Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune
Madera South and Liberty competed against each other in the City/County All-Star Basketball game at Fresno City College. Liberty head coach Johnny Gonzales and Liberty’s Trevor Evers represented the East squad and Madera South’s David Thomas led the West squad to the win with 25 points.
FRESNO — Two Madera South Stallions boys basketball players, a Liberty boys basketball player and a Madera Coyotes girls basketball player ended their high school careers at the 48th annual City/County All-Star Basketball game at Fresno City College.
Instead of separating teams in a typical geographical format like North vs. South or City vs. County, City/County coaches picked players via draft and the directional names of the teams were just that — names.
Therefore scenes like in the North vs. South girls game where Immanual-Reedley’s Krystale Gutierrez (North) tipped off against Immanuel teammate Ava Galpin.
Or in the North vs. South boys game where Sunnyside-Fresno’s Amari Stroud (North) tipped off against brother Tiveon Stroud of Selma.
Madera’s Alyssa Fernandez completed a successful four-year run as a Coyote, highlighted by a 2017 Valley Championship, at Saturday’s game.
“It was a really back and forth game,” she said. “We were up most of the game. Both teams got really tired at the end of the game. We haven’t played in a while so we haven’t been in basketball shape.”
She scored seven points for the West team in a 56-48 loss to the East team.
“It felt good,” she said. “I know I’m going to miss playing, but I’ll play at open gym.”
In the East/West boys game, Madera South’s David Thomas led an offensive barrage for the West in a 121-90 victory over the East.
“Playing against them was fun, but playing with them was even better,” Thomas said. You to learn how they play, lean to bond with them as friends and teammates.”
Thomas scored a game-high 25 points, including 14 points in the first half. He made numerous acrobatic-type shots driving through the lane.
“I just came out and played my game,” he said. “Shots were given to me in spots I felt like I could make it. Granted some went in that I didn’t think would go in. It was just one of those days.”
However, playing in the City/County game was a privilege for Thomas.
“When you’re a freshman on varsity, you look at those before you,” Thomas said. “Then, you have something to look forward to my senior year.”
Liberty’s Trevor Evers had some chances, offensively, but did most of his work on the defensive boards. He didn’t score in the game, but his rebounds helped limit the West team. Also helping out the West team was Liberty head coach Johnny Gonzales.
In the marquee game of the night, Madera South’s Hakeem Primes scored just three points for the South team in a 129-85 loss to the North.
Primes hit his first bucket of the game, but couldn’t get going in a game dominated by the North team.
The South team had four players on the roster not show up, which kept the game from getting close.