Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Cathy Figueroa drives to the lane for a bucket. She led the Coyotes in scoring and on the floor. For her efforts, the junior is named the Madera Tribune’s Most Valuable Player after she was named to the County/Metro Athletic Conference’s first team.
Most Valuable Player
Guard Jr. Madera
She was the engine of the Madera Coyotes girls basketball team. She was the one player that head coach Jason Smith was hesitant about giving a rest knowing that his team would suffer without her on the court. Figueroa was the team’s leading scorer and the go-to player when the team needed a boost. She was adept at driving the lane, creating contact and going to the free throw line. She shot better than 70 percent from the line in the last half of the season. She is also an underrated 3-point shooter. She chose her spots wisely and, most of the time, nailed them at the right time. She missed a few games in the middle of the County/Metro Athletic Conference and her team missed her. She averaged 10.8 points per game to lead the Coyotes. She was also instrumental in a comeback victory over Madera South by going 9-of-10 from the free throw line. She was a first team All-CMAC selection and is a two-time All-Madera Tribune recipient.
Forward Sr. Madera
The senior almost averaged a double-double with 9.8 points per game and 9.8 rebounds per game. She was a force down low with her soft touch. Her long arms allowed her to swallow up rebounds, both on the offensive and defensive boards. She averaged more than four offensive boards per game. She also improved her low post presence. When she wasn’t in foul trouble, she was a force to be reckoned with down low. Don’t let her thin frame fool you. She could muscle up with any of the post players in the CMAC and hold her own. She stepped up for her senior year to make it her best year. She was a second team All-CMAC selection and is a three-time All-Madera Tribune selection.
Guard Sr. Madera
After missing most of last season, Nunez provided Smith with a third scorer and ball handler, whether it was off the bench or in a starting role. No matter the role, Nunez proved to be a deft scorer. Don’t let the knee brace fool you. She could beat most guards off the dribble and drive to the hoop or she could pull up to either hit a mid-range jumper or the big 3-pointer. She averaged almost six points per game while hitting a team-leading 31 percent of her 3-point attempts. Although she missed last season due to a knee injury, Nunez didn’t let that affect her for her senior season. She is a two-time All-Madera Tribune selection and earned a CMAC honorable mention.
Forward Sr. Madera
It seems almost every season, Smith has a “glue” person. It’s the person that does all the dirty work that holds a team together. It’s a player that gets the rebounds, hits open shots and just does the things they need to do to help the team win and that player for Smith was Perez. A three-sport athlete, Perez got a late jump to the season after the volleyball season. She averaged almost three points per game, but also pulled down almost five rebounds per game. However, her important role was doing the dirty work for the Coyotes. She also came up clutch with three 3-pointers to help Madera defeat Dinuba in the Central Section playoffs. Perez is a three-sport All-Madera Tribune selection and was last year’s softball Most Valuable Player. She is a three-time All-Madera Tribune basketball selection.
Guard Jr. Madera
Jordan stepped up for her junior year. After getting a taste of varsity as a sophomore, Jordan took advantage of her junior season. She was either the first player off the bench or filled in for Figueroa. She gave the Coyotes another ball handler and a 3-point threat. Jordan hit two clutch 3-pointer in the win against Bullard-Fresno and her two 3-pointers against Madera South kept the Coyotes within striking distance. She earned her first All-Madera Tribune selection.
Guard Sr. Madera South
Eller came into Madera South with a lot of hype and, pretty much, lived up to it. She came on at the end of the year for Johnny Sharp after disciplinary actions kept her out until CMAC play. However, she averaged almost 18 points per game in 11 games this year. The highlight was a 29 point game in a victory over Edison-Fresno. She was a scorer to the extreme. She could drive to the hoop, hit the mid-range jumper and nail the 3-pointer. She was also a 61 percent shooter from the free throw line and was 8-of-11 against Edison. She was a first team All-CMAC selection and three-time All-Madera Tribune selection.
Center Jr. Madera South
While most of basketball are going without centers or post players, most of the time it’s because schools don’t have a dominant inside. Not at Madera South. Chavez is the ultimate big in the middle. She controlled the paint for Sharp and improved greatly for her junior season. She averaged 13.3 points per game while also leading the team in rebounds and blocks. She was a presence in the middle that kept teams from driving to the hoop. She also used her volleyball hops to bring down more rebounds this season. She is a two-time All-Madera Tribune selection and a second team All-CMAC player.
Guard Sr. Madera South
Like Sofia Perez was for Smith, Cortez was for Sharp. She was the player that quietly did her job to help the team and did it quite effectively. However, this season, her 3-point shooting improved and helped the team. She led the team with 35 3-pointers and averaged seven points per game. She sometimes handled the point, but she also went inside and battled the bigger girls for rebounds. Cortez is a first time All-Madera Tribune selection.
Guard Jr. Madera South
Feliu is your prototypical point guard. She is the shortest player on the team, but one of the quickest. Her fast hands helped her with steals and fast break opportunities. She passed first and shot second and still averaged more than five points per game. She was missed in the last part of the season after suffering a concussion. She missed the last three Stallions games, which were all losses. She would have made an impact in all three. Feliu is a first-time All-Madera Tribune recipient.
Guard Soph. Liberty
Liberty girls basketball took its lumps this season. They won just four games and averaged only 27 points per game while playing with five sophomores and just one senior. Stinson was one of the bright spots for Ryan Reed’s Hawks. She was second on the team in scoring with more than seven points per game, but her ball handling and distribution set her above the rest. She was quick to the ball and came away with plenty of steals that led to fast break points. She was a second team all-North Sequoia League selection and a first time All-Madera Tribune recipient.
Center Soph. Liberty
The long-armed sophomore led the Hawks in scoring with 8.6 points per game and rebounds. She was the recipient of Stinson passes on the post. She has a soft touch near the basket and knows what she is doing with the ball. If she could add most muscle to battle with other bigs in the section, she will greatly improve for her junior season and build on an impressive sophomore campaign. This is her first All-Tribune selection.