SELMA - A 34-point performance from Aaron Blancas wouldn’t be enough for Selma in a 75-64 loss to Hanford West in a Central Sequoia League game on Jan. 4.
The loss drops the Bears to 5-11 overall and 0-3 in CSL play.
It was a game Selma started slow and struggled at the end. The Bears were down 22-4 at the end of the first quarter and fell behind 15 points in the fourth.
“Execution needs to be a little better in the fourth quarter,” Selma head coach Johnny Vargas said. “I think we kind of threw it all out in the second and third quarters tonight. Execution and condition needs to be a lot better.”
Vargas said it wasn’t the best game his team has played, but it was best effort they displayed all season.
“This is definitely one of those games where I could take a lot out of this game,” Vargas said. “The results weren’t what I wanted, but as far as I wanted to see with the effort, everything else was there. The effort tonight wasn’t the issue, it was execution, it was a lot of little things that could’ve swing this game a different direction.”
After being down 22-4 at the end of the first quarter, Blancas scored 21 of his 34 points in the second quarter. Blancas’ scoring output help led the Bears to outscoring the Huskies 27-13 in the second quarter.
Selma’s bounce back effort made it a 35-31 game going into halftime.
After making one shot in the opening quarter, Blancas said it was important for to not lose his composure in the second.
“I have to keep the intensity up,” Blancas said. “So all my teammates could keep playing and play hard.”
Down by seven points with seconds until halftime, senior Eli Mendoza made it a four-point game after making a buzzer beater from half court.
“I saw the clock running down and I was going to go [shoot it] and I thought he fouled me,” Mendoza said. “I thought they called the foul and I just threw it up and it just happened to go in.”
Mendoza finished the night with nine points.
After Mendoza’s buzzer beater, Blancas said it was an exciting atmosphere in the locker room at halftime.
“These guys were jumping all over him,” Blancas said. “It was just hype, so that kind of helped us, that big shot.”
At halftime, the Bears only lead at that point of the game was 1-0 inside the first minute of play.
Selma would finally have a two-point lead in the third quarter at 40-38, but the Bears couldn’t pull away, being down 54-49 at the end of the quarter.
Heading into the third quarter, the Selma sideline believed they could pull off a win.
“They were just ready to go back in the third quarter and keep fighting,” Mendoza said.
Mendoza said they rather have the win, but the loss is a building block moving forward to the league schedule.
“I think this is one of the best games we played as a team,” Mendoza said. “I think these next couple of games we have next week are going to be some good games that we could win.”
The Bears will host nonleague opponent Washington Union (1-13) tonight before playing in another home game against Immanuel in a CSL contest on Friday. After, Selma will host nonleague opponent Sierra High on Saturday afternoon before a rivalry matchup at Kingsburg on Jan. 16.