Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Junior Segura (0) rises up over Madera’s Christian Aguilar to score two of his 14 points in Friday’s win over the Coyotes.
The Madera South Stallions boys basketball team used an explosive first quarter to upend County/Metro Athletic Conference and rivals Madera Coyotes, 64-43.
“For us, a win right now is valuable because we need to get as many as we possibly can to help us when the time comes for playoffs,” Madera South head coach Jody Sharp said. “As you’re getting closer towards the end of the season and to the start of the playoffs, you have to refine those things because when you start playing playoff games, you have to execute in the half court on both ends.
“We have to clean that up and that’s our job to make these kids understand that. If we do our job well enough, we then hope they will end up improving on that end.”
The Stallions built a 17-6 first-quarter lead in Friday’s game and never looked back. Behind nine points from Junior Segura, Madera South continued to build each quarter until they were up more than 20 points.
Segura and Ralph White combined for a 26 points in the win.
Madera South’s ability to rebound, hit open shots and stay locked into the game proved worthwhile, however costly for the visiting Coyotes.
Christian Aguilar, K’Veon Jones and Eli Barrios poured in eight points each in a valiant effort for Madera.
Segura made it a 13-point lead for the Stallions after he locked in from deep and knocked down the shot halfway through the first quarter. He successfully shed his defender before finding a pocket of space for the shot.
Although Madera South established an early lead, Madera answered back with a 7-0 run with about four minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Arthur Flores brought the Coyotes back after he drove into the lane and finished with the contact to cut the deficit to single digits.
Barrios opened the second quarter with a baseline jumper to cut Madera South’s lead to seven. Although Madera was outsourced heavily to open the game, they found their groove and were determined to come back. Jones attacked the basket, despite the foul. Jones converted his free throw to cut the Stallions lead just a little bit more.
Madera South countered the Coyotes’ run with a 7-2 run late in the second quarter to push the lead to 16 points. White hit two 3-pointers and Xavier Garcia had five points in the second quarter.
Their attacking allowed Madera South to make it a 15-3 second quarter run to give the Stallions a comfortable lead going into the break.
Madera South came out of the locker room and outscored the Coyotes 16-11 in the third quarter and, if not for Aguilar, the Coyotes would’ve been in a deeper hole in the second half. Aguilar kept Madera afloat in the quarter with five points.
The Stallions, on the other hand, received four points from Hakeem Primes and four from David Thomas to help combat the Coyotes’ second-half push. Although the Stallions were making their shots, the Coyotes began to put pressure on the home team heading into the fourth quarter.
With the game closing, the Coyotes forced the issue.
They defended well and forced the Stallions into tough shots the entire quarter while they were able to make some of their own.
Six different players scored for Madera in the fourth quarter and outscored the Stallions 19-13.
Although it wasn’t enough to win the game, Madera continued to fight to the end, showing exactly what David Lozano preaches.
“I was really proud of their effort in the fourth quarter,” Lozano said. “With 30 seconds left in the game, I have guys taking charges, so they played hard until the end and that’s all we ask.”