Saints’ girls fall to Falcons

Published 12:16 am Friday, February 3, 2017

After a 24-win regular season, the Selma girls’ basketball team will enter the playoffs off of a loss.

Central Tuscaloosa’s Antiyocka Howard knocked down a 3-pointer to break a 35-35 tie with four minutes remaining and the Falcons held on from there for a 42-39 win. It’s the first loss of 2017 for the Saints (24-2).

“It’s a gut check, it’s a self-check,” said Selma athletic director Melissa White, who coached the team Thursday in place of head coach Anthony Harris. “It makes you go back to drawing board to the little things — being able to control the ball, being able to play with poise, being able to box out, the little intangible things that we’ve been preaching all season. If you are going to make the Big Dance, you have to be fundamentally sound.”

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Selma was without Harris, who had a death in his family, and guard Jacquetta Dailey, who suffered a concussion last week. With nothing on the line Thursday, the Saints decided to hold her out.

Dailey was one of three seniors the school honored Thursday, but all three will get at least one more home game since the Saints are hosting the class 6A, area 5 tournament next week. Areyana Williams and Jamya Smith, who scored 8 points apiece, were the other seniors for the Saints.

“They’ve meant a great deal to this program, just watching them grow from eighth grade up until now, you’ve seen growth, you’ve seen their knowledge of the game increase,” White said of the seniors. “They played an intricate role in our success the past couple of years.”

The area 5 tournament will start Monday at Selma High School, but the Saints won’t play that day. Stanhope Elmore and Chilton County will play for the right to play Selma High School on Thursday in the area championship game.