Shorthanded Stallions keep game close
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Adrian Becerra rises up to score two of his 12 points in a loss Tuesday to Roosevelt.
Facing one of the top teams in the North Yosemite League, the Madera South Stallions boys basketball team knew it had a tough task ahead of them against the Roosevelt-Fresno Rough Riders.
However, the Stallions never hung their heads and kept battling to cut the fourth quarter lead to three before Roosevelt closed the game by scoring six of eight points in the final minute for a 76-69 victory.
The Stallions suited up just seven players for the game with six getting a majority of the playing time. Daniel Valdez led the team with 24 points to go with six rebounds and five steals. Isaiah Ford helped Valdez with the offense by scoring 23 points with five rebounds.
Adrian Becerra added 12 points and Erik Cervantes scored eight.
Despite the high score, the Stallions’ intensity at both ends of the court helped them stay with the Rough Riders.
Roosevelt scored six of the first eight points of the game before a Becerra bucket after a spin move and a Ford layup tied the score.
After a Roosevelt layup, Cervantes hit a 3-pointer to give the Stallions the lead. Roosevelt answered with a seven-foot floater, but the Stallions got back-to-back layups from Ford and Valdez for a 13-10 lead.
Roosevelt made back-to-back layups to take the lead.
Ford completed a 3-point play and hit a turnaround five-footer for an 18-14 lead. He picked up steal off a Naprese Adams tip and made a layup for a 20-14 lead.
Hoover closed the scoring with a short jumper to cut the lead to four at the end of the first quarter.
Hoover opened the second quarter with seven straight points for a 9-0 run and a 23-20 lead.
After a Cervantes rebounds, he found Julian Camacho, who found Becerra for a layup. Roosevelt followed with a 3-pointer and a bucket for a 12-2 run to open a six-point lead.
Back-to-back layups from Valdez cut the lead back to two, but Roosevelt made three buckets to open an eight-point lead.
An offensive putback by Ford and a layup by Ford after a Valdez rebound cut the Roosevelt lead to 34-30 at the half.
Roosevelt opened the third quarter with nine straight points for a 13-point lead. Valdez stopped the run with a layup. After a Roosevelt bucket, Valdez made another layup.
Then, the teams exchanged 12 of 13 possessions with a score.
Valdez made a pair of layups in the run. He found Becerra for a layup. Valdez added a 3-pointer and another layup while Ford hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 10.
Madera South kept the momentum with a Valdez bucket and a free throw to cut the lead to seven before Roosevelt put back a miss for a 60-51 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Roosevelt scored four points to open the fourth before a Cervantes steal led to a Valdez layup. After a Roosevelt layup, Ford hit a 3-pointer and Adams made a layup off a Valdez steal to cut the lead to eight.
Two Roosevelt buckets opened the lead to 12. Then, the Stallions battled to get back in the game.
Becerra made a layup to start a 9-0 run. Valdez got a steal and made a layup. Valdez pulled down a rebound and found Ford for another layup for a 70-64 Roosevelt lead.
Cervantes drained a 3-pointer to cut Roosevelt’s lead to three with 2:16 left in the game. However, Ford was called for a loose ball foul and earned his fifth foul.
After a Roosevelt free throw, Becerra put back a miss to cut the lead to two with 42.5 seconds left.
The Rough Riders followed with a 3-pointer, but Madera South missed one. Roosevelt made two free throws with 3.2 seconds left to close out a 76-69 victory.