Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Ajanae Kinley drives the lane against San Joaquin Memorial on Tuesday.
The Madera Stallions girls basketball team was unable to pull off the game-winning shot after County/Metro Athletic Conference rivals San Joaquin Memorial-Fresno pulled out a 42-40 victory.
“I don’t think the game went very well, at all,” head coach Johnny Sharp said. “I felt we were handcuffed.”
The Stallions had the final possession with seven seconds left, but were unable to finish the play. Le’Ajanae Kinley drove down the lane and had two attempts at the basket blocked to hand the Panthers the game.
The Stallions were unable to get capitalize on key breaks in the game, Sharp said.
“We drew it up to get to the basket,” Sharp said. “We got everything we wanted and I just felt, at the end, she was fouled there and you know we just didn’t get it done. I just felt like the momentum changed a little bit in the game and they got a few breaks in the game that we didn’t get and that was the ball game.”
The Stallions were the aggressor early after they outscored the Panthers 12-10. Lexi Eller and Kinley led the way for the home team. Eller scored 13 points while Kinley added 12 points.
The Stallions came out of halftime flat, which led the Panthers to start the third quarter on a 10-4 run.
The Stallions were able to stop the bleeding after Treasuri Thomas used her strength inside to score the easy basket.
Kinley and Eller put the team on their back as their play cut the deficit to two toward the end of the third quarter. Kinley began the comeback after she blocked the opposing guard and kept the ball in bounds.
Kinley later scored on a difficult euro-step layup to bring her team back closer.
The Stallions scored six straight points to bring the game back after Aleecia Rosel flipped the ball over the defender for the easy layup. She scored four points in the quarter after she gave the Stallions the lead with a delicate floater at the end of the third quarter.
The Stallion’s headed into the fourth quarter leading by two points after going on a 13-12 run. The Stallions went on a tear in the fourth quarter after Kinley and Eller scored on consecutive possessions to push their lead to four points with five minutes remaining.
They eventually squandered their lead after the visitors forced multiple turnovers to gain a 42-38 lead.
The Stallions fought to bring themselves back in the game and lowered the deficit to two points after Kinley sank two free throws.
Kinley had the last chance of the game when she drove to the rim with seven seconds left but was unable to put the ball in the net after the Panthers aggressively harassed Kinley.
Kinley shot twice but was unable to convert the contested shot.