BAKERSFIELD - The Selma girls basketball team fell short of playing for a Valley championship after losing 78-55 on the road to Golden Valley High School in a California Interscholastic Federation Division III semifinals game on Feb. 28.
In a matchup between a three-seeded Selma team against a two-seeded Golden Valley squad, the game got away from the Bears in the fourth quarter.
Selma was down 40-39 late in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs ended the quarter on a 10-2 run and Golden Valley didn’t slow down after that. The Bears were outscored 28-14 in the fourth quarter.
“To oversimplify it, they went on a stretch when they made a lot of shots in consecutive trips down the floor,” Selma head coach Paul Romig said. “We turned the ball over, so it was kind of a double-edge conundrum for us.”
Selma had 33 turnovers in the game.
Romig said the team didn’t play at 100 percent including senior Lizette Moreno, who was diagnosed with a torn meniscus a day after the game.
“She’s been less than 100 percent based on what our trainers had been saying,” Romig said. “She went in [to the doctor] and they say it was a torn meniscus.”
The senior finished her final high school game with nine points and eight assists against Golden Valley.
Moreno wasn’t the only Lady Bear to suffer an injury this season. Rachel Vieira broke her arm during a practice in February before the team’s Central Sequoia League game against Dinuba on Feb. 8.
When Selma lost Vieira for the season, junior Madi Mares was inserted into the lineup and was a solid scoring presence for the Bears. She only scored three points in the semifinal contest, but she averaged 10.4 points per game in Vieira’s absence.
“We try to preach to be ready when your opportunity comes,” Romig said. “Madison certainly did that; she’s a big part of what we did here down the stretch.”
Other top performers from Selma against the Bulldogs were Audrey Gonzalez and Taj Pannu.
Gonzalez scored 22 points and it was her second-straight game with at least scoring 20 or more points. She recorded a double-double with 27 points and 11 rebounds in the quarterfinal game against Sierra on Feb 23.
Pannu was one rebound shy of notching a double-double against Golden Valley. The junior finished with 14 points and nine rebounds against the Bulldogs.
The season for the Bears isn’t done and Selma will compete in the CIF State Division IV playoffs and will enter as a No. 15 seed in the Southern Regional bracket. The Bears will head to Ventura to take on two-seeded Foothill Tech on March 3 at 6 p.m. [results after press time].
“I like my team’s chances against anybody we play,” Romig said.