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Lewis leads Selma to win

For Southside, the third time was almost the charm in a 58-44 loss to Selma.

The Panthers suffered a 35-point defeat to Selma on Dec. 6, then inched closer with a 22-point loss in the Selma Holiday Invitational. On Saturday, the Panthers gave the Saints all they could handle, but couldn’t overcome the Saints’ size and depth advantages.

The Panthers kept pace with Selma for three quarters and entered the final period with a 4-point deficit — and a chance to pull off the upset of the cross-county rival. But Selma center Wendell Lewis was the difference, scoring 14 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter — including six in a game-ending 8-2 run that secured the win.

“The games are won on the floor, not on paper,” said Selma coach Woodie Jackson. “Any time you play a cross-town rival, you know you’re going to have your hands full.”

The Panthers slowed the game down, forcing the Saints (17-6) to play to their tempo for most of the contest, and the results showed on the scoreboard. They trailed by no more than five points through the first period before a 7-0 Selma run capped by a DeAngelo Norris 3-pointer increased the Saints’ lead to 16-8.

Southside (7-13) stayed within striking distance and went into the half down 26-21.

“Our game plan was to get inside and draw contact,” said Southside coach Cedric Brown.

A Demarrious Pratt tip-in of a missed Demarcus Smith free throw cut the Saints’ lead to 47-40 with 3:36 left in the contest. But Selma capitalized on several transition opportunities down the stretch to outscore the Panthers 11-4 and put the game away.

Justin Ravizee added 12 points to the Saints’ effort, and Duprie Rivers finished with 10.

Demarcus Smith led the Panthers with 16 points, and Desmond Moore chipped in 11.