Courtesy of Christopher Cross
Madera South’s Jonah Johnson goes up for a shot during the Stallions’ victory over McLane on Wednesday. Johnson led the Stallions with 21 points.
The Madera South Stallions boys basketball team didn’t play its best game of the season leading up to Friday’s County/Metro Athletic Conference opener against Bullard-Fresno.
However, the Stallions did enough for a 68-59 non-conference victory over the McLane-Fresno Highlanders on Wednesday at Madera South.
“We didn’t have a very good night shooting the ball in our own gym, which is not a good thing,” head coach Jody Sharp said. “You would think that wouldn’t happen, but it did. We missed 11 free throws and didn’t shoot the ball well. These are just games where you find a way to win and move on to learn from it.”
Madera South center Jonah Johnson led the Stallions with 21 points. He also had seven rebounds.
“Our kids recognized that we were able to get the ball inside to Jonah,” Sharp said. “He has the opportunity to have a good night, but we got away from that in the second quarter. They forgot he existed and kept jacking up shots.”
Hassan Bolden added 12 with seven rebounds and David Thomas scored 10 with five rebounds and three steals. Andre Johnson and Hakeem Primes added seven points each.
However, heading into the CMAC opener, the Stallions committed 13 turnovers, including nine in the second and third periods where they were outscored. They also shot 42 percent from the field, but just 36 percent (17-of-47) after the first period. The Stallions also were 4-of-20 from beyond the 3-point stripe and just 1-of-13 after the first quarter.
“We wanted to focus on little things from practice, but we still have a ways to do that on a consistent basis,” Sharp said. “We’re sporadic. It’s one of our biggest issues.”
The Stallions took a quick 10-6 lead after a Thomas 3-pointer and a free throw and three Johnson buckets.
Bolden put back his own miss and scored on a layup to get the Stallions to a 15-8 lead.
After a McLane bucket, the Stallions scored eight straight points to open a 23-10 lead. Andre Johnson and Amire Green hit 3-pointers and Andre Johnson found Jonah Johnson down low for a layup.
The Highlanders scored on a drive and hit a 3-pointer to cut Madera South’s lead to eight at the end of the first quarter.
The teams traded buckets for the first 12 points of the second. Primes scored on a layup from a Johnson assist, Junior Segura put back his own miss and Primes scored down low for a 29-21 lead.
The Highlanders cut the lead with a tip-in bucket and a 3-point play to trail by four and eventually cut the lead to three after a layup with a minute left in the half.
McLane cut the lead to one after a bucket following a Stallions’ turnover. But, that was as close as McLane would get. Johnson closed the half with a 3-pointer for a 36-32 halftime lead.
Bolden opened the second half with a pair of layups and Johnson converted a 3-point play for a 10-0 run from the second quarter to two minutes into the third for a 43-32 lead.
McLane hit a pair of free throws, put back a missed shot and made a layup to cut the lead down to six. Segura stopped the run with a steal and layup, but the Highlanders got back to six with a layup.
Madera South got free throws from Bolden and Tank Dickson, but only hit two free throws once in 10 tries at the line. The Highlanders countered with a bucket, a 3-pointer and a free throw to cut the Stallions lead to two with 40 seconds left in the third.
Andre Johnson hit Madera South’s lone pair of free throws for a
50-46 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Stallions opened the fourth quarter with an 18-5 run to take control of the game. Primes started the run with a steal and layup. After a McLane layup, Primes hit a 15-foot jumper and Jonah Johnson put back a Primes miss.
McLane made a bucket, but Johnson hit a short jumper. After a Primes steal, Bolden made a layup and a Primes defensive rebound led to a Segura layup and a 62-50 lead with four minutes left in the game.
Thomas got a steal and layup for a 14-point lead. After a McLane free throw, Dickson found Johnson for a layup and a 66-51 lead.
McLane tried to get back in the game with a pair of layups and a 3-pointer with about a minute left to cut Madera South’s lead to eight.
Bolden put back a miss for a 68-58 lead. McLane only made one free throw the rest of the way for a Madera South nine-point victory.