Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Christian Aguilar looks for an open teammate after a rebound Monday. He has scored 50 points with 16 3-pointers in the past three games.
After an early week loss to the Sunnyside-Fresno Wildcats, the Madera Coyotes boys basketball team bounced back with consecutive wins to open the Madera South Classic.
The Coyotes lost Monday to the Wildcats, 64-39, in a game that was called one minute into the fourth quarter because of a broken backboard.
Madera then opened the Madera South Classic on Tuesday with a 68-43 victory over the Sierra-Tollhouse Chieftains behind seven 3-pointers and 23 points from Christian Aguilar.
The Coyotes followed that with a 52-40 victory Wednesday over Los Banos.
“Christian Aguilar has been shooting the ball extremely well,” head coach David Lozano said. “The guys have been taking smart shots, finishing with confidence and we’re playing smarter offensively. Monday, we had a lot of turnovers. We emphasized taking care of the ball and getting good shots.”
In the past three games, Aguilar has made 16 3-pointers and has scored 50 points or 26 percent of his team’s scoring.
“He’s a knock down shooter,” Lozano said. “He put in a lot of time in the offseason. We couldn’t kick him out of the gym. Basketball is contagious. When one guy makes a shot, everybody else wants to feed him and/or they have the confidence to shoot it.
“It’s definitely nice to get the two wins. These kids are trying. They are doing everything I ask. I have high expectations and they are trying to adjust to it. It’s nice to see their efforts rewarded.”
Sunnyside 64, Madera 39
Aguilar tried to keep the Coyotes in the game early on against the Wildcats. He scored all 15 of his points in the first half while Madera trailed by 10.
K’Veon Jones added 12 points for the Coyotes.
The Wildcats jumped out to an early 6-3 lead, but a layup from Eli Barrios cut the lead to one.
Sunnyside added an offensive putback, but Aguilar made back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Coyotes an 11-8 lead.
However, Sunnyside closed the first quarter with seven straight points for a 15-11 lead. Madera took just seven shots in the first quarter and committed eight turnovers.
Sunnyside’s Amare Stroud and Brion Heights started to take over the game in the second quarter. Heights scored eight of his 14 points in the quarter.
Aguilar hit three 3-pointers and Madera got a steal and layup from Raeshaun Hill, an offensive putback and a drive by Jones accounted for 15 of Madera’s 16 points in the quarter and were outscored 22-16.
Stroud scored seven of his game-high 22 points in the third quarter. He led the Wildcats to a 22-8 third quarter and open a 58-34 lead at the end of the third quarter.
After Jones hit a 3-pointer, Sunnyside went on a 7-0 run and then scored seven more points after two free throws from Raelon Hill.
The teams traded buckets to open the fourth quarter. Stroud got the ball open on the baseline and then put down a two-handed dunk, which shattered the backboard.
The game was called with 6:53 left with the Wildcats leading 64-39.
Madera 68, Sierra 43
Aguilar continued his hot shooting against Sierra. He hit seven 3-pointers, including three in the third quarter to score a season-high 23 points.
Flores added 13 points and Barrios scored 10. Jones added nine points, all in the second half.
The Coyotes got off to a quick start, outscoring the Chieftains 22-5 in the first quarter.
After getting outscored by five in the second quarter, Madera closed out the Chieftains 14-9 for the 25-point victory, Madera’s biggest of the season.
Madera 52, Los Banos 40
The Coyotes took a 24-17 lead at the half and held on in the second half for a 52-40 victory over the Tigers.
Aguilar led nine Coyotes with 12 points. Jones added 10 points and Flores scored nine points.
The Coyotes outscored the Tigers 16-10 in the second quarter for a seven-point halftime lead.
After a Flores layup, Sierra scored four straight points to cut the lead to seven.
Barrios scored on a short jumper, Jesus Arzola made a reverse layup after a steal and Barrios put back his own miss for a 6-0 run.
Sierra hit on a short jumper, but Jared Smith made two free throws for a 13-point lead with two minutes left in the third quarter.
The Coyotes missed their next three shots, but Sierra missed three shots, but made a 3-pointer at the end of the quarter to cut Madera’s lead to 10.
A short jumper and a free throw for the Chieftains cut the Coyotes’ lead to seven.
Aguilar hit a 3-pointer with a hand in his face to get the lead back to 10.
Flores answered a Sierra bucket with two free throws. Jones answered a driving Sierra bucket with two free throws.
Arzola made a free throw, Flores scored on a spinning driving bucket and Aguilar hit another 3-pointer with a defender on top of him for an 8-0 run to get the lead to 16, Madera’s biggest of the game.
Despite a Jones free throw, Sierra closed the game with a 3-point play and a bucket for the final score.