Madera struggles offensively in loss

The Madera Coyotes boy’s basketball team faded away in the late stages of against Sierra-Tollhouse in a 57-47 loss in front of its home crowd.


While both teams initially struggled to get their offense going, the Chieftains eventually found their rhythm and put away the Coyotes for good Wednesday evening.


“We didn’t hit enough shots and we didn’t hit our free throws at the end,” Madera head coach David Lozano said. “We couldn’t finish layups, so it was tough.”


Despite their offensive struggles, the Coyotes relied on their defense and forced a 14-14 tie at the end of the first quarter. As the Coyotes’ defense continued to hold its own in the second quarter, the Chieftains struggled to pull away.


A mid-range shot from Madera’s Robbie Baez tied the game at 16 with six minutes left in the second quarter. Elias Torres drained a 3-pointer later in the quarter to give the home team a 20-18 lead. A floater from Zeshan Ahmad gave the Coyotes a 22-20 lead with three minutes left in the second quarter. Torres converted another 3-point shot to give his team a 25-22 lead going into the break.


The teams exchanged shots early in the third quarter and found themselves in a 29-29 tie. Sierra built a four-point lead before the Coyotes responded to force another tie. The visitors then came back with another run and took a six-point lead into the final quarter.


Sierra pushed the lead to seven with three minutes left in the game. As the Coyotes continued to commit turnovers and failed to make shots, the visitors held a comfortable 51-43 lead in the final minute.


Sierra preserved a double-digit victory with some late free throws.


“Our physicality, our hustle has improved,” Lozano said. “I just think we have to find ways to muster up some more extra possessions with offensive rebounds, chances to score the ball.”

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