It’s hard to imagine someone having an off night and still scoring 33 points, but that was the case for Sayvia Sellers on Saturday.
The ACS girls basketball star was floor-is-lava hot in the first half with 26 points before cooling off the rest of the way in the Lions’ 86-49 win over Colony in the title game of the Northern Lights Conference Championships in Kodiak.
The University of Washington signee flirted with a triple-double, adding nine assists and nine steals. She was 5-of-10 on 3-pointers and grabbed five rebounds.
Sellers increased her career scoring total to 2,559 points and continues to be on pace to break the Alaska record at the ASAA Class 4A state tournament next week in Anchorage.
The two-time Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year is only 18 points behind King Cove’s Elaina Mack (2,577) for the No. 2 spot and 55 points behind Dimond’s Alissa Pili (2,614) for the No. 1 spot.
Sellers produced games of 36 and 33 points at the NLC Championships to bump her season scoring average to close to 28 points.
With three games remaining, the math looks good; we know her game adds up.
Sellers looked unstoppable in the first half against Colony, sinking 8-of-14 shots and going 5 for 9 on 3-pointers. She nailed 3s to beat the buzzer in *each* of the first two quarters on her way to having 26 points by halftime.
It was one thing that she was hitting her 3s, but the 5-foot-7 guard looked for more dribble-drive opportunities on Saturday and when she does that, she is next to impossible to stop.
In the second quarter, she grabbed an offensive rebound and drove coast to coast for the hoop and the harm, splitting the defense and banking a shot while falling down. A few minutes later she finished off a slick drive with a left-handed layup.
Her 47-point career high looked to be in jeopardy.
But Colony’s Hallie Clark wasn’t having it. The 5-foot-7 all-state sophomore stood tall defensively against Sellers in the second half, shadowing the ACS playmaker and at times picking up Sellers full court.
Sellers struggled in what was quite possibly her worst performance in a half, a rarity for a player who has never lost a game in Alaska (76-0). She missed seven of eight field-goal attempts and was visibly frustrated, especially after shooting an air ball 3 and then pleading with the referee that the ball was tipped.
Credit Clark and Colony. They challenged Sellers and made her work for everything. Even in the closing moments of the fourth quarter in a 35-point blowout, the Knights delivered a hard foul to Sellers on a drive. No easy layups. She would have to earn them at the line, which she did.
No doubt Sellers will be motivated at the state tournament. If we’ve learned anything about her it’s that she answers the call when her legacy is on the line.
Two years ago, she was snubbed for Class 3A Player of the Year honors and responded with a 41-point game against Homer in the first round of the state tournament.
This season she was passed up for the McDonald’s All-American Game and responded with a career-high 47 points against Colony.