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Coyote boys lose late lead to Kerman

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Madera guard JoJo Pickens tries to drive around a Kerman defender during Tuesday’s loss. Pickens led the Coyotes with 13 points.


The Madera Coyotes boys basketball team used a fourth quarter surge to take a lead with about two minutes left, but the Kerman Lions outscored the Coyotes 7-0 the rest of the way for a non-conference victory in Joe Flores Gym.

The Coyotes had three players score in double figures, but it wasn’t enough in Tuesday’s loss to the Lions.

“We had our offensive struggles, for sure,” head coach David Lozano said. “We couldn’t finish layups in the other quarters. We need to have a little more consistency in finishing.”

JoJo Pickens led the Coyotes with 13 points. He had eight points and four steals in the fourth quarter to get the Coyotes the lead.

Elias Torres added 12 points and Stevie Estrada scored 10 with six rebounds.

“We’re trying to make the extra pass, but sometimes we make lazy passes,” Lozano said. “We continue to harp on that to make sure to make crisp, clean one-handed passes.”

The Coyotes forced Kerman into 20 turnovers, including eight in the pivotal fourth quarter.

“Our calling card is defense,” Lozano said. “They played really hard. They always give effort and never quit. If they did, it would be an even more score margin.”

The Coyotes used an 8-2 run to take a first quarter lead. Shovawn Gonzales put back a miss to start the run. Estrada scored off a pass from Pickens and then hit a four-foot jumper.

Torres turned a steal into a layup for a 12-7 lead.

Kerman bounced back to tie the game at 12 before Pickens ended the first quarter with a 3-pointer off a pass from J’Sean Gonzales.

Estrada made a layup off another assist from Gonzales for a five-point lead. After a Kerman offensive putback, Torres hit a pull-up 12-footer.

Kerman then went on a 10-0 run to take a 24-19 lead. Torres picked up a steal and made a layup to cut the lead to three.

However, Kerman closed the first half with a pair of layups for a 14-2 run and a 28-21 lead.

Estrada opened the third quarter scoring with a layup. Then, Pickens hit a short jumper to cut the lead to three.

Estrada found Shovawn Gonzales for a layup to answer to Kerman free throws. J’Sean Gonzales came down with a rebound and fed down the court to his brother, Shovawn for a layup to cut the lead to three.

Kerman answered with a layup, but J’Sean Gonzales and Eli Mireles answered back with back-to-back 3-pointers to take a 35-34 lead.

Madera couldn’t convert on a possession when they had three shots and missed two free throws. Kerman closed out the quarter with four straight points and a 38-35 lead.

Kerman opened the run to 8-0 with four straight free throws and ended it with a 15-foot jumper for a 10-0 run and a 44-35 lead.

Madera came right back and used its full-court defense to get right back into the game.

Pickens got a steal and made a layup. He got another steal on the inbounds pass and made a layup. Then, Shovawn Gonzales got a steal and tipped the ball to Torres, who made a layup.

Estrada got in the action with a steal and fed Pickens for a pull-up 10foot jumper for an 8-0 run and cut the lead to one.

Then, Estrada picked up another steal and Torres hit a short jumper to give Madera the lead. Pickens picked up another steal and drove to the hoop for 12-0 run and a 47-44 lead with less than two minutes left in the game.

Kerman came back with two free throws with 1:31 left. Madera missed a 3-pointer on its next possession.

Kerman hit a pull-up jumper with 30.6 seconds left for a 48-47 lead.

Madera missed a shot on its next possession. After Kerman hit a pair of free throws, Madera turned the ball over. The Lions closed out the game with another free throw with 3.2 seconds left for a 51-47 win.


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