Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Robbie Niino rises up for a shot against San Joaquin Memorial. He scored two goals in Wednesday’s loss.
The Madera Coyotes boys water polo team battled the San Joaquin Memorial Panthers, but the Panthers proved too much, outscoring the Coyotes 12-6 in McAlister Pool.
The Coyotes trailed 4-2 at the end of the first period. However, the Panthers closed the final three periods outscoring Madera 8-4.
Conner Huber led the Coyotes with three goals. Robbie Niino added two more and Ernesto Solis scored one.
Just 19 seconds into the match, the Coyotes took the quick lead. Solis sent the ball in front to Niino, who turned and shot for the goal.
The Panthers answered back with a goal 13 seconds later and took the lead 53 seconds after the Coyotes scored the first goal.
Madera goalie Kyle Balbas kept the Coyotes in the game. He blocked a Memorial backhand shot and then intercepted the ensuing inbounds pass. Balbas then blocked a point blank shot before the Panthers tied the score with an outside shot with 3:37 left in the first period.
The Panthers scored two goals in the final 2:36 to take a 4-2 lead.
The Coyotes cut the lead by one when Solis shot from the outside and found the upper right corner for a goal in the second period.
However, the Panthers scored three goals in a two minute span to open their lead to four.
The Panthers then scored two goals in a 45 second span to open a 9-3 lead and then scored two goals to open the third quarter for an eight-goal lead.
The Coyotes finally broke Memorial’s barrage with a Huber goal on the right over the goalie with 2:15 left in the fourth period.
After a Panthers goal, Huber got the ball on the left and sent a skip shot inside the near post to cut the lead to 12-5.
The Coyotes kept the Panthers off the scoreboard in the fourth period, but only got a goal to battle back. Niino sent a shot on goal, but it was blocked. He went in for the rebound and pushed the ball past the goalie for goal with 30 seconds left in the game.