Coyotes beat improving Toros
Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Zeshan Ahmad drives to the hoop for a layup during Saturday’s victory over the Matilda Torres Toros.
The first time the Madera Coyotes boys basketball team faced the Matilda Torres Toros, it was an 81-35 Coyotes’ rout.
However, on Saturday, the much-improved Toros competed quite well with the Coyotes. Madera used consistent play to record a 64-53 victory Saturday in the Matilda Torres Gym.
“Growth — that’s what we want to do,” Torres head coach Charles Rigby said. “My guys are those types of players, fighting through adversity. They’re here to get a job done and we didn’t get it done. Hats off to Madera High. I love what Coach Lozano is doing over there. He’s keeping the tradition of good Madera basketball alive. We want a seat at the table. We want to be there when people talk about Madera and Madera South. When they talk about hoops, I hope they talk about Torres, too.”
The Toros got as close as 27-26, but the Coyotes outscored the Toros 37-27 the rest of the way to record a rare weekend victory.
“I hope we weren’t overconfident,” Madera head coach David Lozano said. “I tell them we know what adversity is like going in the CMAC. We have no reason to be cocky or arrogant. I think they improved. They punched us in the mouth. The mental focus of the end part of the season is something we’ve been working on.”
The Toros fought their way back with the help of the 3-pointer. they hit four in a 20-point second quarter. However, they were unable to hit another one the rest of the game.
“The ball wasn’t falling for us. We’ll be ready next time,” Rigby said.
Martin Duran led the Coyotes with 11 points to go with seven rebounds. Robby Baez added 10 points with nine players scoring.
Torres’ Arturo Corona led all scorers with 17 points to go with six rebounds. Jose Soriano added 11 points and six rebounds while seven different Toros scored.
The key to the game could be found at the free throw line. Both teams weren’t particularly good from the line, but it still made a difference. Madera attempted 19 more free throws and sank 10 more than Torres. Madera shot 54 percent (22-of-41) from the line while Torres was 12-of-22 (55 percent).
Chris Gonzalez scored the first points for the Coyotes with a 10-foot jumper. However, Joel Conde scored down low off a pass from Amani Sua for the Toros.
Soriano rebounded his own miss and sank a 10-foot jumper for a 4-2 lead.
Madera’s Elias Torres tied the game with a pair of free throws.
Conde, who pulled down three offensive rebounds, put back his own miss to give the Toros a 6-4 lead. Unfortunately, that was the last Toros lead of the night.
The Coyotes went on a 9-0 run and took advantage of four Toros turnovers to take control of the game.
Ethan Villegas started the run with a diving layup to tie the score. Robby Baez came down with a rebound and went coast-to-coast for a layup to give Madera the lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Duran made a free throw. Zeshan Ahmad was fouled on a driving layup. He missed the free throw, but came down with the offensive rebound and put it back for a 13-6 lead.
After a Corona bucket, Villegas drove baseline for a layup and Baez sank a pair of free throws with 0.5 seconds left for a 17-8 first quarter lead.
After a Druan free throw, Toros’ Lawrence Watson hit a jumper. Duran came back with a short hook shot for a 20-10 lead.
The Toros got a pair of offensive rebounds on their next possession and capitalized with a Ali Alkahfadi 3-pointer. Madera answered with a 3-pointer from Jazir Alejandre.
The Toros got a free throw from Corona and Alkahfadi and a 3-pointer from Demitrio Nila to cut the lead to five.
After an Ahmad bucket, the Toros got another 3-pointer, this one from Soriano to cut the lead to four.
Jojo Pickens made a pair of lay-ups, but the Toros cut the lead down to one.
Moses Soto hit a 3-pointer. After a Sua steal, Soto hit a 12-footer to cut Madera’s lead to 27-26 with a little more than two minutes left in the first half.
The Coyotes scored the next six points with a 3-pointer from Alejandre, an offensive setback and a free throw from Duran for a seven-point lead.
Soriano cut into the lead with a pair of free throws with 18.8 seconds left in the first half to trail 33-28 at the break.
Madera received technical foul free throws because of a halftime warm-up violation on the Toros. Elias Torres calmly sank both free throws to get the lead to seven.
An offensive setback from Sua and a driving layup by Corona got the Toros within three.
After a Baez free throw, Conde put back a miss to cut the lead to two.
The Coyotes got a pair of buckets to get the lead back to six. Ahmad found Duran for a short bucket. Torres got a steal and found Alejandre down the court for a layup.
Corona stopped the run with a seven-foot jumper. Madera answered with a Duran short bucket off an inbounds pass from Torres.
Off another inbounds pass from Torres, Carlos Barajas scored down low to extend the lead to eight.
After a Soriano free throw, Pickens made a pair for the Coyotes. Soriano made a free throw and Corona got a steal and layup to cut the lead to six.
However, Baez sank a 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter to move the lead to nine.
Sua opened the fourth with an offensive outback.
Off an inbounds pass from Baez, Torres hit a 3-pointer for a 10-point lead. Torres sank one-of-two technical foul free throws and then found Duran for a short bucket for a 6-0 run and open a 13-point lead.
Corona made a pair of free throw for the Toros, but Pickens found Villegas for a layup to answer.
The Toros cut the lead to nine with a pair of Alkahfadi free throws and a Soriano bucket. After Duran made a free throw, Corona got a steal and layup to get within eight.
After an Alejandre free throw, Corona made a pair. Duran added two more free throws for the Coyotes. Corona hit a jump with 1:47 left to cut the lead to eight.
However, the Coyotes closed the game by going 3-for-4 from the free throw line with Pickens sinking one and Baez sinking a pair for the 64-53 win.