Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s William Magdic rises up for a shot attempt against Madera South. He scored four goals in Tuesday’s victory.
The Madera Coyotes boys water polo team got off to a slow start, but eventually found its groove and won 17-10 at Madera South.
It was the first league game for both teams who are looking to build on a strong start to the season Tuesday.
The Coyotes came into the game with a 6-3 record while the Stallions were 8-4 before the loss Tuesday.
“South has obviously gotten a lot better over the years, but I had huge expectations for my team coming into this game,” Madera coach Rick Martines said. “The first quarter was a shaky start, but they came through for me in the end.”
After Madera South took a 3-2 lead in the first quarter, the Coyotes scored two straight goals in the second quarter to take a 5-3 lead.
Still, the Stallions answered before halftime.
Jared Guglielmana and David Daggs scored for the Stallions to tie the game at 5 before halftime.
“We had trouble adjusting to a certain type of defense called slough defense,” Martines said. “When this team wanted to slough off and not play a hard hand-on defense, it got hard for my boys who are known to drive next to their opponent instead of having to stay at the top to shoot the ball. Once we adjusted to that, we started to put the ball in the cage.”
The Coyotes pulled away in the third quarter.
That’s when Garrin Hatfield scored the first goal of the third quarter to give the Coyotes a 6-5 lead, he then added two more goals later in the quarter to extend the gap.
Hatfield scored one of his goals on a fastbreak after he stole the ball and raced away from the defenders to find himself in a one-on-one opportunity with the Madera South goalie.
After Hatfield’s goal, William Magdic took a long range shot which bounced off the post and into the goal.
The Coyotes extended their lead to five points when Hatfield scored his third goal of the quarter.
Madera South scored two goals in the final moments of the period, but still trailed 12-7 going into the fourth quarter.
Enrique Solis gave the Coyotes a 13-7 lead to start the fourth quarter.
After the Coyotes took a 14-8 lead, Blake Favors added another goal to push the lead to seven. Magdic and Solis also added to their totals before the final buzzer to help seal the win.
Magdic and Hatfield each scored four goals in the game, while Favors contributed with three.
William Prim led the Coyotes with three assists.
Daggs and Guglielmana each scored three goals for the Stallions.
“It’s a tough time being in league, but I think we can win a few games in league, if not all of them, other than the one we just lost,” Madera South head coach Rich Petzinger said. “We’re doing pretty good. The boys are playing well.”