Win sends Lady Saints to Mobile

Published 12:14 am Friday, February 18, 2011

Jasmine Peeples looks for an open teammate in Thursday’s 67-42 win over Eufala. -- Tim Reeves

The Selma Lady Saints get to play basketball a little longer after beating Eufaula 67-42 Thursday to advance to the regional tournament in Mobile next week.

“We’re moving on,” Selma head coach Anthony Harris said. “This is the eighth year in a row we’ve made it to the regional tournament. We’ve got some work to do.”

Selma will now have to wait to see who they next play, but Harris said the team is leaving Tuesday for Mobile.

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In the meantime, Harris said his team has some kinks to iron out; kinks that nearly cost them a victory Thursday night against Eufaula.

“We had too many turnovers tonight and some silly fouls,” Harris said. “But, the refs were calling a very tight game and it took us some time to get used to that.”

Selma quickly raced out to a 15-2 lead in the first quarter behind the strong play of point guard Jonishia Jackson and the powerful inside presence of Breanna Smith and Jasmine Peeples.

But, the game leveled off in the second quarter as Eufaula found both their defense and their offense.

The Lady Tigers were able to keep pace with the Lady Saints through the second quarter, trailing 36-23.

The story of the half — and the game — was the number of fouls called. In the half, the two teams combined for 21 fouls and 33 free throws.

“That’s what my players need to come to expect in the post-season,” Harris said. “The refs are going to call it tight and we have to be ready to play no matter what.”

In the second half, Selma’s offense fell flat as they racked up turnover after turnover and took quick shots.

After racing out to a 17 point lead with 7:12 remaining in the third quarter, Selma went silent, allowing Eufaula to go on a 12-1 run over the next six minutes. That dry spell closed tightened the game to just six points and put Selma’s hopes of making it to Mobile and further in doubt.

But with 1:16 left in the quarter, the Lady Saints got back to their ways of pushing the ball inside as Smith made a tough basket down low while being fouled. She made the free throw, giving the Saints a 9-point lead, a lead they not only would not give up but would grow substantially.

The Lady Saints closed out the game, scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter and holding Eufaula to just six points.

The Lady Saints improve to 28-3 on the season with the victory.

Jameneshia Caver led the Lady Saints with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Smith added another 15 points and 12 rebounds.

Peeples finished nine points, with Kendra McCovery chipping an additional eight points.

For Eufaula, whose season comes to an end with the loss, was led by Kenra Holloway’s 15 points. Dynasty White scored 10 points for the Lady Tigers while Chelsea Bouier added another seven points.