Selma overwhelms Stanhope Elmore for area 5 title

Published 9:51 pm Thursday, February 9, 2017

For the first five minutes of Thursday’s area championship against Stanhope Elmore, Selma pressured the ball, forcing the Mustangs into turnovers and turning those mistakes into easy points.

After five minutes Selma led 22-2, the Saints had almost all of the points they would need, and head coach Anthony Harris pulled back his defense. For the remainder of the 64-26 victory, the Saints worked on their half court offense.

“There’s going to come a time where you better be able to run half court basketball,” Harris said. “You are going to get up and down the floor every now and then but you’ve got to be able to run your set offensively.”

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This is the 10th area championship in Harris’ 14 years coaching girls’ basketball at Selma High. The Saints made it to Montgomery last year before falling to John Carroll in the first round of the Central Regional. Now, they are one win from getting back to that point.

On Thursday, it was clear the team was going to enjoy this one — at least for a night. When Selma was announced as area champs, the team rushed to the trophy and posed for pictures.

“That’s something we’ve been accustomed to, the area tournament and next week we’ve got the sub-region,” Harris said. “We just got to play our cards right, and we’ve got to work. It’s one and done now.”

Ten Selma players scored in Thursday’s game, led by all-area tournament selection Ta’sharri Grimes, who scored 16 points to lead the Saints. Areyana Williams, who also made the all-area tournament team, and Aaliyah Hatcher joined her in double figures. Williams scored 14 points and Hatcher had 12.

Nikayla Harris led Stanhope Elmore with 10 points. Harris and teammate Dalayiah Crawford made the all-tournament team.

Selma led 28-4 after the first quarter and 41-17 at halftime.

“Our program is still growing and it’s going to continue to grow. We’re going to get better and better,” said Stanhope coach Kelvin Stokes.

“I like playing against teams like this because it shows you where you are, what you need to work on, where you need to be.”

Selma will move on to host Benjamin Russell (10-12) in the sub-regional round of the AHSAA playoffs Monday night. Stanhope will play at Opelika.