Selma head basketball coach Woodie Jackson coaches from the sideline in Tuesday night’s game against Demopolis. With the Saints’  55-42 victory, Jackson won his 700th game as a head coach at the high school level.--Daniel Evans
Selma head basketball coach Woodie Jackson coaches from the sideline in Tuesday night’s game against Demopolis. With the Saints’ 55-42 victory, Jackson won his 700th game as a head coach at the high school level.-- Daniel Evans

Jackson wins 700th game as Saints top Tigers

Published 12:15am Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Selma head coach Woodie Jackson coached the Saints (10-8) to a 55-42 victory over Demopolis (7-10) Tuesday night for his 700th career coaching victory.

After the clock struck zero, Jackson was presented a basketball signed by all his players, congratulating him on his accomplishment.

“That’s a lot of games,” Jackson said after the game. “I’m blessed. I’m excited. A lot of days away from home. First, I want to give thanks to God because if not for him and having an opportunity to coach and having some good players to work with down through the years [it wouldn’t have been possible].”

It nearly was another close call for Jackson, like last week’s one-point defeat against Francis Marion that left him one victory shy of the historic milestone.

Demopolis came out on fire and stayed with the Saints most of the way. With 53 seconds remaining in the third quarter, the game was tied 37-37, but the Saints went on a 18-5 run to end the game.

Part of Selma’s success was due to defensive pressure. Jackson said the Saints knew Demopolis had a couple of players that could beat them from the outside and Selma guarded against that.

“We knew they had two good outside shooters,” Jackson said. “We didn’t cover them like we wanted to or should have but we knew they were there and we knew they could shoot from the scouting report.”

Selma used free throws and steals setting up layups to take a 47-41 lead with 4:17 left in the fourth quarter and then started holding the ball and running the clock.

The Tigers were upset that many foul attempts weren’t called during a stretch that saw Selma run valuable time off the clock in the final four minutes.

“We wanted to do about two traps and after that we wanted to foul,” Demopolis coach Rodney Jackson said. “Then, a couple of times, we felt like we fouled but we wouldn’t get the call. Refereeing has got to get better. I don’t know what to do. Maybe the coaches need to come together. Maybe we need train these guys how to call.”

Jackson was proud of his team’s effort despite the loss that put his team 0-2 in area play.

”All we can do is keep working,” Jackson said. “I just felt like Selma wanted it a little bit more tonight and that is why they got it.”

The Saints won without leading scorer Khamaul Jones, who did not play in Tuesday night’s game. Aderick Moore, who scored 15 points and brought down 12 rebounds, and Keyshawn Ford, who added 14 points, led the way for the Saints, who improved to 2-1 in area play.

Kiante Jefferies led the way for Demopolis with 18 points.

Selma’s next game is Thursday night at Dallas County, who was ranked No. 1 in Class 4A in the last Alabama Sports Writers Association poll.

In the first two meetings of the year, Dallas County squeaked out wins over the Saints.

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