Hamma, Guth reflect on Buffalo Grove's 2000 state championship
I still remember sitting at press row twenty years ago with legendary Daily Herald sports editor Bob Frisk and hall of fame sports writer John Radtke, today the newspaper's prep sports editor.
We got to watch history that night in Normal as Buffalo Grove's girls basketball team won the school's first girls state title in any sport with a classic 60-51 overtime win against Chicago powerhouse Washington.
Piper's Mead's two free throws with 13 seconds left were the finals points of the game and in BG's dream season.
"I remember standing back as Piper was shooting those free throws and thinking that a state championship was actually going to happen," said Lindsey Hamma, now an English teacher at Hoffman Estates and the school's head softball coach.
"And just looking around at my teammates, coach (hall of famer Tom) Dineen and up in the stands, I was kind of understanding what it all meant and what an accomplishment it was."
Hamma's 3-pointer gave BG its biggest lead at 48-36.
"The most amazing thing about that was that my first shot was blocked," Hamma said. "But Piper came down with the rebound and kicked it back out to me and I had a second chance."
The Bison took full advantage of their second chance in overtime, with student council President Allison Guth producing the first 7 points.
That ended up being Radtke's sidebar, prompting the famous 'Guth for President' lead.
"Winning the championship felt bigger than life," said Guth, now the head women's basketball coach at Yale University. "When you look back, it's the friendships, the relationships and community in the stands that was going so crazy. You were just feeling like you were on top of the world.
"When they say a championship is really etched in stone forever and lasts a lifetime, that sincerely is what it has been with the relationships of our coaching staff and teammates.
"They're still some of my best friends. To watch us grow with our families to what we're doing now is something so special and something I cherish."
As for the game, Guth called it one of the Cinderella stories of all time.
"Because you have a team in Washington that is absolutely stacked with talent from a collegiate standpoint with Division I players and a team we lost to by 33 points earlier in the season," Guth said
"But our team had such a connection off the floor. When you bring together a team with that type of chemistry it is felt on the floor. We may have not have been better per individual but we were the better team.
"It was the way we played together as a team and the way coach Dineen brought us together as a unit and kind of broke down any thought of individual accomplishment. It was all about what were going to accomplish as a team."
And as a family.