The third time was not the charm for Glenwood in the AISA Class 3A girls championship game.
Tournament MVP McKenzie Smelley had 18 points and the Lady Knights overcame an early seven-point deficit to beat the Lady Gators 42-28 Monday night at the Montgomery Metroplex.
Glenwood was gunning for its third state championship in a row and their third straight win against Tuscaloosa Academy this season, but Tuscaloosa outscored Glenwood 38-17 in the final three quarters.
"I have to give Tuscaloosa credit, they came out ready to play and after the first period, we were the ones that were tentative," Glenwood coach Julie Humphries said after the game. "I cannot say why, we just were not aggressive on offense.
"But our girls have two championships and a second-place finish in the last three years, and this loss does not define what our young players have accomplished this year. And it does not define our program as well."
Glenwood looked to be the confident team in the first period, outscoring the Lady Knights 11-4. Smelley was limited to one of two field goals in the first quarter. But she and senior guard Chloe Johnson led the turnaround that gave Tuscaloosa a 19-16 lead at the half.
Whitley Anderson, who
made the all tournament team along with Audrey Crowe, had 11 points for the game on three 3-pointers but 8 of those 11 came in that first period and she was 0 for 4 from the foul line.
Free throws also played an important role in the game as the Lady Gators could not find the range. Glenwood finished a dismal 5 of 16 from the foul stripe, while the Lady Knights were 11 of 12 for the game.
Glenwood ended the year with a 25-9 record, while Tuscaloosa finished 19-6 overall.
Monday in Montgomery
Tuscaloosa 4 15 8 15 - 42
Glenwood 11 5 5 7 - 28
McKenzie Smelley 18, Andrea Drake 2, Carlee Cochran 5, Chloe Johnson 8, Mariah Flournoy 3, Katherine Tucker 2, Addison Harrison 4.
Whitley Anderson 11, Teri Hodge, Parker Slappey, Audrey Crowe 8, Morgan Grant 6, Katie Suarez 3.