FRESNO — After Selma and Kingsburg boys basketball teams started Central Sequoia League play last week, each squad dropped its games at the sixth-annual Super Saturday Showcase at Edison High School on Saturday, Jan. 13.
Selma lost 73-72 to Sunnyside High School in a game that went down to the wire.
In the final minute, the Bears were down 70-66 before freshman guard Aaron Blancas made a clutch three-pointer to cut the Wildcats’ lead to one.
“He’s a good player,” Selma head coach Mike Pallesi said about Blancas. “He’s played a lot of basketball growing up.”
Blancas finished with nine points in the loss.
After Sunnyside made a free throw to go up 71-69, Selma senior forward William Pallesi made a three-pointer that would give the Bears a one-point lead with 13.6 seconds to play.
“That’s kind of what he does,” Mike Pallesi said about William’s three-pointer.
Selma would lose the lead after Sunnyside made two free throws in the final seconds.
William Pallesi finished the game with 24 points and Junior Ramirez scored 18.
Saturday’s matchup against Sunnyside was Selma’s third game in four days, as the Bears defeated CSL opponent Immanuel 73-67 the day before and won 77-47 against Washington Union on Jan. 10.
Even with a win over Immanuel and battling in a lost to Sunnyside, the coach said the team hasn’t played its best game yet.
“We played well for about four minutes in the first [quarter] and four minutes in the fourth,” Pallesi said about Saturday’s loss to Sunnyside. “I’m sure everybody was excited about last night’s win versus Immanuel …but you still have to come out and play.”
Selma's Tiveon Stroud also return last week and the senior had 12 points against Immanuel and scored 14 versus Sunnyside.
Currently, the Bears are 11-8 overall and 1-0 in CSL play.
Next up on the schedule for Selma is a home game against Central Valley Christian on Tuesday. Jan. 16, and then go on the road to face Exeter three days later.
“They’re big, they cause some matchup problems size-wise,” Pallesi said about CVC. “I think we’ll be fine, we have to do what we do, not really about who we play.”
Selma swept both schools last season on the way to a 10-0 record is CSL play.
For Kingsburg, the Vikings had a tough day, as they were blown out 62-37 by Lemoore High School. The loss drops Kingsburg to an 8-11 overall record. The Vikings are also 0-1 in CSL play after a 64-55 loss to Exeter at home on Jan. 11.
Currently, Kingsburg is on a three-game losing streak.
“We couldn’t get good looks against their defense and the good looks that we got we just weren’t hitting,” said Kingsburg head coach Todd Brown. “We shot a really low percentage tonight, so I know that’s probably the worst we’ll shoot, so that’s encouraging.”
In the first quarter, the Vikings allowed Lemoore to get on an 8-0 run, as Kingsburg was down 17-5 at the end of the period.
“At the start of the game, I didn’t feel like we were playing poor defense,” Brown said. “It was 8-0 with maybe four minutes gone so that’s not bad defense, it’s just we weren’t hitting shots.”
After a Lemoore 30-16 halftime lead, the Vikings would cut their deficit to nine points with the score at 34-25 in the third quarter. The Tigers wouldn’t budge, as Lemoore went on a 6-0 run to end the third quarter.
Kingsburg was outscored 21-12 in the fourth quarter by the Tigers.
“The thing that I’m trying to talk to our guys about is perseverance when things aren’t going our way and to not let that deplete you,” Brown said. “When things aren’t going our way that’s when we need to step up to the call, so that’s kind of what we’re working through and that’s just where we’re at.”
Vikings senior guard/forward Jeremy Ray was the only Kingsburg player to score double-digits with 12 points. Ryan Flippo scored seven points, CJ Laita added six and Skyler Scheidt had four.
Brown said his team needs to improve scoring in the post, which played a factor in the loss to Exeter. Sophomore center Logan Bynum wasn’t available in the last two games due to hyperextending his elbow at practice prior to the Exeter matchup. Brown did say Bynum will be back this week.
“They had a couple of big guys who kind of took it to us,” Brown said about the Exeter game. “Inside we weren’t really answering …and we had a lot of turnovers.”
Next up for the Vikings is a home game against Dinuba on Wednesday, Jan. 17, and then play on the road against Central Valley Christian two days later. Kingsburg were swept by both schools last season.
“Dinuba always plays tough,” Brown said. “They are just tough kids, coach [Jeff] Schofield does a really good job with them...they are going to be ready for us. We've got to make sure we’re locked in the whole game and we can’t take any plays on both ends [of the floor].”