Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Cathy Figueroa drives the lane in a two-point victory over Mendota on Thrusday. She scored 10 points, including the final two Coyote points of the game.
The Madera Coyotes girls basketball team advanced to the Madera Shootout championship game after three grind-them-out victories.
However, despite going into halftime tied, the Fresno Warriors beat the Coyotes by nine to win the shootout Dec. 14 afternoon at Madera South’s East Gym.
Madera took an early lead over Mendota and held on tight at the end for a 39-37 victory Dec. 12. On Dec. 13, the Coyotes used a 33-11 second half to run away with a 57-29 victory over the South-Bakersfield Rebels.
On Dec. 14, in the championship game, the Warriors, who defeated the Madera South Stallions on Dec. 13 to advance to the championship game, outscored the Coyotes, 41-32.
Madera 39, Mendota 37
The Madera Coyotes jumped out to 15-point halftime lead, but had to hold on at the end to record a two-point victory.
Stephenie Jordan continued her good play by leading the team with 14 points to go with seven rebounds. Cathy Figueroa added 10 points to go with six steals. BriAnn Houghton scored eight points with 10 rebounds and five on the offensive glass.
Madera looked like they were going to control the game from the start. Houghton put back a missed shot to open the scoring. Jasmine Levy found Houghton for a short jumper. Jordan then hit a wide-open, straightaway 3-pointer for a 7-0 lead.
Mendota scored the next three points, but the Coyotes closed out the first quarter with a Houghton short jumper, a Camile Nunez 3-pointer and a driving jumper from Figueroa for a 14-3 lead.
The Coyotes extended the lead to 18, their biggest of the game with a 7-0 run to open the quarter.
Jordan hit a 3-pointer after Figueroa kicked out a pass to her after a drive. Figueroa pulled down a rebound and then went in for a layup. Two possessions later, Figueroa scored on a reverse layup for a 21-3 lead.
Mendota scored the next seven points to cut the lead to 11 before Jordan sank another 3-pointer.
Mendota cut the lead in half, but Jordan hit her third 3-pointer of the quarter for a 27-12 halftime lead.
More than five minutes went by in the second half with neither team scoring. The Coyotes turned the ball over six times in the first six minutes of the game and missed six straight shots.
Mendota broke the scoring drought with two free throws and added two more with about two minutes left in the quarter.
Madera finally got on the second half scoreboard with a Jordan layup off a Kaylee Patlan assist. Patlan found Sofia Perez for a layup to open a 31-16 lead. The Aztecs closed the third quarter with a bucket and cut Madera’s lead to 31-18.
The Aztecs opened the fourth quarter with a bucket, but Figueroa answered with a layup to get the lead to 13.
After a Mendota free throw, Levy found Houghton for a layup for a 14-point lead.
Madera turned the ball over on three straight possessions and the Aztecs scored eight straight points to cut the lead to six.
Perez drained a 17-foot jumper to stop the run and get the lead to eight. Mendota battled back by putting back a miss and making a layup to cut the lead to 37-32 with 1:44 left in the game.
Figueroa made two free throws 15 seconds later for a 39-32 lead.
After a Madera turnover, Mendota hit a shot jumper to cut the lead to five. After a Madera missed shot, Mendota hit a 3-pointer with 20.4 seconds left in the game to cut the Madera lead to two.
Madera threw out of bounds with 5.5 seconds left. Mendota called a time out and was late coming out of the team huddle and was called for a five-second inbounds violation and Madera took over. The Coyotes ran out the clock to preserve a 39-37 win.
Madera 57, South 29
The Madera Coyotes forced 15 second half turnovers and ran by the Rebels to advance to the championship game.
Houghton led the Coyotes with 14 points to go with 11 rebounds, six on the offensive glass and four blocked shots. Figueroa scored 12 points to go with seven rebounds. Jordan added 10 points with three 3-pointers.
The Rebels proved to be a tough opponent for the Coyotes — for the first half.
After South scored the first points, Houghton answered with two straight buckets, the second off an assist from Figueroa.
After a South free throw, Madera went on a 10-2 run. Figueroa put back a miss and South put back a miss of its own.
Aasyria Goins hit a 3-pointer and Levy put in a short jumper for a six-point lead. Andrea Garcia was fouled on a 3-pointer and hit three free throws for a 14-5 lead with 1:31 left in the first quarter.
South closed the quarter with a layup.
Houghton hit a short jumper for a 16-7 lead, but South answered later with a layup.
After Jordan sank a free throw, the Rebels made another layup. Jordan sank another 3-pointer for a 20-11 lead.
Nunez made two free throws to answer a South bucket. Figueroa hit a five-foot jumper after a South layup. The Rebels closed the first half with three straight points to cut Madera’s lead to 24-18 at the half.
The Coyotes opened the second half with a Jordan 3-pointer and a short bucket from Houghton.
South hit a jumper, but Figueroa answered with a layup. South put back a miss, but Jordan hit a 3-pointer to open the lead to 34-22.
Houghton made two-of-four free throws and put back a miss for a 38-22 lead and a 7-0 run to close out the third quarter scoring with two minutes left.
The Coyotes then went on an 11-2 run to take control the game to open the fourth quarter. Perez hit a seven-foot jumper after a rebound from Katelyn Fernandez.
After a South bucket, Fernandez made a layup. After almost two minutes without a bucket, Figueroa hit a 3-pointer. Houghton and Fernandez put back misses for a 25-point lead.
South made a free throw, but Patlan hit a 17-foot jumper for a 51-25 lead.
South made two free throws, but Figueroa made a free throw and a driving layup. Sayra Chavez hit a 3-pointer and South closed the scoring with a layup for a 57-29 victory.