Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Brianna Rubalcaba puts up a shot over Madera South’s Moosey Warren in Tuesday’s 45-28 victory.
The Madera Coyote continued its domination over the Madera South Stallions with a 45-28 victory in the regular season finale for both teams in Joe Flores Gym.
Madera’s defense held the Stallions to just 19 percent shooting (10-of-52) from the field, including 3-of-14 (21 percent) from 3-point land for the victory.
“Our defense was great from the beginning,” Madera head coach Jason Smith said. “The emotions hurt us offensively. Ximena Escobar did a great job to start the game.”
Escobar scored nine points with five rebounds in the game. Maria Hernandez led the Coyotes with 10 rebounds.
“It’s senior night and the emotions were high,” Smith said. “They have been talking about this night and what it was going to be like since this time last year. So, you knew emotions were going to be high. All I’ve been talking about is to control yourselves and play your game.”
The Coyotes outscored the Stallions 23-10 in the first half and controlled Madera South in the second half.
“We settled down in the second half, but really didn’t get into the offensive rhythm,” Smith said. “But, our defense was strong the entire game.”
“It’s really hard for us to stay into our system,” Madera South head coach Johnny Sharp said. “I told them I’m not going to abandon my system again because we don’t play hard. We never got into anything we do in practice.”
The Stallions didn’t have a player reach double-figures, but had seven of eight players score, led by six from freshman Lexi Eller.
“We’re always trying to get better,” Sharp said. “I don’t like to look at the scoreboard. I want to see the system run. We’re young with freshmen and sophomores. For freshmen and sophomores, the score says how well we are playing.”
Escobar started the scoring by putting back a miss. After a Lanaye Brewer bucket for the Stallions, Ashley Hansen found Alyssa Burton for a Coyote bucket. Then, Hernandez hit Escobar for another layup and a 6-2 Coyote lead.
Ajanae Kinley made a layup to cut Madera’s lead to two.
Brianna Rubalcaba stole the ball from the Stallions and made the layup for an 8-4 lead before Madera South’s Treasuri Thomas made a free throw with 2:56 left in the first quarter.
Neither team scored until Janessa Fernandes made two free throws for a 10-5 lead with 30.9 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Coyotes scored the first six points of the second quarter with a 3-point play from Escobar and a 3-pointer from Lexi Carmona.
Eller stopped the run for the Stallions, but Hernandez drove in for a layup and Hansen made a 3-pointer for 21-7 lead.
Brewer made a free throw for the Stallions, but Fernandes found Hansen for a layup and a 15-point lead.
Simone Baker made two free throws with 1:26 left in the first half for a 23-10 lead at the half as neither team scored despite six shots and three turnovers.
Hernandez opened the second half with a 10-foot jumper to open a 15-point lead.
Moosey Warren made a free throw and missed the second for Madera South. Eller got the rebound and the ball ended up back in Warren’s hands for a layup.
Rubalcaba found Escobar for a layup and Warren answered with a layup. Aleecia Rosel hit a 3-pointer to cut the Coyotes’ lead to nine.
Hansen got a steal and made the ensuing layup. Hernandez pulled down a rebound and then went coast-to-coast for a layup. After an Eller layup, Hernandez hit a 3-pointer to get the lead to 14.
Kinley answered Hernandez’s 3-pointer with one of her own. A minute later, Carmona countered with her second 3-pointer.
Briann Houghton closed the third quarter with an offensive putback for a 39-23 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Eller opened the fourth quarter with a layup, but Rubalcaba answered with a short bucket. Rubalcaba found Burton for a layup and Hernandez made a layup to open the lead to 44-25.
Hernandez and Rubalcaba made free throws and Baker closed out the scoring with a 3-pointer for a 45-28 Coyote victory.