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Selma girls advance to finals of holiday tourney

Ashley Grimes had a double-double with 18 points 13 rebounds and led the Selma Lady Saints to the finals of the Selma High Invitational Tournament.

With 1:59 left in the game, Grimes iced the victory with two free throws and the 44-35 win over Sumter County.

“We came out a little flat after playing five hours early, but we sucked it up,” Selma coach Anthony Harris said.

Sumter County’s Jamesha Watkins scored 25 points and had 15 rebounds. Watkins scored on a drive off the baseline and pulled Sumter County within one 34-33.

Kamesha Strong scored nine points in the game and came down and hit a 12-footer to put Selma ahead 36-33. Teammate Keisha Moore came alive with an 18-footer.

Watkins intercepted a pass and went coast to coast for the easy basket, making it a 42-35 game.

Selma led 26-12 at halftime but couldn’t pull away in the third.

Dorothy Holloway hit on a driving layup, and Selma led 30-28 after three quarters.

In the first round of the tournament, the Lady Saints bounced back from their second home loss in two years and rolled over the Central Lions 60-19.

Breanna Smith had a double-double, scoring a game-high 12 points 10 rebound.

“My philosophy has always been a pressing, hard defense brings instant offense,” Harris said.

Strong scored 10 points, and Grimes had nine points. Strong made four steals in the first half. Moore hit two 3-pointers, and the Lady Saints led at the half, 36-10.

Selma’s reserve players played the second half and kept the pressure on. Central scored only nine points the second half.

“We’re very young this year; I lost my starting five from a 27-3 team,” Central coach Trent Woodly said. “We’ll be all right in the long run.”

At one point in the first quarter, Selma led 18-2. Central committed eight turnovers, and all led to points.