SELMA — The season for Selma basketball is officially over after both boys and girls teams lost on the road in the first round of CIF State playoffs games on March 7.
In the girls game, Selma entered the CIF State Division IV playoffs a No. 15 seed in the Southern Regional bracket. The Lady Bears traveled to Ventura to play two-seeded Foothill Tech in a 70-34 defeat. It was the third time Selma played in the CIF State tournament under head coach Paul Romig.
Overall, it was the program’s fourth trip to the state tournament.
“It’s quite an accomplishment to get there,” Romig said. “So that’s both rewarding of what we’re able to accomplish and it also gave us an opportunity to display some things we wanted to do as far as going into next year.”
The Lady Bears weren’t at full strength with senior Lizette Moreno out with a torn meniscus and Rachel Vieira sidelined with a broken arm since early February.
Romig said it affected the game plan of Selma.
“We could have played a different style of game,” he said, “but it is what it is.”
Selma finished the season at 22-11 overall and 8-2 in Central Sequoia League play. The Lady Bears won the CSL title and went as far as the semifinals in the CIF Central Section Division III playoffs. Notable wins for Selma included defeating Central Section Division IV champion Immanuel by an average margin of 23 points.
The 2018-19 season will return every member on the team expect for Moreno, who was the lone senior on the squad. The experience of the squad could be vital next season, according to Romig.
“I think there’s certainly a feeling in there of what is possible,” Romig said. “We've got to work hard to transcend what is possible.”
As for the boys, Selma traveled to Santa Monica as a No. 15 seed to play two-seeded Crossroads School in an 84-57 defeat. It was a first round game of the CIF State Division II playoffs. Crossroads featured UCLA-bound Shareef O’Neal, who is the son of Shaquille O’Neal.
The younger O’Neal and Roadrunners guard Dj Houston proved to be difficult to contain for the Bears. The two seniors each scored 18 points against Selma.
In their final game as a Bear, William Pallesi scored 13 points and recorded four rebounds while Junior Ramirez scored 12.
The Bears were within single-digits in the game (nine points) in the second quarter, but Crossroads stretched its lead to 15 and were up 44-29 at halftime. The game started to get away from Selma after only scoring eight points in the third quarter. The Roadrunners led 70-37 at the end of the period.
The Bears finished 21-11 overall and 9-1 in CSL play. Selma won the CSL for the second-straight season — the first time that has happened in the program since the 1960-61 and 1961-62 seasons.
It was also the third-straight season the Bears appeared in the CIF Central Section championship at Selland Arena. Selma lost 71-66 to San Joaquin Memorial in the Central Section Division II championship game on March 2.
The 2018-19 will feature a new-look Bears squad since a majority of the team is seniors. Freshman guard Aaron Blancas is slated to be the only returning player for Selma next season.