Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Alyssa Fernandez drives the lane against McFarland’s Kathy Rodriguez during Wednesday’s loss.
McFarland’s Kathy Rodriguez dominated the paint in a 49-38 victory over the Madera Coyotes girls basketball team on the first day of the Madera Shootout in Joe Flores Gym.
Rodriguez scored 17 of McFarland’s 23 first half points and ended with 25 in the game to lead all scorers during a 49-38 victory Wednesday.
“We were looking at the stats and the one state that stood out was they had 17 offensive rebounds to our seven,” head coach Jason Smith said. “We can’t allow them to dominate inside. I was subbing every time they didn’t fight for the ball, which was a lot of subbing. That’s something that has to get better.”
Although the Coyotes had eight players score, nobody reached double-figures and only three scored more than five points.
“We’re struggling a little bit to find our identity,” Smith said. “We found it a bit when we pushed the ball hard. We had more success and were better with the basketball because we weren’t thinking.”
Alyssa Fernandez led the Coyotes with nine points. Cathy Figueroa and Madeleine McNeil each had seven points.
“It’s a brand new ball club,” Smith said. “None of these kids have played together before. It’s going to take a while to find out who we are. It’s going to take time. There were times we played really, really well. We have to play well consistently. We have something pretty good, but it’s going to take some time to develop that.”
The Coyotes were outscored by eight in the first half while committing 15 turnovers. However, McFarland outscored the Coyotes by two in the second half and Madera committed just one turnover.
“We were pushing without thinking,” Smith said. We played better than slowing down. They saw tonight they have to push the ball and they can push the ball.”
McFarland scored the first five points of the game and nine of the first 11 for the early lead. Lexi Carmona hit a runner and Fernandez made a layup, but the Coyotes trailed 14-6 at the end of the first quarter.
Janessa Fernandes converted a 3-point play and Figueroa made a driving layup to cut the lead to 14-11.
McFarland scored seven of the next eight points to open the lead to nine behind three Rodriguez buckets.
Fernandez banked in a 15-footer to cut the lead to seven. Rodriguez closed out the first half scoring with an offensive putback for a 23-14 lead.
McNeil scored down low for the first points of the second half. However, McFarland scored the next six points to open a 13-point lead.
The Coyotes started scoring, but McFarland answered back. Fernandez hit a 10-foot jumper, McNeil hit a 15-foot jumper and Sofia Perez hit a 17-foot jumper. However, McFarland made a 3-pointer, a jumper and a free throw to lead 32-22.
Figueroa drove to the hoop for a bucket. After a McFarland bucket, Figueroa scored on another drive and Fernandez found Rios for a shot bucket to cut the lead to six.
McFarland closed out the third quarter with a pair of layups while Madera missed four straight shots for a 38-28 lead.
After Fernandez sank two free throws, McFarland scored nine straight points, including five more from Rodriguez, to open a 17-point lead.
Madera got a free throw and an offensive putback from McNeil and a free throw from Rios, but it wasn’t enough. After a McFarland layup, Carmona made three free throws and Fernandez added another for the 49-38 final.