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It was a long ride back to Selma for the Selma boys basketball team after falling to the West High School Vikings (Bakersfield) 87-63 March 4 in the semifinals of the Division III playoffs at West High School.

Selma, the No. 4 seed in Division III, gave it a great shot against the No. 1 West High cutting the lead numerous times in the game before West went on an 18-0 run in the fourth quarter to win the game and advance to the Division III championship game at Sellend Arena last Saturday.

Selma battled hard and trailed 24-17 after one quarter of play. After trailing 39-32 at halftime, Selma scored the first two baskets of the third quarter to cut the lead to 39-36. West responded and hit back–to-back three pointers to extend its lead to 47-38.

Selma kept fighting and went on a 6-0 run to cut the lead to 47-44 before West went back up by a score of 51-44 with 2:52 left in the third quarter. Selma once again fought back pulling to within 53-50 with one minute to go in the third quarter.

West ended the third quarter on a 5-0 run to take a 58-50 lead into the fourth quarter of play. West turned up the pressure in the fourth quarter forcing some Selma turnovers. West continued to score extending its lead to 68-50 with 6:07 to play in the game.

The Vikings pushed the lead to 72-50 before a free throw by John Moreno ended the West run with 4:46 to go in the game. Selma tried to battle back but it was too late as the Vikings went on to win 87-63.

Selma was led by freshmen William Pallesi with 15 points in the game. Junior Ramirez and Preet Bains added 10 points each and Anoop Grewal had eight points.

Selma has qualified for the CIF State playoffs and received the No. 15 in the Division III Southern Regional and will travel to face No. 2 seed Damien High School in La Verne, CA. The game will be played tonight at 7 p.m. at Damien High School. 

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You can reach this reporter at caguirre@selmaenterprise.com

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