The Louisville Women’s Sports Network got to chat with Larry Just, head girls’ basketball coach at Butler Traditional High, alongside two of his players – Jaelynn Penn and Janna Lewis – as they talked about the experience of winning the 2016 St. Elizabeth Healthcare/KHSAA Girls’ Sweet 16 state title in mid-March.
Butler Traditional High School girls’ basketball won the St. Elizabeth Healthcare Girl’s Basketball Sweet 16 for the second time in three years.
Coach Larry Just: Oh, it was extra special. I mean, the first one, it was so different because I didn’t know how to respond. I knew the first time I was like, ‘You won the last game of your season. It almost feels like you’re supposed to play again, and you’re done.’ So this time it was a little bit different feeling. But it was also special just because the kids that we had that had done it two years ago. It was special this year because two of my daughters were on this team and part of that experience. So, just putting it all together. We all put a lot of time into it, a lot of energy into it, and to be able to come out with a successful year and win a state championship is special.”
Jaelynn Penn says the girls just follow the game plan of Coach Just in hoping to win a state title.
Jaelynn Penn: You know, Coach tells us the game plan and we just follow through with it. But I think like, since we’re a different team, we have different roles so, I guess, your role would be a different preparation.
Janna Lewis said it felt good to have the state title back at Butler High School.
Janna Lewis: It was good… When we won our freshman year, we had a lot of pressure the sophomore year to repeat it, and we didn’t, so it was kind of upsetting because we didn’t get to prove [to] people that we could do it again. But we knew that our junior year, that we were going to have to work hard to come back and be able to win it this year, and we worked hard every day and Coach motivated us and said we could do it, and we did it.