Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South, Madera and Liberty high schools were well represented at the East/West All-Star boys basketball game Saturday at Fresno City College. Madera and Madera South played for the West and Liberty played for the East. Front row, from left, are Hassan Bolden (Madera South), Tank Dickson (Madera South) and Michael Green (Madera). Back row, from left are Madera South coaches Paul Adams, Javier Villar and head coach Jody Sharp, Liberty players Moises Cervantes, Wyatt Johnson and Markie Brandt, Mark Cardoza (Madera) and Liberty coaches Bob Caudros, head coach Johnny Gonzales and Jim McCall.
FRESNO — After coaching the Madera South Stallions boys basketball team to its most successful season in school history, head coach Jody Sharp closed out the 2017 season with a victory in the East/West All-Star boys basketball game at Fresno City College.
The 47th annual City/County All-Star game was split into four teams this year and it allowed more players from teams to play. Sharp, who led Madera South to the Div. III title game, coached the West team to a 91-71 victory over the East team, coached by Liberty head coach Johnny Gonzales.
Joining Sharp from Madera South were Tank Dickson and standout Hassan Bolden, who scored 10 points.
“It was a fun journey playing with Coach Sharp one last time,” Bolden said. “I had a good time at Madera South. It was a blessing.”
Also on the West squad were Madera’s Michael Green, who scored four points, and Mark Cardoza, who scored 14 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, including two off assists from Green.
“It took me a little time to warm up,” Cardoza said. “It was tough at the beginning, but I picked it up later at the end. Green helped me out a lot. It feels great to end my career in a game like this.”
Also playing for the West was Kerman’s David Rico, who battled with Bolden in the Div. III semifinals in March. Rico scored 16 points with three 3-pointers.
“It was easy playing with David Rico,” Bolden said. “I know I can get him the ball and he’ll knock it down.”
Leading the East team in scoring was Liberty’s Markie Brandt with 21 points, including four 3-pointers.
“It’s real fun with real talent,” Brandt said. “Everyone knows how to play ball and you don’t have to teach them fundamentals. That, being the last game of my career, it’s a great way to end the season.”
Joining Brandt were Liberty teammates Wyatt Johnson, who scored five points, and Moises Cervantes.
“It was definitely great to end the career with Wyatt and Moises,” Brandt said. “I grew up with them and played with them throughout high school. To end it with an all-star game with other great players is a good way to go out.”
Rico scored the first six points of the game, but two Brandt 3-pointers cut the lead to two. Brandt then matched a Bolden 3-pointer to tie the game at 11.
West closed the quarter on a 7-0 run for a
Brandt drove to the hoop to cut West’s lead to 27-24. Rico followed with a 3-pointer. Bolden hit another and Rico scored a bucket off an assist from Green to open the lead to nine.
Johnson stopped the run with a bucket, but the West closed the half with six straight points, including a Cardoza putback for a 41-26 lead. West outscored the East 16-9 in the quarter.
Bolden then put down a dunk and Green scored off a steal to open the lead to 18. Cardoza added an offensive putback. However, Immanuel’s Michael Odom tried to keep the East in the game with three straight buckets. Hector Acosta (Kerman) scored two straight buckets and led a 10-2 run with six points.
Brandt hit a jumper to cut the lead to 20, but Dickson converted a 3-point play to get the lead to 23.
Cardoza put back two straight offensive rebounds, but the East got two 3-pointers from Monaf Hamad (Dinuba) to cut the lead inside 20-points. Ivan Soto (Laton) hmit two straight buckets, but Hamad hit another 3-pointer.
After West took an 18-point lead, Johnson hit a 3-pointer. Cardoza got an assist from Green for a bucket. Brandt hit a jumper, but Cardoza answered with a short bucket.
Brandt then hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 14, but Green found Cardoza for a layup. Odom cut the lead down to 13 with a 3-point play.
However, the West closed the game on a 9-2 run, highlighted by two buckets from Cardoza for the 91-71 victory.