Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Aleecia Rosel looks for a bucket during Wednesday’s victory over Bullard.
The Madera South girls basketball team capitalized on a dominant second quarter to defeat the Bullard-Fresno Knights 57-40 in a County/Metro Athletic Conference game at Madera South.
“We needed the victory,” Madera South head coach Johnny Sharp said. “They were without their best player tonight, but when we found that out, our level of intensity went all the way down. We had to find our way and get that level of intensity back up. Once we found our intensity, it got better for us.”
After trailing the Knights 10-5 heading into the second quarter Wednesday, Arelis Chavez, Aleecia Rosel and Keirra Smith combined for 20 of the Stallions’ 22 second-quarter points to swing the momentum back in their favor.
“We played this team close up at Bullard and it’s just really running the system,” Sharp said. “The system started to kick in, they got their rotations and Bullard started making some turnovers, so that helped us out.”
Although Madera South created a double-digit lead before the second quarter ended, they continued to push the Knights all the way to the end for the important CMAC win.
Madera South raced out to a 5-1 run to open the game. The Stallions combined high-percentage shots and stout defense to give Bullard fits early.
The Knights found their groove shortly after, utilizing a short run to tie the game.
Bullard continued their strong start after its run jumped to 9-0 after a long-range three. After a strong start, the Stallions dropped the ball late in the quarter.
The run continued after Anastacya Medrano hit a three to push Bullard’s run to 13 straight. With the Knights in control, Madera South picked up their heads and went to work.
Smith ended the Bullard run with a big three-point shot halfway through the quarter. That wasn’t all, however, and she came back to hit a second. In a span of 15 seconds, Smith cut the Bullard lead to just three points.
Down on the scoreboard, 14-11, Rosel looked to get her teammates involved after she dished the ball to Chavez for the open bucket. Her pass cut the deficit to just one, but more importantly, got Chavez into a rhythm.
Chavez capitalized on her weaker defender with a power-dribble finish over the contact for the and-one basket. Madera South took the lead in the midst of an 11-0 run.
After an intelligent pass, Rosel found her own game. She converted back-to-back buckets to give the Stallions a nine-point lead with 10 seconds left in the half.
The Stallions entered halftime leading 27-18 and never looked back.
Lexi Eller and Rosel combined to open the second half on a 13-2 run, culminating in a 16-8 quarter for Madera South.
Although Bullard showed their pedigree early, Madera South flexed their scoring potential with multiple runs of over double-digit points.