The St. James girls basketball team was able to get a 52-47 win over Trinity on Friday night, but former Trojan Leslie Claybrook stole the show as she was honored for her 25th anniversary of winning Miss Basketball in 1989.
Claybrook — the Trojans’ all-time leading scorer (2,668) and rebounder (1,704) — played at the University of Alabama and is currently an SEC assistant commissioner. She had her choice of games to attend this season, but chose the Trinity game, bringing back memories of her 53-point performance against the Wildcats as a junior in 1988.
“It was great to be back here. It’s the first time I’ve been back to St. James pretty much since I graduated,” Claybrook said. “It was fun to come back and great time to be here, playing our archrival Trinity and getting a big victory over them tonight and being a part of that. It was a lot of fun.”
Claybrook is the only Miss Basketball from Montgomery, and her No. 44 jersey is the only women’s basketball jersey that has been retired by St. James.
“She is just the cornerstone of St. James basketball,” St. James coach Katie Barton said. “She’s got all that history wrapped up with her, and it is so fun to have that back on campus and for the girls to actually put a face with the name. They know who the leading scorer was in school history, and to see her come back and know how successful she’s been after high school and she played four years of collegiate basketball and she’s still so involved with the sport, to me, that’s huge for the program.”
The Trojans (17-8) did Claybrook proud. Katie Bonner and Regan Riddle led St. James with 12 points each, and Shelby Graves scored all 11 of her points in the second half off the bench. St. James had lost its previous two meetings against the Wildcats.
Janie Hampton and LeeAnn Phillips led Trinity (19-2) with 15 points The Wildcats are ranked fifth in Class 3A.
“It’s always fun to play your rivals, and it’s always nice when you walk out on the upper end of it,” Barton said. “We’ve played Trinity three times, and they’ve got us the first two, and things just went our way tonight. Trinity’s got a great team, and they’re well coached, so that was a big win for us.”
St. James boys 50,
Jalen Harris led the Trojans (16-7) with 18 points. Jaylen McCoy added 12 points and E.J. Card 10. Wesley Curles scored 17 points to lead the Wildcats (11-10). Ben Jones added 11.