Lady Saints ride 12-0 start to take Area 4 title
Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 15, 2004
Erica Lumpkin and Shemeka Simpson dialed home long distance from beyond the three-point arc and sparked a 12-0 first quarter run that catapulted the Selma Lady Saints to the school’s first Class 6A, Area 4 Tournament Championship in girl’s competition.
The top-ranked Saints held off the relentless Carver Wolverines 70-57 Friday night and will host the on Thursday with a chance to advance to the round of sixteen at the Southeast Regional to be held next week at Troy State.
Senior center Kimberly Wilson, voted tournament MVP, got Selma out front early with 6 quick points on a put back, a lay up, and two free throws.
But Carver answered every time, eventually taking the lead at 9-8 on a free throw by Jennifer Harris.
The Saints then erupted.
Lumpkin played string music from deep in the right corner and junior guards Ashley Green and Santana Seay converted steals into lay ups off their vaunted pressure defense.
Green drove the length of the court for another bucket after Simpson’s bomb from the left wing.
Only a time out by the Wolves halted the blue and gold frenzy.
Saint defensive stopper Tyease Jones’s steal and feed to Green led to a three point play that put Selma up 27-15 at the end of one quarter of action.
Carver settled down in the second quarter and used their offensive rebounding ability to stay close to the Saints.
But Selma kept the pressure on as Simpson had three fast break lay ups courtesy of assists from Green and Seay.
Seay scored again on an inbounds play and hit sophomore Kemeka Wilson on a dime for a lay up that sent the Saints into the dressing room at 41-25.
Carver, the team that has dominated Area 4 over the last decade, used multiple gimmick defenses in the second half in an attempt to rattle Seay and disrupt the Saints offense.
Seay, an all-state candidate, frustrated by the physical play of the Wolverines picked up her fourth foul at 3:44 of the third period on a double foul call.
Jones entered and promptly fed Kim Wilson down low for a bucket.
But the Wolves stormed back with their press and the rebounding of Harris and senior star Nicole Knox.
The tandem wrecked havoc on the boards, getting two and three chances on nearly every trip.
Knox’s turnaround jumper early in the fourth quarter pulled the Montgomery visitors to 54-45.
Saint coach Anthony Harris then turned to Seay, the silky smooth guard that captains this ship.
Seay and Green, all tournament team selections, combined for eight straight points that closed the door on the Wolverines.
“The tournament championship feels really good.
We played great team offense and defense tonight.
As seniors, we want to go out with a bang,” said Jones afterwards.
Coach Harris said the Lady Saints, now 28-1, will go to work this week on the fundamentals and boxing out better.
The balanced Saints placed four players in double figures as Green and Wilson scored 17 points each.
Seay notched a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Simpson finished strong with 11 points and five assists.
Erica Lumpkin gutted out seven points and seven rebounds.
Lumpkin, a freshman, is nursing a badly sprained ankle and is expected to see light duty in practice this week in preparation for the subregional.
Tip off for the big game is slated for 7 p.m. on Thursday.