Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Arelis Chavez (34, middle) battles with Madera’s Madeleine McNeil (34) and BriAnn Houghton for a rebound during Tuesday’s victory over the Coyotes.
After losing to the Madera Coyotes the first 15 meetings, the Madera South Stallions girls basketball team started its own streak last year and continued it with a 54-32 victory to conclude the County/Metro Athletic Conference season.
The Stallions completed their first season sweep of the Coyotes with a dominating victory Friday, holding the Coyotes to just 10 second half points for their third straight win.
“That was nice to get the sweep,” head coach Johnny Sharp said. “It was also nice to play with our whole team.”
Lexi Eller, who didn’t score in a victory over Bullard the game before, led the Stallions with 19 points. Although Madera South had one player score in double figures, it had three players score seven or more points.
“Right now, we’re playing really good,” Sharp said. “We need to keep it up. Fundamental basketball is what will win us basketball games. Everyone has the confidence to shoot the ball. You can’t win playing individual basketball. You have to play team ball. I told Lexi you’re going to be successful if you pass the ball first. She came out and passed the ball more and her numbers went up tonight.”
While the Stallions shot 40 percent from the field, the Coyotes shot just 22 percent (9-of-41) from the field and didn’t have a player score more than seven points. BriAnn Houghton and Cathy Figueroa led the Coyotes with seven points each.
The Coyotes tried to keep pace with the Stallions at the free throw line, making 11-of-18 (61 percent), which neutralized Madera South’s 3-point shooting. The Stallions took 26 3-pointers with six made for 23 percent.
However, it was early 3-point shooting from Kierra Smith that got the Stallions to a quick start. Smith hit three 3-pointers in the first half of the first quarter to lift the Stallions to a 13-5 lead.
Figueroa found Madeleine McNeil down low and made two free throws to cut the lead to 14-10.
From there, the Stallions went on an 18-0 run into the third quarter. Eller closed the first quarter with three free throws and a driving layup for a 19-10 Stallions’ lead at the end of the first quarter.
She continued her hot shooting by scoring the next eight points, including a 3-pointer, for a 12-0 run. Aleecia Rosel, Eller and Chavez made layups to extend the lead to 32-10.
A Figueroa layup stopped the run, but Briseida Vasquez made a layup to answer.
Sofia Perez hit a 3-pointer and Grace Castellanos put back a miss, made a layup off a feed from Figueroa and Perez made two free throws for an 10-0 run to close the quarter trailing 34-22.
The Stallions opened the second half on a 7-0 run. Kinley banked in a 3-pointer. After Figueroa made a layup, Kinley made a layup and Emily Montoya scored for a 41-23 lead.
McNeil scored down low, Kinley made a layup and Figueroa made a free throw for a 17-point Madera South lead.
Houghton hit a short jumper and Kaylee Patlan hit a 10-footer to close the deficit to 43-20. Madera South scored the only points in the final two minutes of the third — a driving layup by Eller and an offensive putback runner from Rosel — for a 47-30 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Arelis Chavez made a layup and put back a miss and Eller hit a 3-pointer to extend the run to 11-0.
Figueroa made two free throws in the final two minutes for the 54-33 final.