Selma breaks away

Published 11:54 pm Friday, February 13, 2009

The Saints finally broke through. A team full of players that have never made a trip to regionals changed course Friday night.

Selma (21-9) ducked a couple of comeback blows by John Carroll and pulled away at the end for a 65-52 win.

Justin Bell scored 11 of his team-high 17 points in the fourth quarter, including three 3-pointers to keep Carroll in the game.

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Wendell Lewis led the Saints with 18 points, including a few thunderous dunks that swayed momentum heavily in the home team’s favor.

But it was the outside shooting of guard Justin Ravizee that made the difference. He scored 10 of his 15 points in the second half, including a pair of three pointers that helped Selma pull out to a 14-point lead in the third quarter.

“I owed my team that because my shot has really been off lately,” Ravizee said. “We made it to this point last year, and we lost here.”

Selma was clearly the dominant team in the second half, but that wasn’t always the case.

A power failure put the lights in the gym out before the start of the game, and the same could be said of the Saints’ offense.

The Cavaliers (8-17) forced four turnovers in the first three minutes and sailed to a 15-2 lead to begin the game. They led 15-9 at the end of the first quarter and 28-24 at the half.

But what was working to start didn’t translate into much success coming out of the intermission.

“We got ahead and then we let them feel a little too comfortable,” said Cavaliers coach Scott Hawley. “They’ve got guys that can set their feet and hit shots when they get comfortable. But we righted the ship a little bit and came back.”

A team that doesn’t have a returning starter from last season was thinking upset when things looked worst.

Bell hit a triple to cut the deficit to 54-46 with 2:47 left and another outside shot to make it a 58-52 game with 1:36 to play.

But Selma ended the game on a 7-0 run.

“I think we were overhyped and really excited to be in the game,” said Selma coach Woodie Jackson. “But we settled down eventually.”