In the making …

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Selma times-Journal

The Lady Saints need two more to become No. 1.

Selma’s girls’ basketball team is in the midst of an historic season, and the next three days will probably seem longer than the nearly four months leading up to them.

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“I guess teams are trying play a little harder against us now,” said junior point guard Kamesha Strong. “We’re the only unbeaten team in 6A, and they’re trying to knock us from being undefeated. This is the first time I’ve ever had this experience.”

When Selma (32-0) tips off against Clay-Chalkville (27-6) at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex on Thursday morning, it will be two wins away from becoming the first girls’ team in school history to be an undefeated state champion.

The ride hasn’t always been a smooth one. Coach Anthony Harris scolded his team in recent weeks for uncharacteristic play that led to frighteningly close wins.

The Saints had one loss erased from their record after LeFlore forfeited 17 games for using ineligible players.

No one on Selma’s team views that as a blemish on its list of accomplishments. It was after that game, after all, that the Saints began a 30-game winning streak.

“We just took that and learned from that,” junior shooting guard Ashley Grimes said. “We know we’re supposed to knock teams out and not let them up because they could easily come back.”

Harris said Grimes, Strong and senior center Gabrielle Goudy came together after last season’s 20-point loss to Jeff Davis in the Central Regional tournament. The trio worked all through the spring and summer and has been the driving force behind this year’s run.

“This group has done a good job together,” Harris said. “Someone asked me the other day, ‘What makes this team different?’ They work hard together. For the seniors, I told them don’t let it be their last game. We’re going to go up to Birmingham and represent Selma, the whole community.”

Most teams know what they’re dealing with after the first half of a ball game. The Saints, though, are used to it being over by then.

“The only thing I can say about this is the girls are going to play hard,” Harris said. “They may get a little out of it at times, but they’re going to play.”