Saints take rematch 64-62

Published 11:28 pm Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wilcox Central had a chance to knock off Selma to clinch the Selma Holiday Invitational championship on Tuesday.

But to the relief of Selma coach Woodie Jackson — and most of the fans in attendance — Kendric Atwood’s 3-point attempt came up short, falling into the waiting arms of Duprie Rivers. The Saints escaped with a 64-62 win.

“He didn’t recognize how much time we had,” said Wilcox Central coach Mark Dukes. “He thought we had less time than we did, kind of rushed the shot. That’s the way it goes.”

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The Jaguars, who fell to Selma in the finals of the Wilcox Central Tournament on Saturday, jumped out to an early 8-0 lead on 3-pointers from Atwood and Gary Nicholson.

Selma punched back with an 8-0 run sparked by a Duprie Rivers 3-pointer to tie the game at 8. The Saints tied the game two more times before a Tedric Owens jump shot at the 1:12 mark gave Selma its first lead. Despite the game’s nail-biting end, the Saints led most way.

A 10-2 second quarter run gave the Saints a 26-18 lead, but Wilcox responded with a 7-2 run capped by a Nicholson 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 28-27. A Rivers 3-pointer and Justin Ravizee layup put the Saints up 33-27 at the break.

Selma took control in the third quarter with a with a 12-2 run capped by a Ravizee 3-pointer to extend its lead to 48-33

That’s when the Jaguars made their move.

“We kind of relaxed on defense some tonight,” said Jackson. “From the offensive end, they started pressing us, and we did not handle the press real well.”

Trailing 56-42 with six minutes left, the Jaguars went on an 18-4 run to trim Selma’s lead to 60-58 with 1:49 left in the contest. Selma’s Jamie King hit two free throws to extend the lead to 63-58, but Wilcox Central kept coming.

Stephon Butler hit a layup, and an Atwood steal and layup made it 63-62 with 17.3 seconds left. But the Jaguars couldn’t take advantage of their final opportunity.

“It was a well-fought game between both teams,” said Dukes. “Overall, I’m proud of our effort and the way we fought back.”

Rivers led the Saints with 20 points. Ravizee and Wendell Lewis finished with 14 points apiece.

Nicholson led the Jaguars with 18 points, and Butler added 14.