Coyotes close tourney with two victories


Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Madera’s Kecian Primes drives the lane against two Fowler defenders to score two of his team-high 15 points in a loss Thursday.

After suffering a tough one-point loss and another tough loss the next day, the Madera Coyotes boys basketball team rebounded to close the Madera South Classic with wins over McLane-Fresno and Sierra Pacific-Hanford.

The Coyotes opened the tournament with a last-second, one-point loss to Buhach Colony-Atwater. Against eventual champion Fowler, the Coyotes mounted a defensive attack that limited the Redcats in the second half of an 11-point loss.

However, the Coyotes found their footing against McLane, holding them to just 21 points through the first three quarters of a 55-42 victory Friday.

“That’s the only way we’re going to have a chance is to play hard defensively,” head coach David Lozano said. “Getting stops leads to offense. If they can understand to get stops first and then work on our jumpers, our offense will be okay.”

The Coyotes closed the tournament Saturday with a 57-30 victory over Sierra Pacific.

Madera 55, McLane 42

Madera’s Alek Trukki found his shooting touch and Kecian Primes drove the lane to send the Coyotes to a 13-point victory over the Highlanders.

Primes led the Coyotes with 18 points to go with eight rebounds and five steals. Trukki scored 17 points with five 3-pointers in the win.

“Trukki has been put in a lot of work,” Lozano said. “We’re going to let Trukki shoot.”

The Coyotes’ defense forced 26 turnovers, including 22 through the first three quarters, which led to a 26 point lead heading into the fourth quarter and allowed Lozano to clear his bench.

“Defense will cure everything. You have to play hard defensively to get good looks.,” he said. “When the other guys got in there, the biggest test for our starters were are you going to be a teammate and bring energy on the bench. Those guys who are in there supported them just as much. It has to be the same both ways.”

Seven different players scored for the Coyotes.

McLane opened the game with a 3-pointer and added an offensive putback after a Primes driving bucket.

Madera scored the next seven points with a Sammy Hass layup, a Primes layup and a Primes 3-point play on an offensive putback for a 9-5 lead.

McLane stopped the run with an offensive putback, but Primes spun in the lane for a short jumper. McLane answered with a 12-foot jumper, but Kevin Berdejo closed the quarter with a pair of free throws for a 13-9 lead.

McLane opened the second quarter with four straight points to tie the score. Primes pulled down a rebound and went all the way for a layup, but McLane hit a jumper to tie the game again.

The Coyotes followed with a seven-point run highlighted by back-to-back 3-pointers from Trukki for a 22-15 lead.

Berdejo followed a McLane free throw with a 3-pointer to open a 25-16 lead at the half.

Off a tip from Trukki, Primes came up with a steal and scored on a layup. Primes returned the favor on the next possession by pulling down a rebound and feeding Trukki for a layup. Primes made a free throw and Trukki hit a 3-pointer for an 11-0 run and a 33-16 third quarter lead.

McLane added a bucket, but Trukki hit a 3-pointer and Primes made another layup for a 13-2 third quarter run for a 20-point lead. The Highlanders stopped the run with a layup, but Primes made one of his own off a rebound and pass from Bryson Smith Hass picked up a steal, fed the Smith, who fed to Isaiah Monge for a layup.

Hass picked another steal and made a layup to open the lead to 24. After four missed Madera shots, the Coyotes kept possession and Trukki finished it with another 3-pointer for a 9-0 run for a 47-20 third quarter lead.

The Highlanders added a free throw before the end of the third quarter and two more to start the fourth, but the Coyotes went back to work.

Fawzet Saed made a layup off a Primes assists and Gauge Buchanan scored down low off an Eli Barrios offensive rebound.

Primes came down with a rebound and found Buchanan for a layup to open the lead to 30. Primes came down with another rebound and Trukki hit Buchanan for another layup for a 55-23 lead.

From there, Lozano emptied his bench and allowed them to close the final four minutes of the game.

Unfortunately, the reserves couldn’t add to the lead and the Highlanders closed the game on a 19-0 run for the 55-42 Coyotes’ win.

Fowler 48, Madera 39

Against on the of the top teams in Div. IV, the Madera Coyotes looked overmatched in the first half.

However, the Coyotes beat the Redcats 35-28 the rest of the game in a 47-36 loss Thursday.

Primes led the Coyotes with 15 points. Six players scored for the Coyotes but no player scored more than six points.

The Redcats jumped out to a 21-4 lead at the end of the first quarter. Madera turned the ball over eight times, which directly led to eight points, and shot just 2-of-10 from the field, including 0-for-5 from 3-point land.

Saed made both buckets for the Coyotes in the first quarter.

Fowler opened the second quarter with four straight points to open a 25-4 lead.

However, the Coyotes came back with seven straight points. Primes made a pair of free throws and Trukki hit a 3-pointer. Trukki came up with a steal and fed to Primes for a layup. After a Fowler bucket, Saed made a layup off a Primes pass for a 27-13 Fowler lead.

Fowler added a free throw and a bucket to get the lead to 17, but Berdejo closed the half with a 3-pointer and a 30-16 Redcats’ lead.

Two Primes free throws opened the third quarter and cut the lead to 12.

However, Fowler came back with a 3-point play and a pair of layups to get the lead to 19.

Primes made a free throw, Berdejo put back a miss and scored on a layup for to made a dent into the Redcats’ lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Fowler opened the fourth with a 3-pointer for a 17-point lead.

Hass made a layup, then stole the ball and made another layup to cut the lead to 13. He followed with another layup off a Barrios rebound.

After a Fowler layup, Primes made two free throws, but the Redcats converted a 3-point play for a 45-31 lead with three minutes left in the game. The Redcats followed with an offensive putback before the Coyotes battled back.

Primes found Trukki for a layup and Primes converted a 3-point play to cut the lead to 11 with a minute left.

However, Madera missed four straight shots before Barrios hit 3-pointer at the buzzer for the 48-39 final.

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