Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Hakeem Primes drives to the lane to score two of his team-high 18 points in a loss to San Joaquin Memorial on Tuesday.
The Madera South West Gym was buzzing to watch San Joaquin Memorial-Fresno sophomore Jalen Green go against the Stallions in a County/Metro Athletic Conference game.
Green is the nation’s No. 1 sophomore recruit and is averaging more than 30 points per game for the rejuvinated Panthers. While hearing chants of “overrated” by the Stallion Storm, Green scored 29 points, with four 3-pointers, to silence the crowd Tuesday in an 80-51 win over the Stallions.
“It’s just unfair for my kids,” head coach Jody Sharp said. “We have to deal with the cards we are dealt and they (San Joaquin Memorial) are able to go out and recruit and bring the best kids they can.”
Along with Green, Dameane Douglas added 20 points and Jonah Geron scored 18, all on 3-pointers.
“All I can tell my kids is to play the game we know how,” Sharp said. “We work hard to make the kids we have better and they get to go out and bring kids in.”
Hakeem Primes led the Stallions with 18 points and eight rebounds, but he was the only player in double figures and with more than four rebounds.
“We don’t play well at home,” Sharp said. “Our kids care more about the people in the stands than they do about their team and we did that in the second quarter. I told them at halftime to quit caring what the crowd thinks and play as a team. We came out and had a better second half because we were playing as a team. We’re a totally different team when we’re away, but when we’re home, we don’t seem to play as well.”
Sharp’s team shot just 21 percent (8-of-37) from the field, including 17 percent (3-of-18) from 3-point land in the first half. However, the Stallions shot better in the second half, raising their field goal percentage to 31 percent for the game.
The Panthers jumped out to a 13-0 lead while the Stallions missed their first nine shots. After Primes made a driving layup, Green hit a 3-pointer for his 11th point in the first quarter.
Primes made two free throws and Ralph White made a 3-pointer, but the Stallions trailed 26-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Andre Johnson hit a five-foot jumper and hit a 3-pointer, but the Panthers answered. Primes hit a short jumper than then hit a 3-pointer for 35-17 Panthers’ lead.
However, despite a Johnson layup, the Panthers extended its lead to 23 with 3-pointers from Green and Geron and a free throw.
White put back a miss and David Thomas made a layup to get within 20. But the Panthers closed out the first half with nine straight points, including a Green 3-pointer for a 51-23 lead.
The Stallions tried to keep pace with the Panthers in the second half. After two buckets from Douglans, the Stallions got a driving layup from Thomas, a Kingsley Thomas offensive putback and a Primes free throw.
Green came right back and scored two buckets in a row. After an Amire Green putback for the Stallions, Lunden Taylor scored down low and Jalen Green hit another 3-pointer to increase the Panthers’ lead to 34.
Primes added a 3-pointer, but the Panthers answered with three points of their own. White found Jel Galvan for a layup, but the Panthers still held a 32-point lead.
White hit a 12-foot jumper and Junior Segura hit a 3-pointer, but the Panthers closed the quarter with an offensive putback for a 74-40 lead.
A Green putback and two 3-pointers from Geron invoked the 40-point running clock.
From there, the Stallions closed the game with nine straight points. Segura found Amire Green for a layup, Primes made two free throws, David Thomas added another. Then, Nate Adams hit a 3-pointer and Primes dropped in another for an 80-51 Panthers’ victory.