MONTGOMERY — Elizabeth Meador’s fast-break three-pointer with 2:31 to go gave UMS-Wright the lead for good and the No. 7 Bulldogs held on to edge No. 4 Jackson 48-46 in the 4A South Regional girls final Wednesday.
The Aggies (29-5) rallied from seven points back in the fourth period and led 44-42 on Alabama signee Naomi Jones’ two free throws with 2:42 left.
But Meador’s three-pointer gave UMS (30-5) a 45-44 lead and Bailey Washington padded it with two free throws with 28 seconds remaining.
Jackson’s Erica Walton cut it to 47-46 with a layup with 15 seconds left but tournament MVP Noel Freeman’s free throw with 13 seconds to go sealed the win and the Bulldogs’ fifth trip to the state final four.
UMS is still seeking its first state title after losing in the 1997 and 2006 finals and will meet Priceville or Deshler in the state semifinals Feb. 28 at 3 p.m. at Birmingham’s Legacy Arena.
Freeman had 15 points while Elizabeth Meador and Amelia Meador added 11 apiece. The Meadors hit a trio of three-pointers each.
Three-point shooting made the difference as the Bulldogs connected on 8 of 23 to the Aggies’ 2 of 8. Jackson had big advantages in points in the paint (36-16), points off turnovers (20-10) and second-chance points (15-5).
Jones finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Aggies.
UMS went on a 20-9 run in the second period for a 30-20 halftime lead and still led 38-31 after three periods before Jackson made its move.