Lady Saints cruise past Tigers

Published 1:01 am Saturday, February 8, 2014

After jumping out to a quick lead, the Selma High Lady Saints cruised to a 12-point victory over the Greenville Lady Tigers in the Class 5A, Area 6 semifinals.

The game was close at the end of the first quarter — Selma led by six — but as the game wore on the Lady Saints steadily extended the lead and won 54-42.

Selma coach Anthony Harris said pressure and solid guard play were important factors in the victory.

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“We sped the game up early and put a little pressure on them and I think it worked,” Harris said. “It was a tough game and we got in a little foul trouble, but I think the team played well overall and we had some solid guard play.”

Selma’s pressure and fast pace was apparent immediately after the opening tip.

Shortly after the start, Areyana Williams drove the length of the court and was fouled on the layup. She made the second of two free throws, but stole the ensuing inbound and made a short jumper to put the Lady Saints up by six.

Fouls and offensive miscues plagued both teams in the second quarter, resulting in low point totals and it seemed Greenville was in a hurry to get to halftime.

With 2:30 left in the second quarter, Greenville guard Shakireyonna Rudolph dribbled the ball behind the three-point line until eight seconds remained in the half. Rudolph tried to orchestrate a score before the end of the half, but Lady Saint Brenna Porter intercepted Rudolph’s pass. Porter drove the length of the court and was fouled on the layup, but couldn’t make her free throws, resulting in the end of the first half.

In the second half, Selma scored easily and often, racking up 29 points. Greenville had several opportunities to come back and kept its deficit within 10 points, but couldn’t capitalize on Selma’s mistakes.

“When you’re playing a good team like Selma — a No. 1 seed — you can’t leave anything out there,” Greenville coach Frederick Nelson said. “We wanted to be in the game in the fourth quarter. We didn’t finish up strong, we didn’t capitalize on some of the mistakes they made and it cost us in the end.”

Shakireyonna Rudolph had 16 points and Deiondra Rudolph has 12 points to lead Greenville.

With the win, Selma moves on to face Demopolis on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Selma High School in the area championship game. Harris said he expects a good game from Demopolis.

“We know what we have to do,” Harris said. “If we can keep them off of the boards and make our shots I think we will be OK. We to play big on the inside too.”