Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South freshman Lexi Eller drives to the hoop for a game-high 31 points in a victory over Liberty despite getting fouled by Liberty’s Kaylee White.
The Madera South Stallions faced a Liberty Hawks girls basketball team going in the opposite direction in its final non-conference game before starting County/Metro Athletic Conference play.
The Stallions are trending up with a deep squad of returning players and newcomers, including freshman Lexi Eller. Meanwhile, the Hawks, under new head coach Ashley Chavira, a former Madera Coyote standout, are trying to build a new foundation.
On Tuesday, Eller scored 31 points, including 22 in the second half, to lead the Stallions to a 63-25 victory over the Hawks.
The Stallions forced 30 turnovers against the Hawks and had seven players score.
Ashton Berry, a former Madera Coyote, scored 12 of Liberty’s 25 points with no other player scoring more than four points on the eight-player roster.
The Stallions opened the game by scoring the first 10 points. Aleecia Rosel scored on a drive and hit a 3-pointer. She found Simone Baker for a layup. Lanaye Brewer made a free throw and Eller scored on a layup.
Berry found Kaylee White for a layup for Liberty’s first points more than three minutes into the game.
The Stallions then scored the next nine points into the second quarter. Ajanae Kinley started the run with a rebound and went coast-to-coast for a layup. She then found Eller for a layup. Eller closed the first quarter with a 15-foot jumper for a 16-2 lead.
Kaylyn Cha opened the second quarter scoring with a 3-pointer for a 19-2 Stallions lead.
After a Karsyn Woods offensive putback for the Hawks, Simone Baker made a layup. However, Annalise Holland completed a 3-point play for Liberty. Berry and Madie Devine hit short jumpers for a 7-0 to cut the lead to 21-11.
After a Rosel jumper, Berry hit a 3-pointer. Eller closed the first half with a 3-pointer for a 26-12 Stallions lead.
The Stallions outscored the Hawks 22-4 in the third quarter. They forced five turnovers while the Hawks went 1-for-14 from the field.
Kinley opened the second half scoring with a jumper. Berry answered with a layup, but the Stallions scored the next 11 points.
Eller started the run with two layups and a 3-pointer for a 35-16 lead. Baker made a layup after a steal and Kinley made another layup after pulling down a rebound for a 39-16 lead.
White put back a missed shot for the Hawks, but the Stallions closed the quarter with eight straight points — a Rosel jumper and three Eller layups — for a
Eller got a steal and layup to open the fourth quarter. Berry then hit a 3-pointer and a jumper for the Hawks.
The Stallions then got layups from Tresuri Thomas, Kinley and Eller. Eller also hit a 3-pointer and Rosel made a layup for a 63-23 lead with a minute left in the game.
Liberty’s Rachel Koop hit a 15-footer for the final points of the game.