Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Andre Johnson rises up to score two of his team-high 13 points in Friday’s loss to Bullard.
Madera South Stallions boys basketball coach Jody Sharp didn’t stick around to see the end of a 68-52 defeat against the Bullard-Fresno Knights.
Instead, Sharp took an exit early in the fourth quarter after getting his second technical foul of the game.
With Sharp ejected, assistant coach Paul Adams took charge. The Stallions, down by 28 going into the fourth quarter, cut the deficit to 14 before time ran out.
“I’m proud of the kids,” Adams said. “They fought really hard. We’re kind of undermanned, but our kids scrapped and fought.”
Madera senior Andre Johnson made a 3-pointer with three minutes left in the game, cutting the Knights’ lead to 22. Johnson scored his second field goal late in the quarter, part of a 7-2 run which brought the Stallions within 14 points.
Still, it was too late for the Stallions who dropped into 0-9 in league.
“We had some serious foul trouble issues, but they kept fighting and I’m proud of them,” Adams said.
Johnson scored 13 points for the Stallions while sophomore Jessie Ford added eight points before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
“One of the things we are really excited about is Jessie Ford, who has really come on, playing very well, very aggressively,” Adams said. “Unfortunately his aggressiveness got him fouled out today, but on both ends, he has been a huge factor for us.”
The Stallions had their only lead of the game in the first quarter when they were up 9-7. From that point on, the Knights put together a 25-2 run. Bullard’s Lukas Wagner made consecutive 3-pointers during that stretch helping the Knights take a 34-17 lead into halftime.
Madera scored 12 points in the third quarter, but still couldn’t find a way to slow down the Knights.
Adams said the team has shown growth despite the results.
“It’s easier for people on the outside to say they don’t [see growth], but we have been in a lot of games and we’re seeing growth,” Adams said.
The Stallions will try to get their first league win when they host Madera High in the last game of the season on Wednesday, Feb. 6.
“We have one game left in the season and I want to see them leave it all on the court,” Adams said. “We have to really play together as a team and we have to clamp down defensively. They are starving to get that first win.”