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AHSAA basketball: Trinity girls win first state championship with late comeback vs. Clements

BIRMINGHAM − Trinity girls basketball defeated Clements 52-48 in the AHSAA 3A state championship Friday afternoon at Legacy Arena.

Trinity (32-2) took its first lead since the opening minutes when Maddie Smith found Emma Kate Smith in the corner for a 3-pointer with 5:03 left.

The Wildcats never relinquished the lead and outscored Clements 23-11 in the fourth quarter, when it shot 70% and Emma Kate Smith made three 3-pointers and scored 11 points.

Mya Moskowitz made two late jumpers, pushing the Trinity lead to a game-high eight points with 50 seconds left. Clements (28-7) had over 25 minutes of lead time, and Trinity led just five minutes, 31 seconds.

Emma Kate Smith scored 14 points with three steals and shot 4 of 7 on 3-pointers. Moskowitz scored 13 points with four rebounds and was named tournament MVP.

“I didn't shoot as much in the first half," Emma Kate Smith said. "Coach tells me to shoot even when I'm discouraged. Shooters have to shoot, and it fell.”

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Maddie Smith, who led Trinity with 20 points in its semifinal win against Susan Moore, earned her fourth foul at the end of the first quarter. She sat the second quarter but played the entire second half with no room for error. She finished with seven points and six assists.

"Maddie is our engine," Trinity coach Blake Smith said. "When you take her off the floor with four fouls in the first quarter, it’s difficult to overcome. Anna (Moore) came in and doesn't get very many minutes. She practices so hard, plays for two minutes every game, but we tell them you never know who needs to play.”

Trinity shot worse from the field than Clement but had six more shot attempts and nine second-chance points because of 13 offensive rebounds.

Clements was led by Leah Childress' 15 points, seven rebounds and three 3-pointers. Taylore Farra scored 12 points with five rebounds for Clements, which led 37-29 entering the fourth quarter.

Jerell Rushin is a recruiting reporter for the Tuscaloosa News and the USA TODAY Network. Reach him at jrushin@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter at @JerellRushin_.

This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: AHSAA basketball: Trinity girls win first state championship vs. Clements