Courtesy of Christopher Cross
Madera South’s Arelis Chavez drives to the bucket to score two of her team-high 14 points. She also pulled down 13 rebounds and had blocked six shots in Monday’s loss to the Selma Bears.
The Madera South Stallions girls basketball team had the Selma Bears where they wanted with a chance to win the game with 2.4 seconds left.
However, two free throws went off the rim and the Bears pulled out a 50-49 victory Monday at Madera South in the Stallions’ home opener.
“They are learning how to play,” head coach Johnny Sharp said. “We haven’t had any close games, yet, but that was a good game for us. The game was there for us to take. We talk about pressure and free throws in practice so when you face the situation like that, you’re going to give 100 percent give the focus and understand what missing free throws is all about.”
Arelis Chavez led the Stallions with a double-double. She scored 14 points, pulled down 13 rebounds with five on the offensive glass. She also had six blocked shots.
“Arelis got a lot of rebounds,” Sharp said. “This has been her breakout year. She has been doing a lot of things we have asked her to do. She is playing her size this year with a little more understanding.”
Jackie Cortez scored 12 points and was the only other Stallion in double-figures. Eight different Stallions scored points in the loss.
However, the Stallions couldn’t overcome the Bears at the free throw line. The Bears attempted 28 free throws while the Stallions only took six. The Stallions were also fortunate that the Bears only made 12 free throws (43 percent).
Also, the Stallions went 0-for-9 from 3-point range in the fourth quarter despite going 6-for-16 (38 percent) in the previous three quarters.
“We tried to run this play and I could not let it go,” Sharp said. “I kept running it until the wheels fall off and the wheels fell off.”
The Bears opened the game with a 4-2 lead before Madera South’s Alejandra Cortes hit a 3-pointer. Selma answered with a bucket, but Chavez hit a short jumper for a 7-6 lead.
After Selma made a free throw, Cortez made a free throw and Jonese Feliu made a layup for a 10-7 lead.
Selma came back with a 3-pointer and a free throw for a two-point lead, but Braya Walker immediately tied it with a layup.
The Bears closed the quarter with an eight point run and extended it to nine in the second quarter for a 21-12 lead.
Madera South came back with a 10-0 run, but it took four minutes to claim the lead. Cortez started the run with a 3-pointer and Angel Ortega made a layup to cut the lead to four.
Both teams couldn’t get on the scoreboard for two minutes before Chavez converted a 3-point play. Chavez put back a missed 3-pointer for a 22-21 lead.
Selma made a free throw to tie the score, but Lexi Cota hit a 3-pointer and Cortez followed with another 3-pointer for a 28-22 lead and a 16-1 run.
Selma closed the quarter with two free throws and an offensive putback for a 28-26 Stallions’ lead at the half.
Cortez found Chavez for a layup to open the second half scoring. However, Selma converted a 3-point play and made two free throws to take a 31-30 lead.
Cortez gave the Stallions the lead with a 3-pointer. After a Selma layup, Feliu hit a 3-pointer for a 36-33 lead.
Selma put back a blocked shot to cut the lead to one. Cortez followed by putting back a miss for a three-point lead.
The Bears came back to tie the score with another 3-point play.
Walker made a layup for the lead, but the Bears closed with a 3-pointer and a layup for a 43-40 lead at the end of the third.
Selma made a free throw for an 11-2 run and open a four-point lead. Chavez made a layup to cut the lead down to two.
Selma then made a free throw, got an offensive rebound and made a 3-pointer for a 48-42 lead with about six minutes left in the game.
Chavez converted a 3-point play to cut the lead down to three. After an Alannah Ward rebound, Feliu made a layup and Angel Ortega hit a short jumper for a 49-48 lead with about two minutes left.
Selma put back a missed shot for a 50-49 lead with 1:34 left in the game. Madera South had three possessions and couldn’t convert. They turned the ball over on the first and missed a short jumper on the second.
With five seconds left, after a foul, Chavez drove to the hoop and was fouled with 2.4 seconds left. Unfortunately, she missed both free throws and Selma came down with the rebound to secure a Bears’ victory.