Hoover finished the year with a 27-9 record and claimed the first ever AHSAA Class 7A state boys basketball title.

[This article originally appeared in the March issue of Hoover’s Magazine. Pick up your free copy at one of these locations.]

Montevallo

UM to celebrate Earth Week April 15-19

280 Main Story

Paschal joins Ivey in efforts to raise awareness on parental alienation

Lifestyles

Oak Mountain State Fair ends successful three-week run in Pelham

280 Main Story

Welborn swears in 7 child advocates

Helena Reporter

Paws for effect: Pelham retains Paws Cup with win over Helena to clinch playoffs, set up area title game

Helena

Beery’s first-half hat trick lifts Helena to season sweep of rival Pelham

280 Reporter

Spain Park, Hewitt-Trussville split area series

280 Reporter

Oak Mountain’s pitching leads to area sweep of Chelsea

Montevallo

Montevallo boys, girls soccer claim senior night wins over Shelby County

280 Main Story

Oak Mountain honors seniors with senior night wins over Montgomery Academy

Chelsea

Shelby County organizations prepare for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

280 Main Story

County approves resurfacing, repaving of west Shelby County

280 Main Story

Chelsea Council pays off ChHS weight room, approves text alert system

280 Main Story

Chelsea residents sample barbecue during annual Fire at the Foothills

280 Main Story

Third annual Hargis Day planned for May 18

280 Main Story

Spain Park’s Chris Laatsch taking over as Orange Beach basketball coach

Alabaster Main Story

Alabaster approves ordinance to dispose of old police department, old city hall

280 Reporter

Spain Park remains perfect with season sweep of No. 4 Oak Mountain

Alabaster Main Story

Alabaster plans 3rd annual Walk in the Park

Helena

Helena Historical Preservation Committee leads hike

Calera

Calera Main Street kicks off First Friday series

Lifestyles

Annual Walk for Christ finds success in Pelham with new additions

280 Reporter

Oak Mountain finishes perfect area play run with shutout of Spain Park

Alabaster Main Story

Alabaster enjoys Parade of Teams after start of little-league season