Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Aleecia Rosel drives to the rim for two of her game-high 25 points.
The Madera South Stallions girls basketball team hung around with the San Joaquin Memorial-Fresno Panthers for most of the first half, but fatigue set in during a 73-44 loss at Madera South.
The Panthers outscored the Stallions 49-24 in the second and third quarters during Tuesday’s County/Metro Athletic Conference victory. However, the Stallions hung around in the first and four quarters with the Panthers only outscoring Madera South 24-20.
“We played fundamental basketball in the first half,” head coach Johnny Sharp said. “You can’t beat these types of teams without playing fundamental basketball. Once we stopped playing fundamental basketball, it just fell apart for us.
However, what hurt the Stallions was their lack of defensive rebounding. They only gathered 19 rebounds in the game and the Panthers had numerous second and third chances.
“We tell our kids about teams like this if you stop their first shot, we’ve done our job,” Sharp said. “It’s allowing them to get that second or third rebound that was hurting us.”
Edison had three players score in double figures and 10 players score. Meanwhile, the Stallions had just four players score points.
Aleecia Rosel led all scorers with 25 points, including three 3-pointers and went 8-of-10 from the free throw line. Combined with Kierra Smith, who scored 12 points, the pair scored 37 of the team’s 44 points (89 percent).
“The kids played really well, which surprised me,” Sharp said. “Aleecia is an all-league player, she really is.”
The Panthers jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but Rosel put the Stallions on her back and scored all eight of Madera South’s points to trail 10-8 at the quarter. Rosel hit a 3-pointer, a running four-footer, a free throw and a driving layup to keep the Stallions close.
After a Panthers’ 3-pointer to open the quarter, Smith answered with a 3-pointer. Rosel answered a Panthers’ offensive putback with two free throws. Memorial scored three straight buckets on offensive putbacks for a 19-13 lead.
Rosel made a free throw, then a 3-pointer and hit a 15-foot jumper to tie the game at 20. Memorial answered with a layup, but Emily Montoya made a free throw to cut the Panthers’ lead to 21-20 with 2:42 left in the half.
From there, Memorial closed the first half on a 14-4 run to take a 35-24 lead into halftime. Madera South got a Smith 3-pointer and free throw in the run.
The Panthers scored six straight points to open the third quarter for a 12-0, 20-4 run.
Rosel stopped the run with a 3-pointer. Smith got her hands on a Memorial pass and Montoya came up with the steal. Montoya rewarded Smith with a pass for a layup. Smith then came up with a steal and drained a 3-pointer to cut the Panthers’ lead to nine.
However, the Panthers closed the third quarter on an 18-0 run for a 59-32 lead. Memorial opened the fourth quarter scoring with a layup for a 29-point lead.
Montoya stopped the run with a 10-foot jumper and Rosel made two free throws. After two Memorial buckets, Rosel made two more free throws.
The Panthers added two more buckets before Arelis Chavez made a free throw and then scored down low off an assist from Montoya.
Chavez made another free throw and Rosel hit a jumper for the 73-44 final.