Stallions ride early start for win
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Mayra Ceballos (20) goes up for a shot while being gaurded by Matilda Torres’ J’Lynn Mitchell (23) during Tuesday’s victory. Ceballos led the Stallions with 20 points to go with nine rebounds.
The Madera South Stallions girls basketball team officially began its rivalry with the Matilda Torres Toros in a tournament in December, but began its North Yosemite League rivalry with a resounding victory.
The Stallions outscored the Toros 19-4 to open the game and cruised to a 59-34 victory Tuesday evening at Matilda Torres.
“We’re getting better at pressure if we can slow down,” Madera South head coach johnny Sharp said. “If we slow down, we can break a team’s press.”
However, Sharp knows his team is capable of more and felt like his team left a lot of points on the court.
“That’s been the problem, missing easy buckets,” he said. “If we are going to play championship basketball, we have to put the ball in the basket.”
When the Stallions got into their offensive set, their post players shined. Mayra Ceballos, Jocelyn Barrera and Jasmine Marrero combined for 36 points and 22 rebounds.
“We made it a concentrated efforts to get the ball into the post a lot more,” Sharp said. “One of our thing was to go big. Give credit to their big girl (J’Lynn Mitchell). She stayed out of foul trouble. She played good defense.”
Ceballos led the Stallions with 20 points to go with nine rebounds. Marrero scored 10 points off the bench with eight rebounds and four steals while Barrera added six points and five rebounds. Alannah Ward added 14 points and eight steals and Breanna Lorta scored nine with five rebounds.
The Stallions controlled the boards so much that they doubled the Toros’ rebounding total. Madera South almost had as many offensive rebounds (17) as the Toros had in total rebounds (18).
Sabrina Cerrillo led a short-handed Toros team with 13 points. Sheng Lee added eight while Kaylin Perez scored seven and Mitchell had six with six rebounds and four steals.
“We left a lot of points on the court,” Toros coach Jose Villalobos said. “We prepared for their press and we got the ball to the middle every single time. From there, we didn’t know what to do with the ball. We played hard. We teach them to play until the final whistle. We hung in there. We made some plays, but just not enough. Today was just an off day.”
The Stallions’ bigs showed up early and often. Barrera and Ceballos scored the first points for Madera South.
After Mitchell found Lee for the first Toros’s bucket, Ward found Ceballos for a free throw.
Mitchel hit a 10-foot jumper, but the Stallions scored the next 11 points into the second quarter.
Brianna Lorta began the run with a layup. Ward turned a steal into a layup and added another on the next possession.
Lorta hit a 3-pointer and Barrera closed out the scoring with a layup for a 19-4 lead heading into the second quarter.
“We fell behind early,” Villalobos said. “We were in a bind because we are shorthanded.”
The Toros showed no quit by scoring the first six points of the second quarter. Cerrillo made two free throws, Mitchell made a layup and Lee found Cerrillo for a layup.
Ceballos answered Cerrilo’s layup with one of her own. Then, Cerrillo returned the favor with a pass to Lee for a layup to cut the lead to 21-12.
Madera South then scored the next seven points. Ceballos put back her own miss and was fouled. She made the free throw for the 3-point play. Marrero put back her a miss and Ward made a layup for a 28-12 lead.
The Toros couldn’t find the bucket, missing six straight shots, including a pair of free throws. Cerrillo stopped the drought with a 3-pointer, but Ceballos found Marrero for an easy bucket for a 15-point lead.
The teams went nearly two minutes without a point before Lorta made a layup for a 32-15 halftime lead.
Ward came out of the break with a 3-pointer and her steal led to a Barrera putback. She then found Ceballos for a layup for a quick 6-0 run and increased the lead to 24.
Lee stopped the run with a jumper, but Lorta made a layup on the next possession. Cerrillo found Lee for another layup and Mitchell hit a pair of free throws to get the lead down to 20.
After a Ceballos free throw, Karina Sandoval found Cerrillo for a layup. Ceballos made a pair of free throws, but Perez hit a 3-pointer for the Toros.
Ceballos answered with a layup and Marrero put back a miss.
After Perez hit another Toros’ 3-pointer, Ward hit one of her own for a 51-29 lead at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth, Marrero put back a miss, Ward made a layup and Marrero hit a 15-foot jumper to increase the lead to 57-29.
Cerrillo stopped the run with a pair of free throws. More than four minutes passed without a point before Ceballos made a layup.
The Toros closed the scoring with a Perez free throw and a Cerrillo layup.