Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Nate Adams provided the spark off the bench for the Stallions in Wednesday’s first round playoff win over Yosemite. He scored 11 points with four blocked shots.
The Madera South Stallions used a big first half to cruise to a Div. IV first round playoff victory over the Yosemite-Oakhurst Badgers.
The second-seeded Stallions advanced to their second straight quarterfinal playoff game after outscoring Yosemite 41-22 in the first half Wednesday. Madera South hosted No. 7 Bakersfield Christian on Friday with a berth at Wednesday’s semifinal berth on the line.
“We settled and we started fouling,” head coach Jody Sharp said. “We got lazy and gave them opportunities at the free throw line. They made some adjustments and we didn’t make those adjustments defensively and put ourselves in bad positions. After the first quarter, we didn’t keep the foot on the accelerator. Yosemite kept playing hard and did a good job against us in the second half.
“Hopefully, we’ll do a better job come Friday,” Sharp said. “They’re kids. Sometimes it’s hard for them to understand all of this stuff. We’ll just move forward and see what happens.”
The usual suspects — Junior Segura and Hassan Bolden — scored more than half of their points, leading the Stallions. However, the Stallions received a spark off the bench from Nate Adams, who scored 11 points with four rebounds and three blocks.
“Nate has been playing really well in practice,” Sharp said. “He has come along and I’m proud of him. He’s stuck with it. He can shoot the ball and he’s been very strong. He’s been a huge asset for us, especially with David Thomas hurt. He and Ralph have to step up. Nate did a really good job.”
The Stallions jumped out in the first quarter, scoring the first seven points of the game and 13 of the first 15 points.
Jonah Johnson started the scoring with a 10-foot jumper. Junior Segura hit the first of his three 3-pointers and Bolden drove in for a layup after a Segura steal.
After a Yosemite layup, Bolden and Segura hit 3-pointers for the 11-point lead.
After another Yosemite layup, Bolden found Johnson for a layup and Johnson found Hakeem Primes for another for a 17-4 lead. Yosemite drove in for its third straight layup, but Bolden hit another 3-pointer for a 20-6 lead.
Ralph White answered a Yosemite layup with one of his own off an assist from Primes. However, Madera South had trouble hitting shots from the outside, missing five straight 3-pointers while Yosemite couldn’t crack the Madera South defense turning the ball over twice.
Yosemite stopped the scoring drought with a bucket, but Adams drove in for a layup and a 24-10 lead with a minute left in the first.
Yosemite closed the first quarter scoring with a free throw and opened the second quarter with a 3-point play and a layup for a 6-0 run.
Bolden stopped the run with a layup. Later, Yosemite hit a turnaround 10-footer to get the lead down to eight.
Bolden converted on a 3-point play and found Primes for a layup to get the lead to 31-18. The Badgers countered with a 3-pointer to get the lead down to 10.
However, Adams sparked the Stallions with a 3-pointer and then got an offensive rebound behind the 3-point line and drilled the shot. Primes added a free throw and Bolden hit a long-range 3-pointer for a 10-0 run and open Madera South’s lead to 20 near the end of the first half.
Yosemite made a free throw and Adams blocked an offensive putback attempt to give the Stallions a 41-22 lead at the half.
White opened the second half scoring with an offensive putback. However, Yosemite turned two straight Stallions’ traveling calls into layups.
Bolden turned a Tank Dickson steal into a two-handed dunk to get the lead back to 19. Johnson then got a steal and went in for a layup for 47-26 lead.
Yosemite countered with a 3-pointer, but Bolden found Segura for a layup and Segura returned the favor with an assist on a Bolden layup to give Madera South a 22 point lead.
However, Madera South couldn’t score in the final 3:33 of the game, but Yosemite could only score three points for a 51-32 Stallions lead heading into the fourth quarter. In the final minutes of the third, Madera South missed seven shots and turned the ball over twice. Meanwhile, the Stallions defense forced five turnovers in the same span.
Segura opened the fourth quarter scoring with a steal and layup and Adams hit another 3-pointer to open the lead to 24 points. Yosemite added a bucket.
Segura then hit a 3-pointer and answered a Yosemite 3-pointer with three free throws. White then scored on a reverse layup for a 64-37 lead with about five minutes left in the game. However, the Stallions went scoreless for the rest of the game, missing 10 straight shots.
The Badgers kept battling and closed the game on a 15-0 run to cut Madera South’s lead to eight at the end.