Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Jesus Arzola looks to drive the lane against Fresno last week. He scored a team-high 15 points in the loss.
After going through the Madera South Classic with a unblemished record, the Madera Coyotes boys basketball team ran into a Fresno Warriors juggernaut in an 83-41 loss to close the tournament.
Although the Coyotes lost by 42 Friday evening, they were better than a Dec. 13 loss in the Holiday Invitational Tournament at Hoover High School in Fresno where the Warriors scored 62 points in the second and third quarters in an 81-22 victory.
“The first time we came out very flat,” head coach David Lozano said. “This time, we responded big time. You can hang your head, but our kids competed. Our kids gave effort, and we’re trying, there’s nothing to hang you hat on.”
The Coyotes turned the ball over 26 times and the Warriors scored 31 points off of those turnovers while winning the Madera South Classic championship.
“We had so many turnovers the first time we faced them,” Lozano said. “We emphasized taking care of the ball and get a good shot. They did it this game. It worked out a little better. It was still not the result we wanted, but it was better.”
Jesus Arzola led the Coyotes with 15 points, including going 5-of-5 from the free throw line. Christian Aguilar, who was named to the All-Tournament team, scored 12 points, all on 3-pointers.
However, Madera’s duo combined for 27 points didn’t match the 31 points from Fresno’s Ishmael Cruz who hit seven 3-pointers. Meanwhile, Madera made six as a team.
Fresno jumped out to a 6-0 lead after Madera turned the ball over three times.
K’Veon Jones and Aguilar hit 3-pointers to cut the Fresno lead to 8-6. After two more Fresno buckets, Aguilar hit another 3-pointer to cut the lead to three. Fresno scored the next six points and seven of the next eight for a 20-10 lead at the end of the first period.
Fresno extended the run to 10-1 on an offensive putback. Arzola made two free throws, but the Warriors scored the next nine points to open a 33-12 lead.
Jones scored on a driving bucket, but Cruz hit 3-pointers on Fresno’s next two possessions.
Fresno closed the first half scoring with a pair of buckets for a 43-16 halftime lead.
Raelon Hill scored off a steal by brother Raeshaun to open the second half scoring.
After a Fresno bucket, Aguilar hit a 3-pointer. Cruz answered with two straight 3-pointers to open the lead to 30 points.
Raeshaun Hill made a layup, but Fresno scored the next nine points for a 60-23 lead. Arzola stopped the run with a free throw, but a Cruz 3-pointer helped give Fresno a 40-point lead.
Arzola made two free throws, but the Warriors closed out the quarter by scoring the next eight points for a 73-27 lead at the end of the third quarter.
In the running clock fourth quarter, Aguilar hit another 3-pointer. After a Fresno layup, Arzola hit a 3-pointer and Eli Barrios got a steal and drove baseline for a layup.
Arzola completed a 3-point play for an 11-2 run to cut the lead down to 37.
However, Cruz hit another 3-pointer and the Warriors added another. Arzola hit a 3-pointer, but Cruz closed the scoring with a jumper for the 83-41 victory.