Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Kecian Primes led the Coyotes on and off the court and had a big improvement from his junior season to his senior season to lead his team. For his improvement, Primes is The Madera Tribune’s boys basketball team’s Most Valuable Player.
Most Valuable Player
Guard Sr Madera
Like his brother Hakeem did two years ago, Kecian exploded his senior year. Not only did he lead his team in scoring, but he also helped lead the team on the court. He could be counted on to get the key rebound or find the right person for the best shot. Or, he could be the one taking it himself, driving the lane, making the bucket and earning an and-one. Primes stepped up quite a bit from his junior year to his senior year. He was the one that wanted the ball in his hands when the game was on the line. He also found ways to help his team out, whether it was to get the key rebound, get the steal, play solid defense or find an open teammate. Primes is a a second team All-County/Metro Athletic Conference selection and this is his first All-Madera Tribune selection.
Guard Sr. Madera
With Primes, Barrios and Sammy Hass, the Coyotes had one of the best guard trios around. Barrios, with his wavy hair flowing, often found the open lane to drive. He was adept at the tricky shots, finding ways to get his shot off at difficult angles or with players defending him. Because of his long arms, he was able to get his hands on a lot of passes and dribbles to pick up steal, which led to easy lay-ups. He was an All-CMAC honorable mention and this is his second All-Tribune selection.
Forward Sr. Madera
Although Primes was the MVP of the Tribune, Trukki was the one that made the Coyotes’ engine go. It was his responsibility to open up the lanes with his shooting. When Trukki was hot, he was especially hot, but it also gave the guards open lanes to run through, which led to easy points. Trukki is your typical shooter. Meaning he kept shooting until he got hot and when he got hot, you better not let him shoot the ball. He is a two-time All-Tribune selection and earned a CMAC honorable mention.
Guard Sr. Madera
Hass was part of the three-headed guard line-up for the Coyotes. He did everything Barrios and Primes did and just as well, probably without some of the same headlines. He was the quiet one, but with quiet ones, they are the ones that can deliver the knockout punch. He hit the occasional 3-pointer, but he could also drive to the hoop. His calm demeanor helped Barrios and Primes excel driving to the hoop. This is his first All-Tribune selection.
Guard Sr. Madera
Thomas is another one of head coach Jody Sharp’s latest creations. It seems like every year, Sharp has a player step up big from his junior to his senior year. Thomas was that player this year. He was a three-time letterwinner so he learned has he grew up in the system. He was adept at making the crazy layups, whether it be kissing the ball high off the backboard or hitting the floater. However, just as he was able to drive the lane, Thomas could hit the outside shot as well. He also made a good percentage of his free throws.
Center Sr. Madera
Galvan is in the same mold as his older brother Joel, although a little quieter. Galvan has a nice touch from the inside and knows his role — get to the block, post up and make the five-foot jumper. He also came down with his share of rebounds. However, don’t leave him open from the outside as he knocked down enough 3-pointers to make him guardable on the outside. Although quiet, he spoke loud enough with his play.
Forward Jr. Madera South
When one watches Ford run the floor, he really isn’t running. It’s more like he’s floating. He has that quality with his insane athletic ability. He can jump out of the gym and came down with more than his share of rebounds. He seemed to start taking classes from Thomas about making crazy layups because he started making his share later in the season. Ford will be counted on to lead the Stallions next season.
Guard Sr. Liberty
After Makani Whiteside graduated from Liberty, many thought the Hawks were done. However, behind the leadership of Stephens, the Hawks didn’t step back too much. They had the same record in league this year that they had in their Valley Championship season last year. Stephens averaged about the same as he did last year while making more than 30 percent of his 3-pointers. He was the team’s leading scorer and leader on and off the court. He was a first team All-North Sequoia League selection and a two-time All-Tribune selection.
Guard Soph. Liberty
Gaines-Smith, along with Makani’s brother Lani, helped fill in for the points left by Makani. He averaged almost nine points per game and was the man at the point. His quickness allowed him to excel at driving the lane and also dishing out 3.3 assists per game. He was impressive during the NSL season and was named to the first team.
Guard Jr. Liberty
Copher may go down as one of the best athletes in Liberty history and may be the first 12-time letter winner by the time his four-year career is up. He was third on the team in scoring with nine points per game and there wasn’t anything he couldn’t do on the basketball court. He led the team with seven rebounds per game, four assists per game and two steals per game. Also throw in 21 blocked shots, it was no wonder he was an All-NSL Defensive team selection. He is also a two-time All-Tribune selection.
Forward Jr. Liberty
He played in the shadows of his brother last season, but came out of it this year. He was second to Stephens in scoring this season, but also beat Stephens by making 33 percent of his 3-point attempts. Although playing big, Whiteside could take the ball down low or shoot it from the outside. He averaged five rebounds per game and also recorded a block per game for the Hawks. Another big step up from Whiteside next year could lead Liberty back to the promised land.