It's been universally accepted that Selah losing to Zillah (this past Tuesday) was the best thing that could've happened to them.

Backing up the claim was none other than Selah head coach Tim Garza.

"If you want to be a great winner, you have to suffer a great loss. You've got to hate losing more than you enjoy winning."

On Saturday night, Selah faced their first true test since the devastating Zillah defeat, facing 10-2 Toppenish.

"We call 'em the TOP 3, Adonis Shaul, Isiah Perez, and Isaac Perez. We needed to always know where those guys were," said Coach Garza on his Toppenish scouting report.

Despite facing the number two team in the CWAC, Selah took an unbelievable 25-6 lead in the first quarter.

"Our defense was huge for that start, we were slinging the ball well, we were getting easy transition looks and lay-ins," said the 6-3 junior Elijah Pepper.

Selah played suffocating defense early
Selah played suffocating defense early

As Selah's lead ballooned to 58-32 to start the third quarter, the conditioning of Selah is what really limited any chance of a Toppenish comeback.

"We always want to power through. We're a deep team, so we can keep guys fresh in the fourth quarter," said Selah veteran forward Keegan Morford.

But despite being up double digits consistently in the second half, Coach Garza saw it as a teaching moment for his team.

"The way we play is so fast, we need to learn how to slow the game down. Don't look for the outside shot, but rather work inside to create offensive rebounds and free throws."

Notable performances for Selah include Zak Donato (27), Eijah Pepper (21), and Keegan Morford (10). Toppenish featured Isiah Perez and Isaac Perez combine for 26 points.

A near sell-out crowd was on hand for Selah vs Toppenish
A near sell-out crowd was on hand for Selah vs Toppenish

Unfortunately there will be have to be a stoppage on perfect season t-shirts.

Bu if you look at the 2A state champion's for the last 14 years, NONE of them escaped their season undefeated.

It gives Selah a chance to play loose and relaxed. Without the undefeated hype weighing on their shoulders as they inch closer to the playoffs.

But is Elijah Pepper still hanging his head on the loss to Zillah?

"If that loss had been a playoff or a state loss, we wouldn't be able to get over it. But it was just a non-league game, we've got more to come."

So hop on the Selah bandwagon! Plenty of seats still available.

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