Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Ajanae Kinley goes up for two of her game-high 19 points in Tuesday’s win over Sanger.
It took until three games left in the regular season for Madera South Stallions girls basketball head coach Johnny Sharp to get the team he thought he would have at the beginning of the season and didn’t disappoint in a victory over the Sanger Apaches on Senior Night.
The Stallions welcomed the return of Ajanae Kinley and she put the team, pretty much, at full strength. Kinley led all scorers with 19 points to go with 12 rebounds and four steals in Tuesday’s 43-28 victory.
“It was actually fun to see a post player that can do post work,” Sharp said. “I told them you play well together, but you still have to learn how to play with everybody. They did play well tonight.”
Aleecia Rosel added nine points with five rebounds. Point guard Emily Montoya pulled down eight rebounds, five on the offensive glass.
The Stallions used a dominating second quarter to put away the Apaches. Madera South outscored Sanger 31-25 in the other three quarters.
“We didn’t turn the ball over a lot,” Sharp said. “Even with all the emotions, I was happy we were able to play well together and not fall apart.”
Although the Stallions shot 50 percent (9-of-18) from the free throw line, Sanger fared worse, going 4-of-13 (31 percent). The Apaches also had eight different players score, but none scored more than six points.
Rosel opened the game’s scoring with a 3-pointer. More than two minutes went by before either team scored before a Taylor Rogers layup gave the Stallions a 5-0 lead.
Sanger sank two buckets and Rosel found Kinley for a layup and a 7-4 lead.
After a Sanger free throw, Rosel made two for a four-point lead. Sanger cut the lead to one with a 3-pointer. Kinley added a bucket at the end first quarter for an 11-8 lead.
Kinley opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer, but neither team scored for more than two minutes, again.
Rosel and Arelis Chavez made a free throw for a 7-0 run. Chavez made another and Kierra Smith found Kinley for a layup and a 19-8 lead and a 10-0 run.
Sanger stopped the run with a pair of free throws, but Rosel made a running layup. After another Sanger free throw, Kinley turned a steal into a layup for a 23-11 halftime lead.
Sanger opened the third quarter with a layup, but Lexi Eller opened the lead to 14 with a 3-pointer.
The Apaches countered with a 3-pointer, but Eller made back-to-back free throws, the second after a steal for a 30-15 lead.
Eller found Briseida Vasquez for a layup, but Sanger hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 13. Vasquez added a free throw for a 33-19 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Kinley opened the fourth quarter scoring with a 3-pointer and Rosel made a free throw for a 37-19 lead with six minutes left in the game.
A Kinley layup extended the run to seven. Sanger hit its fourth 3-pointer of the gam to cut the lead down to 17.
Kinley put back her own miss and added a free throw to get the lead to 42-22. The Apaches outscored the Stallions 6-1 over the final 3:42 of the game, but Madera South recorded a 15-point victory.