Southside gets first loss

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 16, 2005

It could not have come at a better time for the Selma High School Saints.

Southside High coach Velton Robinson said he knew it would eventually happen.

John Dailey scored a game-high 29 points, including a thunderous dunk with 29.1 seconds remaining as the Saints upset previously unbeaten Southside, 60-58 Saturday night at the Selma High gym.

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The victory was especially important for the Saints, who will host Jeff Davis in a key Class 6A, Area 4 contest Tuesday night.

“This should be a big morale lifter for us,” Selma coach Willie Maxey Jr. said. “It’s special anytime you can get a win over a quality opponent like Southside.”

Selma improves to 11-5 overall, while Southside drops to 18-1.

After Dailey hit the back end of two free throws to tie the game at 56, the Panthers had a chance to take back the lead. But guard Travis Shine’s 10-foot jumper wouldn’t go. Eric Martineer grabbed the rebound and threw ahead to Quindell Pernell, who sank the running lay-up to give Selma a 58-56 lead.

Dailey sealed the win when he stole a Southside pass at mid-court and went the distance for the slam-dunk that gave the Saints a four-point cushion, 60-56.

Southside desperately took the ball downcourt, but missed several three-point opportunities. Jeffery hit a tip-in at the buzzer.

“We missed a lot easy shots down the stretch,” said a disappointed Robinson. “We played lackadaisical all ballgame. Selma came with their ‘A’-game.”

Robinson added that the loss would actually help his team the rest of the season.

“I think this is going to build up our team morale,” he said. “There was never any pressure on us. The kids didn’t think we were going unbeaten the whole season.”

Southside held on to a slight 29-24 halftime lead, but the Panthers built on their advantage in the third period. A three-pointer by Shine off the left wing and two Fontano Watters free throws gave the Panthers a seemingly comfortable 36-26 lead.

Selma narrowed the margin to five, but Tim Sanders answered with a pass to Kendrick Fails for a baseline lay-in to push the lead back to double digits, 47-37.

The Saints once again answered. Robert Childers’ offensive rebound and putback cut the deficit to 49-44 with 5:09 remaining.

Moments later, Selma senior guard Edgar Brown bobbled a pass, picked up the loose ball and hit a jumper from the foul line to bring the Saints back to within three, 53-50.

After the Saints had trailed for much of the game, Eric Martineer finally forged a tie when he was fouled on a short jumper in the paint. His free throw capped the three-point play and knotted the game at 53 with 3:14 to go.

Jermarcus Hardy made one of two free throws to give the lead back to Southside, 54-53. But Selma took the 55-54 lead when Pernell drained a 15-foot jumper from the right wing with 1:58 left.

Deonta Williams converted two charity shots and Southside took a 56-55 lead, before Dailey took over for the Saints.

Southside will try to start another winning streak next Friday night when it hosts Brubaker Tech. Tip-off is at 5 p.m.