Stallions rout in home opener
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Aleecia Rosel drives to the bucket to score two of her team-high 15 points in Monday’s 54-26 victory over Reedley.
Using a 25-2 second quarter run, the Madera South Stallions girls basketball team took a closely competitive game into a rout in its home opener against the Reedley Pirates.
The Stallions led 11-9 a minute into the second quarter. By the time the halftime buzzer sounded, Madera South led 36-11 and left no doubt in a 54-26 victory Monday.
“We ran a different defense in that second quarter,” first-year head coach Johnny Sharp said. “Our first defense is kind of a containment defense. What we ran in the second and third quarter was a man-to-man full court pressure defense. I never like to use it in the first quarter because it just gives it away. We like to keep that contain pressure to see how we are doing. With this team, we’re learning how to contain first and then get after it.”
Seven players scored for the Stallions with six of those players scoring six or more points. Aleecia Rosel led the Stallions with 15 points. Lexi Eller added 10 points and Simone Baker scored eight. Ajanae Kinley added seven to go with six rebounds, four steals and four blocks.
“They are really young,” Sharp said. “They all know how to play basketball, but they haven’t been taught the game of basketball. We’ve been doing more fundamental breakdown stuff. They are getting better. We are working really hard as a team to get better.”
After two buckets from Rosel early, the Pirates tied the score. Baker made two free throws and Rosel made a layup and a free throw for a 9-4 lead.
Reedley came back to score three straight points for a 9-7 Madera South lead at the end of the first quarter.
Eller put back a miss to get the four-point lead back, but a Reedley layup cut the Stallions’ lead to 11-9.
The Stallions exploded from there, scoring the next 10 points, eight coming off layups and two on free throws from Eller.
Kinley started the run with a steal and layup. Kinley got another steal and fed to Eller for a layup. A Moosey Warren rebound led to another Eller layup. Warren made a layup for a 21-9 lead.
Reedley temporarily stopped the run with two free throws midway through the quarter.
However, Eller found Baker for a layup and Rosel hit a jumper on the 3-point line for a 14-2 run and a 25-11 lead.
A Lei’nya Bartlow steal led to an Eller layup after a Baker free throw. Bartlow pulled down a rebound and Kinley drained a 3-pointer. Kierra Smith closed out the first half with a 3-pointer for a 36-11 halftime lead.
The Stallions shot 55 percent (11-of-20) in the quarter while forcing 10 turnovers and committing just one. In the other three quarters combined, Madera South shot 24 percent (10-of-41) while going 0-for-10 from 3-point land.
Reedley made a free throw to open the second half scoring, but the Stallions got a Warren five-footer and a Kinley layup off a Rosel assist to open a 40-12 lead.
After a Reedley free throw, Eller got a steal and found Warren for a layup. The Pirates closed the quarter with a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 42-16. Both teams combined for 11 points in the quarter, the same amount Reedley scored in the first half.
Smith converted a 3-point play to open the fourth quarter. After a Reedley layup, Tresuri Thomas made two free throws for a 47-18 lead, Madera South’s biggest lead of the evening.
Reedley made three free throws in between a short jumper while Madera South got a free throw from Baker for a 48-24 Stallions’ lead.
Madera South extended their lead with a layup from Baker and a short jumper from Rosel for a 52-24 lead with two minutes left in the game.
Reedley added another layup, but the Stallions got a layup from Rosel off a pass from Eller for the 54-26 final.
The Stallions will take the rest of the week off before playing in the Madera Shootout at Madera High School.