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Stallions pick up victory over Toros


Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Madera South’s Isaiah Ford rises up to score off an assist from Daniel Valdez in Wednesday’s win over Matilda Torres. Ford scored a team-high 21 points to go with 11 rebounds.


Although only four players scored for the Madera South Stallions boys basketball team, it was enough in a 54-48 victory over the Matilda Torres Toros in the first game of the crosstown rivalry in the North Yosemite League.


Isaiah Ford led the Stallions with a double-double. He had 21 points to go with 11 rebounds. Daniel Valdez scored 17 points with nine rebounds. Julian Camacho added 14 points and eight rebounds.


What separated the Stallions from the Toros was the free throw line. The Stallions went a combined 14-of-15 from the line. Meanwhile, the Toros were just 8-of-20 from the charity stripe.


“We have a lot of seniors. We should close out a game like that,” head coach Corey Edmiston said. “We shoot a lot of free throws at practice. I’m just glad to see them maintain their poise and act like they’ve been there before.”


“We are ready for the big moments at the end, but we just didn’t do it tonight,” Toros head coach Charles Rigby said.


The Toros were led by Lawrence Watson, who had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Ali Al-Khafaji added 12 points with four 3-pointers and Jose Soriano had 11 points with nine rebounds and four steals.


The Stallions let the Toros back into the game with turnovers, including one late in the game that could have changed the outcome. Madera South had 19 turnovers while forcing 18 from the Toros.


“The last three games, we’ve had trouble with turnovers. I think people are trying to do too much,” Edmiston said.


However, Edmiston was happy to see the victory, but also happy to see the crowd of the budding rivalry.


“The atmosphere was awesome. I haven’t seen that many people in here since I’ve been here, so that was cool,” he said.


More than three minutes elapsed before either team could get on the scoreboard. Amani Sua opened the scoring with an offensive putback for an early 2-0 Toros lead.


Valdez answered with a layup, but the Toros got an offensive putback from Watson and a 3-pointer from Soriano for a 7-2 lead.


Ford hit a 3-pointer, but Al-Khafaji answered with his first.


After Adrian Becerra made a layup for the Stallions, Al-Khafaji closed the first quarter scoring with another 3-pointer and a 13-7 lead.


Valdez opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer to start a 9-0 run to take the lead.


Ford made a free throw and Camacho converted a 3-point play for a 14-13 lead. Ford put back a miss and the Stallions led by three.


Soriano made a pair of free throws to cut the lead to one, but Ford hit a 10-foot jumper to get the lead back to three.


Demetrio Nila was fouled on a 3-point attempt, but made just one of three free throws. However, Joseph Bass put back a Soriano miss to tie the game at 18.


Ford broke the tie with a short jumper, but Arturo Corona tied the game with a layup.


Camacho answered with a 3-pointer, but Watson made a layup. Valdez found Ford for a layup for a 25=22 Stallions’ lead at the half.


Al-Khafaji drained a 3-pointer tie the game early in the third quarter. Neither team scored until there was four minutes left in the quarter when Ford hit a 3-pointer.


After a Watson layup, Valdez hit a pair of free throws for a 30-27 lead. A minute later, Watson made a pair of free throws to cut the lead back to one.


Camacho opened the lead to three with a layup, but Watson cut the lead with another layup.


Ford hit a short jumper while Valdez made a layup for a 36-31 lead. Nila made a pair of free throws, but Valdez made his two with 2.1 seconds left for a 38-33 lead heading into the fourth.


The Toros quickly tied the game with an Al-Khafaji 3-pointer and a Corona layup.


Valdez made a pair of free throws on the next possession. Ford followed with a 12-foot jumper.


After Watson put back a Toros’ miss, Valdez made two more free throws and Camacho put back a miss for a 46-40 lead.


Corona made a layup. Then, Soriano got a steal and a layup and then hit a 3-pointer to give the Toros a 47-46 lead with about three minutes left.


Ford put back a miss for the lead with three minutes left. After a minute-and-a-half without a score, Camacho made a layup for a three-point lead.


The Toros had their chances on the next possession. Nila missed a 3-pointer, but Corona came up with the offensive rebound. Nila was fouled on another 3-point attempt, but missed all three free throws with 53 seconds left.


Instead of trying to work the clock, Valdez drove the lane and was called for a charge with 42 seconds left. However, the Toros threw the ball away with 30 seconds left.


On the inbounds, Soriano picked off the pass and went in for an uncontested layup, and missed. Ford came down with the rebound and Valdez was eventually fouled. He made both free throws for a 52-47 lead with 21.9 seconds left.


Torres missed its next shot and Camacho sank two more free throws.


Soriano was fouled on the next possession and made one free throw, but the Toros got the ball back. They missed a 3-point attempt and Ford came down the rebound. He held onto the ball as time ran out.


After the Toros took a 47-46 lead midway through the fourth quarter, the Stallions outscored them 8-1 for the win.

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