Saints win squeaker, sweep Wilcox Central
SELMA — Don’t let the score fool you.
Just looking at the final score, you might think Selma was able to hold on long enough to beat Wilcox Central 67-54 Friday night in the Saints gym.
The Lady Saints began the night with a comfortable 64-24 victory.
Selma, however, didn’t get a lead in the game until six minutes left in the game.
As a matter of fact, Wilcox Central controlled the first two quarters so well that the Jaguars led 25-11 after the first stanza and 35-25 at halftime.
Apparently, whatever Selma coach Woodie Jackson told his squad at intermission paid off.
“We just weren’t finishing with our shots in the first half,” said Jackson, whose young Saints improved to 2-1 on the season. “A lot of that comes with our youthfulness.”
Defense in the second half was the key.
“We went to a man-to-man defense with a press,” Jackson said. “That turned everything around.”
The Saints did so well that they outscored the Jaguars 42-19 in the second half.
By 17 points (26-7) in the fourth quarter.
“I think we showed a lot of poise tonight to come back the way we did,” Jackson said. “We just got farther behind as early as we did to soon.”
Malcolm Riley led Selma’s scorers with 22 points, while Charles Eaton registered in every category — 19 points, six steals and nine rebounds.
Duprie Rivers added 9 points for the Saints.
The leading scorer for Wilcox Central was Ronnie Square with 12.
In the girls’ game, the Lady Saints improved to 6-2 on the season.
While the game seemed like a snoozer, the side effects may be trouble.
In the first half, point guard Keisha Moore injured her ankle, iced it down on the bench and was not able to return.
Selma coach anthony Harris said the prognosis is not critical.
“I think she had a little sprain,” he said. “I think she will be all right.”
Selma assistant coach Melissa White said she didn’t think the injury would be long lasting.
“She just rolled her ankle,” she said.
Harris said he was pleased with the way his girls handled the adversity.
“The kids came together” after the injury, he said. “When one player goes down, the others step up and play harder.”
Selma’s girls started with a 15-0 advantage before Wilcox Central scored. The Lady Saints led 23-2 after one quarter and 31-11 at intermission.
A 27-point third quarter gave Selma a 48-17 cushion going into the last stanza.
Harris said he was pleased with the effort he received from his bench players.
“We were able to convert turnovers into points,” he said. “This game was not the test we will see throughout the season. But we will take them as they come.”
He said he planned to go back to fundamentals during the Thanksgiving holiday in preparation for next weekend’s Selma High school Thanksgiving Shootout.
“We still need to be working on our post play right now,” he said.
Jonisha Jackson led all scorers with 20 points for Selma. Jameneshia Caver and Breanna Smith each added 10 points for the Lady Saints.
Caver added seven rebounds and Smith had five.
For Wilcox Central, Alexandria Hallaway had 12 points as the only Lady Jaguars player in double figures. Faith Bennet was the next-highest scorer with four points.
The Thanksgiving Shootout begins on Thanksgiving Day with four boys’ games beginning at 4 p.m.
Four girls’ games and four boys’ games start at 8 a.m.. Friday.