At the expense of the Selma boys basketball team, the Roosevelt Rough Riders saved their best performance for last on Saturday.
Led by a dominating performance from senior Bryson Wiliams, the Rough Riders cruised to a 60-36 win against the Bears and captured the Central Section Division III championship.
Williams, who will play at California State University, Fresno next year, finished the night at Selland Arena with 29 points, 23 rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
“It’s hard to lose in a big arena with all the lights and it’s so heartbreaking for the kids,” Selma coach Mike Pallesi said. “They wanted it so bad, but it was a great year. This is where I wanted to be and I’m happy to be here. Once you get here, you want to win. I wish we could have made the score a little closer, but the better team won today.”
With both teams off to a sloppy start in Saturday’s championship game, the Rough Riders had a 9-7 lead after the first quarter. In the second quarter, however, the Rough Riders used their size advantage and dominated in the paint. The Bears, on the other hand, didn’t have their normal shooting touch on Saturday night.
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乐动体育“We were 0-for-9 in the first half from the three-point line. We’re a good shooting team,” Pallesi said. “When you’re not scoring it wears you down. We got a little bit deflated.”
The Bears had their best stretch of the game when they called a timeout in the third quarter, then managed a 9-0 run. Even with run however, the Bears faced a 43-30 deficit going into the fourth quarter.
“We got the game going faster like we wanted. It just didn’t last,” Pallesi said.
The Riders’ dominance, however, lasted throughout the fourth quarter, and the celebration officially began with Roosevelt’s players mobbing each other on the court at Selland Arena.
乐动体育Selma was led by 11 points from sophomore guard Henry Ramirez. In addition to Ramirez, the Bears have a young roster that includes freshman center Tiveon Stroud, sophomore guard William Pallesi, and sophomore guard Manny Singh.
乐动体育Still, Pallesi said there’s no guarantee of what will happen next year.
乐动体育“Porterville won the Valley title last year and they had everybody back, but they’re not here. There’s just no guarantee,” Pallesi said. “There’s injuries, there’s eligibility. You have to continue to work hard. There could be somebody hungrier than us. If we work hard and we do what we’re supposed to do, we’ll come back.”
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