SELMA - After a 74-34 victory over the Sierra High Chieftains in the championship game, the Selma girls basketball team won the 43rd annual Selma Shootout Tournament on Dec. 1.
The Bears improved to 6-1 on the season and went 4-0 in the four-day tournament (Nov. 30-Dec.1), winning every game by at least double-digits.
“We’re progressing well,” said Paul Romig, Selma High head coach. “We threw a lot at them early and they’re in a better position now to observe some of it. I think they’re getting more comfortable roles are getting more defined and we’re going into the right direction.”
Senior guard Rachel Vieira was named the tournament's most valuable player of the tournament after averaging 18.2 points per game and scoring double-digit figures in every contest.
“She’s the three-point weapon...and that opens up more things because [the defense] has to concentrate on that and she’s taking an advantage of it,” Romig said.
Romig added that his team’s defense was stellar throughout the tournament, which helped with his team’s offense.
“I thought defensively we were able to get some rebounds and do a lot of stuff in transition,” he said. “We’re giving the freedom to several players to push the ball up the floor, which puts even more pressure on the other team.”
Selma guard Elena Loutherback and center Yesenia Sanchez were named to the All-Tournament team. In the championship game, Loutherback scored a game-high 23 points along with five assist and shot 4-of-6 (66 percent) from beyond the arc.
Sanchez only scored two points in the title game, but she was a presence inside the paint recording multiple rebounds per contest. The most amount of rebounds the sophomore recorded in the tourney was seven against Golden Valley. Sanchez’s season high in rebounds is 18, which came against Washington Union on Nov. 26.
Romig said Sanchez has been “outstanding” inside the post this season.
“She’s done a great job defensively, both rebounding and protecting the rim,” Romig said. “She’s becoming a force down low and finishing. It’s been pleasing to see her grow and blossom as a player.”
In the championship game, Selma started with a 30-11 lead in the first quarter and never looked back, holding Sierra to single-digits in the each of the other quarters in the 40-point win.
Throughout the tournament, Selma had 29.2 average margin of victory.
Other results from the Bears’ games included defeating the Sanger Apaches 71-51 in the semifinals game, defeating the Golden Valley Bulldogs 62-20, and defeating the Sunnyside Wildcats 50-35.
Through the first two weeks of the season, Vieira and power forward Clarissa Moreno have seen improvements from last year’s team.
“We’re playing hard, going as hard as we can, doing the little things like coach told us in practice and implementing it into the game,” Vieira said. “It’s paying off and our intensity is higher and we’re just improving that every game.”
“I think with last year we’ve learned from our mistakes and this year we’re just trying to improve them,” power forward Clarissa Moreno said.
Loutherback and Sanchez agreed that this year’s team is improved and competing for a Valley title isn’t out of the question.
“This year we want to accomplish our goal that we didn’t complete last year, which was going to Valley,” Loutherback said. “So we’re trying to fix the little things.”
“We want to get to Valley this year,” Sanchez said. “We’ve been trying our hardest and we have good chemistry.”
Selma will travel to Sacramento to compete at the Claude Brock Tourney, which will be hosted by Center High School on Dec. 6-8.
After, the Bears will start Central Sequoia League play against Central Valley Christian on the road on Dec. 11. Selma will be back on its home floor against Dinuba in a CSL matchup on Dec. 17.