Madera grinds out victory over Wildcats
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Stephenie Jordan drives past a Sunnyside player during Wednesday’s victory. Jordan scored eight points to go with eight rebounds in the win.
The Madera Coyotes girls basketball team battled in a low-scoring affair to come away with a 35-27 victory over the Sunnyside-Fresno Wildcats on the first day of the four-day Madera Shootout at Madera South.
Cathy Figueroa, BriAnn Houghton and Stephenie Jordan each scored eight points for the Coyotes to lead them to Wednesday’s victory. Houghton added 10 rebounds while Jordan had eight.
“I thought Stephenie Jordan rode to our rescue tonight,” head coach Jason Smith said. “She played a great game. Without her, I don’t think we win that game. Offensively, she was one player who was properly engaged the whole way.”
The Coyotes took advantage of Sunnyside’s poor shooting to pull down 42 rebounds, in addition to 10 on the offensive glass. They also forced 21 turnovers.
“We didn’t get some calls tonight and we let that bother us,” Smith said. “We haven’t had a lot of pressure on us in our fast break offense and they put a little bit of pressure on us. We have to learn how to adjust what the other team is doing.”
Madera opened the game by scoring the first three points. Jasmine Levy hit a short jumper and made a free throw, but Sunnyside hit a 3-pointer and made a layup for the lead.
After a steal, Figueroa was fouled making a layup. She made the free throw for a 6-5 lead the Coyotes wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the night.
More than three minutes went by before Camile Nunez, playing in her first game of the season, hit a 15-foot jumper for an 8-5 lead at the end of the first quarter. Nunez injured her knee in the first game last season and Wednesday was her first game of the season, in addition to Sofia Perez, who injured her knee at the end of volleyball season.
The Wildcats opened the second quarter with a bucket, but Jordan found Houghton for a layup and a 10-7 lead.
After a tip from Jordan, Nunez came up with a steal and layup to get the lead to five.
Sunnyside put back a rebound to cut the lead back to three. Four possessions later, Jordan came up with a steal and layup. After an Aasyria Goins rebound, Houghton scored down low to open the lead to seven with about two minutes left in the half.
Neither team scored the rest of he way for a 16-9 Coyotes’ halftime lead.
Sunnyside opened the second half with a free throw, but Figueroa found Houghton for a layup.
After a Sunnyside layup, Figueroa made a free throw and Jordan sank Madera’s lone 3-pointer of the night to open the lead to 10.
Sunnyside came back with a layup, but Jordan made a free throw. She also answered two Sunnyside free throws with a short jumper to keep the lead at nine.
Figueroa made a pair of free throws with 1.9 seconds left for a 27-16 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Sunnyside cut the lead to eight with a 3-pointer.
Figueroa found Levy down low for a layup, but Sunnyside came back with a pair of free throws.
Houghton opened the lead back to 10 with an offensive putback, but Sunnyside countered with two free throws.
Figueroa made a layup to get the lead back to 10 with three minutes left. Sunnyside made a free throw, but Nunez hit a short jumper for an 11-point lead with about two minutes left.
All the Wildcats could do in the final two minutes was a layup and a free throw while the Coyotes went scoreless for a 35-27 victory.
“We’ve got to learn to do the things we’re taught to do,” Smith said. “They know exactly what they didn’t do. It’s getting them to consistently do it and commit silly turnovers like we did in the fourth quarter.”
Madera continued play in the shootout on Friday at 6 p.m. and its game today will be determined by the previous three days.