Madera South falls in final seconds
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Arelis Chavez reaches up to gather in a rebound in Wednesday’s game against Bullard. She scored a team-high 24 points.
The Madera South girls basketball team came up empty in the final seconds and suffered a 49-48 home loss against Bullard-Fresno.
The Knights scored the game-winning points with 12 seconds left Wednesday night when Genesis Salceda converted a 3-point play to give the Knights a 49-48 lead. Madera South had one more chance to win the game, but they failed to take a shot before the final buzzer.
Madera South head coach Johnny Sharp said he didn’t agree with the calls in the final seconds.
“I would love to get a foul on that last play there and I’m really questioning the over-the-back call on the other end,” Sharp said.
The Stallions jumped out to a 10-7 lead after the first quarter and managed to stay ahead in the second quarter.
Lexi Eller played a huge role in helping the Stallions maintain the lead as the Knights threatened to come back. She scored eight straight points, including two 3-pointers, to give her team a 17-13 lead.
After the Stallions stretched the lead to seven points, the Knights converted a pair of free throws before the end of the first half and trailed 23-18 at the break.
Bullard put together a run early in the third quarter and took a 25-23 lead. The gap stretched to five points after a 3-point shot from Bullard’s Neani Stewart. Eller drained another 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter, but the Knights still held a 37-31 lead.
“Bullard played hard. They fought to get back in the game,” Sharp said.
After back-to-back buckets from Arelis Chavez early in the fourth quarter, the Stallions trailed 37-35. Eller later connected on another long-distance shot to give her team a 40-37 lead.
With the teams going back-and-forth, the Stallions held a 46-44 lead in the final two minutes. Eller stretched the lead to four points, but Stewart answered with a bucket down low and the Knights trailed 48-46.
With Salceda converting the 3-point opportunity to give the Knights the lead for good, the Stallions watched the road team walk away with the win.
Chavez and Eller carried the load for the Stallions, scoring 25 and 19 points respectively.
“We could be doing better, but we’re just working hard to keep it moving forward,” Sharp said.