Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Jesus Arzola drives the lane to score two of his team-high 10 points in a loss to McLane on Monday.
While the McLane Highlanders were driving to the bucket for numerous buckets, the Madera Coyotes boys basketball team had trouble holding onto the ball during their drives in a 61-46 loss in Joe Flores Gym.
The Highlanders had four players score in double figures while the Coyotes had just one — Jesus Arzola with 10 — in Monday’s loss.
“I think we were really lackadaisical with the ball when we were driving,” head coach David Lozano said. “It was too easy for McLane to pick our pockets when we were driving. It was too easy to cut us off and we dribbled with our heads down a few times and it caught us.”
The Coyotes committed 30 turnovers. They also shot 32 percent from the field, but also shot 33 percent (3-of-9) from the free throw line.
Despite just one player scoring in double-figures, the Coyotes had nine players get in the scorebook.
“I’m a big believer in keeping them all engaged,” Lozano said. “They all work hard in practice. We don’t have a superstar, we have a true team. There’s not a big drop off and we are trying to keep fresher legs. It’s early so we’re trying to find a winning combination.”
The Coyotes will get a few days off before playing in the Holiday Invitational Tournament on Wednesday at Hoover-Fresno.
“We have a tough stretch on our schedule coming up so every practice is going to be big time for us,” Lozano said.
Despite jumping out to a 5-4 lead behind a 3-pointer from Arthur Flores and a driving layup from Arzola, the Highlanders scored seven straight points to reclaim the lead.
Raelon Hill scored on a spinning layup and Komari Law hit a bucket to cut the Highlanders’ lead to 11-9 at the end of the first quarter.
Christian Aguilar answered a McLane 3-pointer with one of his own. The Highlanders then went on an 11-0 run to jump out to a 25-12 lead.
The Coyotes came back with a free throw from Raelon Hill and a dunk by K’Veon Jones off an assist from Raeshaun Hill.
Aguilar hit a 3-pointer then Law hit Aguilar for a layup for a 25-20 McLane lead at the half.
A free throw from Flores gave the Coyotes a 10-0 run to cut McLane’s lead to 25-22.
McLane put back a miss, but Arzola scored on a driving layup. Hill found Law for another Coyote dunk to cut the McLane lead to one. The Highlanders hit a 3-pointer, but Arzola made a 3-pointer for a 30-29 McLane lead.
McLane then went on a six-point run to open a 36-29 lead. After Jared Smith put back a miss and Raelon Hill made a free throw, McLane made a free throw and layup for a 10-3 run and lead 39-32 at the end of the third quarter.
Madera kept pace with McLane in the fourth quarter, answering a bucket and 3-pointer with a 3-pointer from Cedric Amey.
However, McLane went on a 16-2 run to open a 53-37 lead. Raeshaun Hill made back-to-back buckets and Eli Barrios made two free throws. McLane scored six straight points for a 59-43 lead.
Arzola hit a 3-pointer, but McLane put back a miss to close out the scoring with a 61-46 victory.