For as long as Hannah Mountjoy can remember, she wanted to play basketball for Danville.
“Back when I was in sixth grade, the team was good but didn’t play as a team like we do now,” said Mountjoy, a senior. “But I always wanted to play basketball for Danville.”
She was all smiles after Friday’s 57-54 win over Monticello in the 12th Region All “A” Classic that will send her to the All “A” Classic in Richmond for the second time in four seasons.
Mountjoy scored six points, but smiled like she had scored 26 because as long as the team won, she was going to be happy.
“This is a big deal for us,” she said. “We have not been (to state) since my freshman year, and I wanted all these young girls to get to experience what I did and play in front of all those people in Richmond. It’s going to be a great experience for us.
“We didn’t have any seniors on the team last year. We’re still a young team, but we played together last year, played well all summer and I just knew we could go all the way to state this year. These girls are going to love it.”
Of course, Danville (13-4) had to survive some hectic finishes to win. On Friday, Laken Grey hit a 3-pointer as time ran out to beat Monticello. On Tuesday in the semifinals, Eleisha Houston hit one of two free throws with 1.5 seconds to play for a 53-52 come-from-behind win over Somerset.
“That’s what tournaments are all about,” Mountjoy said. “Somerset had not played that hard all season, and Monticello has a good team. We knew the games would be tough.”
Tough, though, is not a big deal to the Admirals because coach Judie Mason pushes her team constantly to be better.
“She deserves all the credit for this,” Mountjoy said. “She’s the one who has got us here. She told us we could do this. She has us playing as a team, not individuals.”
Mason can be as animated on the sideline as Kentucky coach John Calipari. She leaves little doubt what she’s thinking. However, Mountjoy said the players know she’s only doing what is best for them.
“She’s just coaching the only way she knows how. She wanted this for us as much as we wanted it,” Mountjoy said. “If she could put on a jersey and play, she would. That’s just how she is, and we love her for it.”
Mason loves it at Danville, too. That’s why rumors about her return to Somerset are just that — rumors. She’s building a program, and having fun doing it.
Mountjoy is glad to be part of it. Athletics plays a big role in her family — brothers Heath and Hunter are both athletes, and Heath starts on the boys team that also won the All “A” regional.
But which of the triplets is the best athlete?
“Me. That’s what I would have to say,” Hannah Mountjoy said. “They wouldn’t say that, but I would.”