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Madera’s comeback effort not enough in loss to Sanger

Despite a valiant second-half effort, the Madera Coyotes boys basketball team came up short in its comeback effort against Sanger, losing 73-54 in Joe Flores Gym.

The Apaches jumped out to a commanding 37-11 lead in the first half. Madera trailed 45-19 after junior Josiah Pickens connected on a 3-pointer with 1:40 left in the second quarter.

Pickens added another bucket for the Coyotes in the final seconds of the second quarter. But the Apaches immediately came back with a 3-pointer as time expired, taking a 51-24 lead going into the break.

Sanger continued to expand its lead early in the third quarter, forcing several turnovers and converting fast break opportunities. The high-flying Apaches were also able to grab defensive rebounds and immediately race to the other end of the court for easy layups on multiple occasions.

The Coyotes, who trailed 66-32 at the end of the third quarter, found some life in the fourth.

Jazir Alejandre contributed to the much-improved performance, aggressively going to the basket and earning two 3-point-play opportunities in the final period.

The Coyotes defense also tightened the screws and forced multiple turnovers. Alejandre added to his strong performance with a pair of free throws in the final minute.

But it was too late for the Coyotes, who were only able to cut the deficit to 19 points before the final buzzer.

“The second half was a totally different game. We gave up only 20 points in the second half. I challenged them at the half and they responded,” Madera head coach David Lozano said, adding that he wanted to see more defensive intensity in the first half.”



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