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Coyotes advance with upset win

The Madera Coyotes girls basketball team headed into the Fowler Redcats’ gym this week and wasn’t given much of a chance.

However, the No. 14 seed Coyotes certainly didn’t play like that against No. 3 seed Fowler on Wednesday in the first round of The Div. IV Central Section playoffs.

Th Coyotes outscored the Redcats 36-18 in the first half and held on late for a 56-50 victory to advance to the quarterfinals to play at No. 11 Mission Oak-Tulare, who upset No. 6 seed North-Bakersfield.

Rhynne Mitchell led a somewhat balanced attack with 18 points. Erika Perez scored nine points while Aaliyah String and Aasyria Goins scored eight points each. Lilly Smith added seven with a pair of 3-pointers while Jasmine Levy scored four and Sara Luna had two.

The Coyotes hit eight 3-pointers in the game while the Redcats hit five, three by one player.

After Fowler jumped to the early lead, the Coyotes got a pair of banked 3-pointers from Goins, a bucket from String off an assist by Mitchell and a Mitchell 3-pointer for an 11-0 run.

Fowler stopped the run with a bucket, but Mitchell hit another 3-pointer at the shot clock buzzer. Smith added a free throw for a 15-5 first quarter lead.

Perez hit a jumper to open the second quarter scoring. String answered a Fowler bucket with one of her own.

After a Fowler free throw, Madera went on a 12-2 run. Mitchell started the run with a bucket. Perez hit a 3-pointer, Luna made a layup and Smith hit a 3-pointer for a 31-10 lead.

Fowler stopped the run with a 3-pointer, but the Coyotes got a offensive outback from String and a free throw from Mitchell. After another Fowler bucket, Levy scored down low. Fowler closed the first half scoring with a 3-pointer, but trailed 36-18.

The Redcats cut into the Coyotes’ lead with three buckets to open the second half, but the Coyotes got a 3-point play by String and a 3-pointer from Mitchell to open the lead to 19. Fowler got a 3-pointer and a free throw to cut the lead to 15.

However, the Coyotes closed the quarter with a Mitchell bucket and a Smith 3-pointer to open a 48-28 lead.

Unfortunately, the Coyotes turned the ball over quite a bit in the fourth quarter and were held to just two field goals to allow the Redcats to get in the game.

Fowler opened the quarter with a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 13 before a Perez bucket. Levy added two free throws after a Fowler bucket to get the lead to 15.

The Redcats took advantage of Madera turnovers to score nine straight points and cut the lead to 52-46 before Mitchell and Goins made a pair of free throws each to get the lead to eight with a minute left.

The Redcats got a free throw and a 3-point play to cut the lead to 54-50 with about 30 seconds left. Fowler drew a foul, but missed both free throws. Madera got the rebound and Mitchell scored the final points of the game with a layup and a 56-50 victory.



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