Coyotes struggle in loss to Apaches
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Aasyria Goins puts up a shot over Sanger’s Mallory Scott during Tuesday’s loss to the Apaches. Goins scored 11 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
The lack of practice time showed for the Madera Coyotes girls basketball team in its County/Metro Athletic Conference-opening loss to the Sanger Apaches in Joe Flores Gym.
The Coyotes haven’t been able to have everyone at practice for almost 10 days and they struggled early in Tuesday’s 57-40 loss to the Apaches.
“We came back and we were excited about practice on Monday,” head coach Jason Smith said. “I had all 12 girls there. After COVID testing, I had to ship one off. There were to others who were with her two days ago, so I had to ship them off. We haven’t had a practice all together in 10 days or more. It’s really hurt us.”
The Coyotes fell behind 22-6 at the end of the first quarter, but cut the lead down to four a couple of times in the third quarter, but couldn’t get any closer.
“We showed a lot of toughness and resiliency tonight,” Smith said. “They fought back hard in the second and third quarter. We got it right to the hump, but we ran out of juice and couldn’t get it over the hump.”
Rhine Mitchell led the Coyotes with 13 points. Assyria Goins added 11 and Lilly Smith had nine.
“Aasyria and Faith (Rocha) stepped up tonight,” Coach Smith said. “We’ll get on a roll or someone goes down. That happened all season. It’s going to be a work in progress all year.”
What also hurt the Coyotes was the work on the board. They only pulled down 20 rebounds and seven came from Aaliyah String and she missed most of the first half because of foul trouble.
Sanger was led by Krista Schaffer, who scored almost half of Sanger’s points in the first half (15) and ended with 20.
Mitchell scored the first points of the game with a layup. However, the Apaches took advantage of numerous Madera miscues to score the next nine straights with four buckets on layups.
Goins stopped the run with a 3-pointer, but Sanger scored the next 13 points, including four layups for a 20-5 lead. In the run, Madera missed six shots and turned the ball over three times.
Mitchell stopped the run with a free throw, but Sanger got a layup before the end of the first quarter for a 22-6 lead.
Goins opened the second quarter with a 3-point play. After a Sanger layup, Faith Rocha made a free throw and Lilly Smith added another to cut the lea down to 12 points.
Then, it seemed like there were boards put over each team’s basket. Neither team scored for the next four minutes. In that time, Madera turned the ball over five times.
Mitchell stopped the scoring drought with two pairs of free throws to get the Sanger lead down to eight. After a Sanger layup, Smith made a layup.
Schaffer scored the next four points in a 6-0 Apaches’ run for a 14-point lead. Smith banked in a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 32-21 at the halftime break.
Madera opened the second half with a layup from Mitchell and a 3-pointer by Goins to cut Sanger’s lead to six.
The Apaches countered with a 3-pointer to get the lead back to nine. However, Rocha answered with a 3-pointer to get back to six.
Mitchell made a layup to get the Coyotes within four. Sanger answered with a layup, but Syriah Hill hit a 15-foot jumper to get the lead back down to four.
Sanger came back with a pair of layups to get the lead to eight for a 41-35 lead.
Mitchell closed the third quarter scoring with a steal and layup to close the lead to six at the end of the third quarter.
The Apaches began the fourth quarter with three short buckets to extend the run to 10 for a 47-35 lead.
Goins stopped the run with a steal and layup to cut the lead to 10.
Sanger took advantage of three Madera turnovers with five straight points for a 15-point lead. Another Sanger 3-pointer and an offensive putback opened the lead to 20 points.
Smith hit a 3-pointer with about 15 seconds left for the 57-40 final score.