Coyotes win third in a row at tourney
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune Madera Arthur Flores (1) and K’Veon Jones (11) team up to gather in a rebound during Thursday’s victory over Chowchilla.
The Madera Coyotes boys basketball team used a hot shooting first half to jump out to an early lead in a win over the Chowchilla Tribe on the third day of the Madera South Classic.
The Coyotes scored 41 points in the first half and opened a 26-point lead by the fourth quarter for a 67-49 victory.
“The first three quarters, we moved the ball extremely well,” head coach David Lozano said. “They trusted each other. The fourth quarter, we kind of relaxed and played to the score. We took our mind set off of defense. There’s definitely some things to improve on.”
Madera shot 42 percent from the field Thursday in the first three quarters, but made just three field goals in the fourth quarter and were outscored by eight points.
“When we knock down shots, we’re a whole different basketball team,” Lozano said. “It sparks our defense. I wish we could do that all the time. If we keep our head, focus on defense, get one stop at a time and take the best shot possibile will keep us in the game.”
Art Flores led the Coyotes with 22 points, including three 3-pointers. Eli Barrios scored 12 points, all 3-pointers, and pulled down eight rebounds. K’Veon Jones added 10 points, six rebounds and three steals.
The Coyotes also had 11 assists, but all in the first half. Meanwhile, the Coyotes forced 16 turnovers, 12 by steals.
“Our defense played hard,” Lozano said. “When we play with high hand, sprint on defense, deflect passes, we look like a better basketball team.”
The Coyotes opened the game by hitting nine of their first 10 shots and scored on seven of their first eight possessions to take a 19-9 lead.
Jones started the scoring with a layup from Raeshaun Hill. Then, Raelon Hill got a steal and made a layup. After a Chowchilla 3-point play, Flores spun baseline for a layup and was fouled. He made the free throw for the 3-point play.
After a Chowchilla bucket, Jones found Raeshaun Hill for a layup. Hill returned the favor to Jones for another layup. Hill then put back a missed 3-pointers. Christian Aguilar sandwiched two 3-pointers between a Chowchilla driving bucket.
After a Chowchilla bucket, Aguilar hit another 3-pointer for a 22-11 lead. Chowchilla answered with a 3-pointer. Flores closed out the first quarter with a 3-pointer and gave Madera a 25-14 lead.
With Flores’ 3-pointer, the Coyotes went on a 12-2 run to open the lead to 18. Flores started the second quarter scoring with two free throws and then hit a jumper. Jones got a steal and found Raeshaun Hill for a layup. Barrios closed the run with a 3-pointer.
Two minutes later, Barrios hit another 3-pointer to answer the Tribe’s 3-pointer.
Jones found Flores for a pair of layups to give the Coyotes a 41-21 halftime lead.
Raelon Hill found Jones on back-to-back possessions to start the second half. Chowchilla made four free throws to keep the lead at 20.
The Coyotes then went on an 11-0 run. Hill found Jones for another layup. Barrios hit another 3-pointer and Flores hit back-to-back 3-pointers for a 56-25 lead.
After a Chowchilla 3-pointer, Jesus Arzola found Hill for a layup. A steal by Aguilar led to a layup by Arzola and a 32-point lead.
Chowchilla closed the quarter with six straight points to cut the lead to 26 entering the fourth.
Chowchilla scored first in the fourth quarter, but Flores put back a missed shot . The Tribe scored the next five points before Barrios hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game.
The Tribe closed out the game by scoring nine of the next 11 points for a 67-49 Coyote victory.