Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Ashley Hansen drives he baseline for two of her game-high 20 points in a loss to Edison.
The Madera Coyotes girls basketball team went into its showdown with the Edison-Fresno Tigers with an undefeated County/Metro Athletic Conference record. Meanwhile, the Tigers were still looking for their first CMAC win.
The Tigers hit seven 3-pointers and got a bucket with five seconds left for a 53-52 victory Tuesday in Joe Flores Gym.
“You have to give them credit,” head coach John Smith said. “They haven’t made that many 3-pointers all year. They shot the lights out.”
The Coyotes took a 50-46 lead with 3:27 left in the game. They had 10 possessions over the final three minutes and produced no points with three shots and seven turnovers.
“We have to hold our composure,” Smith said. “We allow calls, other players and people in the stands frustrate us. We’re paying attention to things that don’t even matter. We’re a senior-heavy team and sometimes we don’t behave like it.”
Ashley Hansen led the Coyotes with 20 points to go with nine rebounds, but she was the only player in double-figures. Brianna Rubalcaba scored nine points and Alyssa Burton scored seven with 15 rebounds, including eight offensive rebounds, and five blocks.
“I can’t call a time out to set something up for you every possession down the stretch,” Smith said. “We have to hold our composure and execute on our own. It’s a hard lesson learned tonight. We still have everything in front of us we want to accomplish. We just have to fight. We will go against a Madera South team that is ready. Those girls are starting to believe and they have the talent. It will be a war Friday night.”
However, the biggest key to the game was Madera’s shooting. They shot 30 percent (20-of-67) from the field, including 4-of-16 in the fourth quarter. They also shot 17 percent (3-of-18) from 3-point range and was just 7-of-20 (35 percent) from the free throw line. Madera also committed 11 turnovers in the fourth quarter and 17 in the second half.
“They went on a nice run in the third quarter and we did a good job coming back,” Smith said. “Time after time, our execution was poor down the stretch. We had five straight opportunities to add to the lead. We shot under 50 percent from the free throw line. It killed us. If we shoot 50 percent, we win by two.”
Rubalcaba opened the game by hitting her first two shots — a 3-pointer and a layup off an assist from Hansen. Edison came back to tie the score with two free throws and a 3-pointer.
Burton made a layup, Maria Hernandez sank a free throw and Ashley Hansen put back her own miss for a 10-5 lead.
However, the Tigers came back with another 3-pointer and a layup to tie the game.
A Madison McNeil offensive rebound putback and two free throws sandwiched an Edison free throw for a 14-11 lead.
The Tigers added a bucket and an offensive putback to take a
15-14 lead. Hansen closed out the quarter with a 3-pointer for a
Ximena Escobar made a free throw and Burton put back a miss to lead by five.
Edison came back with two buckets to cut the lead to one. Rubalcaba made a layup and Hansen made an offensive putback. Hansen then got a steal and fed McNeil for a layup and a 26-19 lead.
Edison bounced back with a 3-pointer and two runners to tie the score at 26.
Hansen made two free throws, but Edison made another running layup to tie the score.
Hansen answered with a five-foot runner, but Edison tied the score with a layup at the halftime buzzer to tie the game at 30.
Edison opened the second half with two 3-pointers and a bucket for an 8-0 run.
Burton stopped the run with a layup off a Rubalcaba assist. Edison added a bucket to get the lead back to eight.
However, the Coyotes battled back with an 8-0 run of their own.
Briann Houghton put back a missed shot. Then, the Coyote defense stepped up. Burton blocked a shot and Hernandez came down with it and scored with a layup.
Rubalcaba picked up a steal and fed Hernandez for a layup. Then, Hansen made a driving layup to tie the score.
The Coyotes missed six straight shots, including two free throws while committing three turnovers to close out the third quarter. Edison hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer for a 43-40 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Edison opened the quarter with another 3-pointer to increase the lead to 46-40.
Hansen answered with another 3-pointer and then put back a miss to cut the lead to one with five minutes left.
A Hansen seven-footer, a Rubalcaba seven-foot runner and a Burton free throw gave the Coyotes a 50-46 lead with 3:27 left in the fourth quarter.
The Coyotes missed five of their final seven shots, including two from the free throw line.
A key sequence came with 3:16 left in the game when the Edison coach received a technical foul. Madera missed both free throws and turned the ball over on the ensuing possession.
Edison made two free throws with 2:59 left in the game. The Coyotes turned the ball over without taking a shot on five straight possessions in 1:23 until Hansen made a pair of free throws with 10.6 second left in the game for a 52-51 lead.
The Coyotes pressed the Tigers and Edison got the ball to the 3-point line where the Coyotes put on the trap. However, Edison found a wide open player under the bucket for a layup for a 53-52 seconds left in the game.
The Coyotes got a time out with 3.3 seconds left, but threw the ball away on the inbounds. However, Edison celebrated with the ball and traveled with two seconds left. Burton’s final shot banged off the backboard on the buzzer for the Edison victory.