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It took 31 years, but the Westminster Academy girls basketball team is finally back on top.

The Lady Lions beat Cardinal Mooney 44-41 in the FHSAA Class 3A state championship on Friday night - their first state championship since 1991.

“I’m so proud of these girls, they did not quit and they stayed together,” Westminster Academy head coach Shannon Wallhoff said.

The first quarter was a struggle for both teams as they combined to score just seven points with Westminster Academy holding a 5-2 lead.

Both teams turned it on in the second quarter as the Lady Lions went into the locker room with a 22-16 halftime lead.

Westminster Academy extended their lead to seven points at the end of the third quarter, but Cardinal Mooney got within two points with 41 seconds left. The Lady Lions were able to hold on from there.

Westminster Academy was led by freshman guard Maddie Wallhoff who scored a game-high 15 points and knocked down three 3-pointers, including a huge triple that gave them a 2-point lead late in the game. 

“You just don’t know when she’s gonna get hot,” coach Wallhoff said about her daughter’s shooting performance.

The Lady Cougars were led by junior forward Jordyn Byrd who finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Freshman forward Kali Barrett added 8 points and nine rebounds.

“This one is going to hurt for a while. We were right there and fought so hard until the very end,” Cardinal Mooney junior guard Olivia Davis said.

“We have a lot coming back, so we could very well see this matchup again in next year’s 3A final,” Cardinal Mooney head coach Rico Antonio said.