Coyotes hustle and shoot to win
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune Madera’s Christian Aguilar goes up for a 3-point attempt during Tuesday’s win. He made six for a game-high 22 points.
The Madera Coyotes boys basketball team opened its home schedule with an energetic 74-59 victory over the Roosevelt-Fresno Rough Riders in Joe Flores Gym.
The Coyotes forced 32 turnovers from the Rough Riders, including 17 steals, which led to 51 percent shooting (27-of-53) from the field, including hitting 11-of-26 (42 percent) from 3-point range.
“These kids committed a lot,” head coach David Lozano said. “All we do preach is control what you can control and that’s effort and energy. We’re practicing diving on the floor, taking charges and they are eager to do it. Offensively, we shot well tonight. In the first two games, our defense carried us. We played well offensively.”
Christian Aguilar led all scorers with 22 points, all after a scoreless first quarter. He hit six 3-pointers.
“Christian is a shooter,” Lozano said. “He’s fearless. I tell him to keep shooting. His teammates have confidence in him to shoot it.”
Zach Roque added 15 points and four steals, Kecian Primes scored 14 points with a team-leading five rebounds. Eli Barrios added 11 points while collecting three seals.
However, it was the energy level of the Coyotes that made a difference. They won the turnover battle by 12 (32-20), including 21 in the first half.
The key to that was the constant encouragement from the Coyotes bench, which helped keep Madera’s energy level high.
“I told our bench we have to have one of the best benches in the valley,” Lozano said. “That’s something we can control. It’s not fake or phony to cheer for your teammates. Everyone is part of the winning. You have to be a piece of the puzzle.”
Madera jumped out to a 13-4 lead after an 8-0 run. Barrios and Roque hit 3-pointers and Primes turned a steal into a layup. Madera forced eight turnovers in the first four minutes of the game.
A Primes 3-pointer extended the lead to 10, but Roosevelt scored four straight points for a 16-10 Madera lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Rough Riders scored three straight buckets to cut Madera’s lead to two.
Madera scored seven straight points with Aguilar starting the run with a 3-pointer. Barrios scored on a layup and Primes picked up a steal and fed Colt Nelson for a layup and a nine-point lead.
Another Aguilar 3-pointer and a Roque layup off a pass from Aguilar opened the lead to 12. Aguilar then got a steal and layup for a 34-23 lead at the half.
Roosevelt scored nine of the first 14 points in the second half to cut Madera’s lead to 39-32. Roque stopped the run with a 3-pointer and Nelson made a layup to get the lead back to eight.
After a Roosevelt offensive putback, Nelson scored on a layup, Barrios drove in for a layup and Primes fed Roque on a fast break after a steal. Roque gave the ball back to Primes for a layup and extend the lead to 14.
Back-to-back Roosevelt layups got the lead down to 10. Aguilar hit a 3-pointer and Roque and Barrios turned steals into layups for a 56-40 third quarter lead.
Roosevelt tried to get back into the game scoring seven of the first 11 points of the fourth quarter for a 13-point Madera lead.
Roque put back a missed shot and Aguilar got hot. He, essentially, put the nail in the coffin with a straightaway 3-pointer with a defender in his face to open the lead to 65-47. He got the ball on the next trip down the court and hit another 3-pointer. After two Roosevelt 3-pointers, Aguilar hit another 3-pointer to open a 74-51 lead with two minutes left in the game.
Roosevelt closed the game with eight straight points for the 74-51 final.