Madera South prevails in rivalry
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Jayshawn Thomas shoots over the arms of Madera’s Kecian Primes to score two of his game-high 26 points in Tuesday’s victory over the Coyotes.
It was a typical rivalry match when the Madera South Stallionsboys basketball team hosted the Madera Coyotes.
The game featured multiple lead changes, an up-and-down flow, a physical battle, a tight-finish and a raucous atmosphere. In the end, Madera South prevailed with a 59-56 win.
“Last time we played them, we struggled to finish. We did a much better job of that this time,” Madera South head coach Jody Sharp said. “It was a matter of us trying to get the ball to the basket and try to score.”
The Stallions got off to a strong start, taking a 14-6 lead after a 3-pointer by Jessie Ford. Madera tightened the defense in the last two minutes of the first quarter, but still trailed 16-9 after A.J. Pickens made a free throw at the end of the first period.
Madera High’s offense found its rhythm early in the second quarter. The Coyotes put together an 8-0 run, including back-to-back baskets by Sammy Hass, to cut the gap to one.
Madera South came back with buckets by Julian Galvan and Ford, pushing the lead to five points.
The Coyotes, once again, cut the deficit to one after a layup by Kecian Primes. Kevin Berdejo followed up with a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Coyotes a 28-26 lead going into the break.
Madera coach David Lozano said it’s fun for the players to take part in the rivalry.
“They’ve grown up together. It’s a small town,” he said. “They should have fun.”
Primes made a 3-pointer early in the third quarter to fuel a 7-0 run for Madera. The Stallions cut the gap to two points after a jumper by Jayshawn Thomas and a 3-pointer by Lucas Samaniego.
Thomas electrified the home crowd when he made a layup at the buzzer to give the Stallions a 39-38 lead going into the final frame.
“South made their free throws. We didn’t,” Lozano said. “We couldn’t hit anything from the perimeter and we settled a little bit too much.”
After the Stallions extended their lead early in the fourth quarter, Hass and Primes converted a 3-point shot and a 3-point play to bring the Coyotes within a point. Alek Trukki then drove inside to give the Coyotes a 43-42 lead.
The Stallions regained the lead on a shot by Ford and extended their advantage to seven points.
Primes made back-to-back jumpers with two minutes left, but the Stallions still led 56-52.
Trukki made two free throws to bring the Coyotes within two points with under a minute left.
But the score remained the same when Primes followed up with two misses from the line.
With eight seconds left, Trukki missed a 3-pointer that would have tied the game, giving the win to the home team.
“We allowed them to have opportunities by throwing the ball away, making some bad decisions, but they were resilient,” Madera South head coach Jody Sharp said. “We knew it was gonna be a close game.”
Primes scored 18 points for the Coyotes, while Thomas led the Stallions with 26 points and Ford added 20 points.