Huntsville beat Mountain Brook 60-45 today in the Class 6A Northeast Regional semifinals at Jacksonville State. The Panthers now have 30 wins and will advance to what Johnson said she believes is the program's first appearance in a regional final.
Huntsville will face Shades Valley on Friday at 9 a.m. with a spot in the Final Four on the line.
The big moment against Mountain Brook came after the Spartans shaved down Huntsville's lead and went ahead 41-39 with 56 seconds left in the third quarter. The Panthers responded with a 12-0 run and never led by fewer than eight after that.
"I'm proud of that we weathered the storm in the third quarter," said Johnson, a former player at Alabama. "We're young, and I'm proud of them for how they played and how they fought through."
Alaina Strong had 17 points for Huntsville, including the 3-pointer that erased that Mountain Brook third-quarter lead for good. Shaquera Wade had 15 points, eight rebounds, five assists, four steals and no turnovers.
Collier Ogilvie had 15 points to lead Mountain Brook (22-7), while Sara Carr added 12. Ogilivie's father, Major Ogilvie, played running back on two national championship football teams at Alabama in the 1970s, and Carr's father, Gregg Carr, played linebacker for Auburn and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1980s.
Sports Editor Mark Edwards: 256-235-3570. On Twitter @MarkSportsStar.