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Saints advance to title game

Selma started strong early, then used a third quarter run to put Greensboro away 61-38 in the semifinals of the Keith Christmas Basketball Tournament on Tuesday.

The Saints (17-3) dominated the Raiders early, building an 18-2 lead during the game’s first six minutes with turnovers and transition layups. Selma forced a season-high 23 steals during the contest.

“We turned the ball over a lot,” said Greensboro coach Frances Dunn. “They picked up the press, and we froze.”

Headed into the second quarter, Selma led 20-5, but the No. 3 Saints seemed like a different team. They lost their shooting touch and made several unforced mistakes in a sloppy, stagnant period.

However, Greensboro (6-4) couldn’t take advantage, and Selma led 30-15 at the half.

“We came out pretty hard,” said Selma coach Anthony Harris. “The kids got a little complacent. We have got to learn how to put teams away.”

Harris emphasized putting teams away at the half, and Selma responded in the third quarter. Leading 34-20, the Saints went on a 16-2 sparked by a Kamesha Strong 3-point play and capped by a Keisha Moore 3-pointer to extend the lead to 50-22.

Ashley Grimes led the Saints with 25 points and 12 steals. Moore added 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Strong contributed 12 points.

Brittney Grice was Greensboro’s lone player in double figures with 16 points.

The game served as a positive distraction for Selma players reeling from the death of former Selma player Richelle Jones on Monday evening.

“The kids took it pretty hard last night after we played Dallas County (on Monday),” said Harris. “I wasn’t sure if they were coming here ready to play tonight. They might not understand right now because it really hasn’t hit — it pretty much hasn’t even hit