Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Hakeem Primes drives in for a layup during Friday’s loss to the Clovis Cougars. Primes led the Stallions with 14 points and nine rebounds.
The Madera South Stallions had a chance to show the rest of the teams in Div. IV that they are one of the front-runners for the section title that eluded them in March.
The first step was a double-overtime victory over Immanuel on Tuesday, the same team that beat the Stallions in the Div. IV Central Section Championship game.
However, the Stallions missed out on the second step behind a buzzer-beating layup to go along with a mysterious non-traveling violation call and 15 missed free throws, including three in the final 2:16 that could have put the game away in a 60-58 loss Friday night at Madera South.
“I scheduled these two games because I knew they would be beneficial in a big way, plus help us as a team to challenge us,” head coach Jody Sharp said. “They went to a zone against to us, but our poor execution against it didn’t help. We missed all those free throws, too.”
The Stallions shot 38 percent (9-of-24) from the free throw line despite shooting 40 percent from the field and hitting six 3-pointers.
“You have to take that stuff seriously during practice,” head coach Jody Sharp said. “We weren’t’ finishing. We didn’t take advantage of the fact that we would go to the free throw line. We have to be disciplined in those situations. We showed a lack of discipline.’
The key to the game was containing Clovis’ guards. The Stallions got them into foul trouble, but they became a factor in the fourth quarter and combined for almost half of Clovis’ point total (29 points).
“We didn’t do a good job against their guards,” Sharp said. “One guard is a driver. He’s not going to shoot. Don’t let him drive and you see what we let him do. The other guard is the shooter. You can’t put a hand in his chest, you have to put a hand in his face and know where he’s at. They got a bunch of offensive rebounds because we were standing and watching. Our guys weren’t putting a body on people.”
Despite their inefficiencies at the free throw line, the Stallions had a 10 point lead with about six minutes left in the fourth quarter and had an 11 point lead with four minutes left.
“They came back on us and put themselves in a situation to win the game,” Sharp said. “We had a chance to finish the game and we didn’t do that.”
Hakeem Primes led the Stallions with 14 points and nine rebounds. Junior Segura scored 13 despite playing sick. David Thomas added nine points, including a game-tying shot with eight seconds left.
Clovis got off to an early lead. Segura came back with a 10-foot jumper and Thomas hit a 3-pointer for a 7-5 lead. After Clovis tied the score, Primes hit a pair of free throws. Primes added a 3-pointer for a 12-10 lead, but Clovis scored three straight points to take the lead back to end the first quarter.
After Segura’s free throw tied the score, Clovis took the lead with a layup. Primes got a steal and hit Andre Johnson for a layup to tie the game. Primes also put back a missed free throw for a 17-15 lead.
The Stallions took the second quarter lead with a Johnson steal, which led to a Segura layup. Clovis scored four of the next five points for a 23-21 lead with 2:43 left in the half.
Primes hit a jumper, but Clovis hit a 3-pointer to take a lead. Primes put back a missed shot and then fed Elijah Ford for a layup after pulling down a rebound.
Clovis made a layup, but Johnson and Kinglsey Thomas hit buckets for 3-point plays, but both missed free throws for a 31-28 lead.
Johnson drove in for a layup for a 6-0 run and a five-point lead. Clovis ended the first half with two free throws to cut Madera South’s lead to three.
Clovis opened the second half with an offensive putback and a jumper before David Thomas hit a 3-pointer. The Cougars got another offensive putback and a free throw to take a 37-36 lead.
Segura hit a 3-poitner and Amire Green got a pass from Primes for a layup to increase the lead to 37-31.
Both teams went cold for more than two minutes before the Cougars made a layup.
Joel Galvan made a free throw and Johnson hit a 3-pointer for a 45-39 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Layups by Johnson and Primes gave the Stallions an 8-0 run and a 49-39 lead early into the fourth quarter.
Clovis came back with a layup and a free throw to cut the lead to seven. Segura hit two free throws and Ford scored on a layup for a 53-42 lead with less than four minutes left in the game.
Clovis got two 3-pointers and an offensive putback to cut the Stallions’ lead to three.
Kingsley Thomas made a free throw, but Clovis hit another 3-pointer to cut the lead to one with 1:45 left. The Cougars added a free throw to tie the game with 1:16 left. A layup gave the Cougars a 56-54 lead with 45 seconds left in the game.
Primes made one-of-two free throws with 24 seconds left to get within one. However, Clovis sank two free throws with 22 seconds left for a 58-55 lead.
After a time out to draw out a play, David Thomas hit a 3-pointer to tie the game with 8.1 seconds left.
The Cougars got the ball up to half court and called a timeout while dribbling the ball.
How ever, many in the stands wanted a traveling call because the ball handler was calling time out while holding the ball and walking. Others pointed out that a time out can only be called by players with two feet on the floor and two hands in the form of a ‘T’ and the Clovis ball handler was walking with the ball while calling timeout.
With 4.3 seconds left, Clovis got the ball back to the inbounder, who drove to the hoop and hit a soft layup runner as the buzzer sounded for a 60-58 walk-off victory.