Second half surge leads to Coyotes’ win over Stallions

The Madera Coyotes girls basketball team used a dominating fourth quarter to pull away from the Madera South Stallions for a 50-42 victory at Madera South.


The Coyotes avenged an early-season loss to the Stallions to avoid the season sweep. The win was Madera’s third straight in the County/Metro Athletic Conference and went for a fourth straight in Friday’s Senior Night game against Edison-Fresno.


“This group of kids have come together at the right time,” Madera head coach Jason Smith said. “I’m going to be 100 percent honest, it’s all them. Their leadership and working together in walkthroughs and pregame, they are leading the way. I’m just there to instruct and give advice. They are the ones cheering each other on and helping each other out. It’s very humbling.”


Rhynne Mitchell led all scorers with 21 points. She also had 10 rebounds while going 10-of-13 from the free throw line. She was the only Coyote to reach double-figures.


“Rhynne is playing some fantastic basketball right now,” Smith said. “It frees everybody else up, makes everyone else looser and makes us a better basketball team.


Jasmine Levy scored eight points with seven rebounds, Lilly Smith scored seven and Sarah Luna and Erika Perez scored six each.


“Rhynne is starting to get some help,” Smith said. “Jasmine has been scoring. Erika has been hitting some big shots. Her defense has come along. She’s been a really nice surprise in the second half of the season. It’s a team effort for us.”


Alannah Ward, who hit eight 3-pointers in the first game against the Coyotes, led the Stallions with 12 points on four 3-pointers. Brianna Lorta scored 11 points for the only to Stallions in double figures.


“We probably got tired at the end,” Madera South head coach Johnny Sharp said. “We made a lot of mental errors at the end. We didn’t stick to our defensive principles. Offensively, we just starting to shoot the ball. Everyone wanted to shoot the ball, but everyone is not a shooter.”


The Stallions used a 7-0 run to take a 32-30 third quarter lead. But, the Coyotes closed out the game outscoring Madera South 20-10 for the win.


“Whenever you have a young team, you’re going to have highs and lows,” Sharp said. “For the most part, they are still learning the game, but they are not understanding what every possession means.”


Ward started the scoring with her first 3-pointer. Mitchell answered with a pair of free throws and a steal and layup. Aasyria Goins found Levy for an inside bucket and a 6-3 lead.


Jocelyn Barrera put back a miss, Lorta hit a 3-pointer, Jalissa Kirkpatrick put back a miss and Ward hit another 3-pointer for a 10-0 run and a 13-6 lead.


Aaliyah String stopped the run with a short jumper while Mitchell added two more free throws to cut the lead to three.


Luna scored down low off a pass from Lilly Smith to cut the lead to 13-12 at the end of the first quarter.


Lorta opened the second quarter scoring with a 3-pointer and two free throws to open a six-point lead.


After a Mitchell free throw, Mayra Ceballos opened Madera South’s lead to seven.


Mitchell found Perez wide-open for a 3-pointer to cut the lead to four. Madera South got a bucket from Barrera and a free throw from Ceballos for a 23-16 lead.


The Coyotes closed the first half with a six-point run to get within one. Luna put back a miss, Mitchell found Smith for a layup and Luna put back another miss.


The Coyotes extended the run to 12-0 with six straight points to open the second half. Levy put back her own miss for the first bucket. String got a steal and fed Mitchell for a layup. Mitchell then turned a steal into a layup for a 28-23 lead.


Kirkpatrick hit a 16-foot jumper for the Stallions, but Smith hit a 12-footer for the Coyotes for a five-point lead.


Ward cut the lead to two with a 3-pointer. Two minutes later, Lorta hit a short jumper to tie the score at 30. Ward found Barrera for a layup to give the Stallions a 32-30 lead after a 7-0 run.


Levy stopped the run with a layup off a pass from String. Mitchell found Perez for a 3-pointer and a 35-32 lead. Barrera hit a short jumper to cut Madera’s lead to one at the end of the third quarter.


Mitchell opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer and a four-point lead. Levy put back a miss for a six-point Madera lead.


Off an inbounds, Ward found Ceballos for a short bucket.


Smih got a steal and fed Mitchell for a layup and Mitchell sank two free throws for a 10-2 run to open a nine-point lead.


Mayrlin Vasquez hit a short jumper, but Smith sank a 3-pointer a minute later for the dagger and a 48-38 lead.


Mitchell made a pair of free throws for a 50-38 lead.


The Stallions got a free throw from Lorta and a buzzer-beating half-court 3-pointer from Ward for the 50-42 final.

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