Minatare boys crowned MAC champions
     2015-01-29      By Roger Holsinger   
Photo by Roger Holsinger - The Minatare Indian boys basketball team claimed the Minuteman Activities Conference Championship last Saturday night with a 47-40 win over the Bayard Tigers. Members of the team include, back row, from the left, Head Coach Kyle Cotton, Dominic Longoria, Chance McAllister, Javier Guererro, Tyler Koke, Kyler Lane, Jesus Ramirez, Orin Stark, and assistant coaches JJ Ozuna and Matt Korkow. Front row, Adam Moreno, Alex Benavides, Juan Garfio, Gilbert Rodriguez and Yovan Perez. 
SIDNEY — The Minatare Indians proved why they were the number one seed in the Minuteman Activities Conference here last Saturday night as they captured the conference title with a 47-40 win over the Bayard Tigers.

Minatare Head Coach Kyle Cotton said he was proud of the way his team played.

“I thought we controlled the tempo really well,” said Cotton. “We played solid defense, and made plays when we needed to down the stretch to pull out the win.”
Cotton said the game plan was to push the ball inside and hopefully have some of the Bayard defenders get into foul trouble.
“We wanted to attack the rim and I felt we did a good job putting pressure on their defense. It actually got the guards in foul trouble more so than their bigs, but it definitely helped us at the end of the game.”

Despite losing their lead in the fourth quarter, Cotton’s team came back and never gave up, which he said spoke volumes.

“I was very proud of the perseverance and the will to win that they displayed,” he said. “We could have gotten down on ourselves, but each time Bayard took the lead we fought back and regained it within a possession or two with a steal or a great play on offense.”

The season doesn’t get any easier for the Indians as they travel to Dalton on Friday to face the Warriors and then on Saturday host Potter-Dix. Cotton said his team will need work on their skills at both ends of the court.

“We need to work on finishing off plays on the offensive end and continue playing defense in the way we did during the tournament.
“We had many open shots after working through good offense, and shots right at the rim that we couldn’t connect on. We will have to finish off possessions at a higher percentage if we want to continue to build towards the postseason,” Cotton said.

Minatare opened the game showing its quickness as Juan Garfio stole a pass and took it in for the easy layup, but Bayard’s Justin Baird answered back with a jumper to tie the game. Tyler Koke gave the Indians a two-point advantage.

Yovan Perez sunk a pair of free throws and Dominic Longoria scored to give the Indians a six-point advantage. Bayard came back late in the first quarter as Bryce Hargens sunk a pair and at the end of the first quarter, Minatare led, 13-10.

The teams continued to exchange goals as Perez and Chance McAllister scored for Minatare, while Bayard’s Phil Schuller hit the trey and Tyler Fiscus scored from underneath. With 3:43 left in the first half, Minatare led 21-16.

Bayard had the opportunity to take the lead late in the second quarter, but a Tiger score was waved off after Fiscus was called for offensive goaltending. Perez added a bucket for Minatare, and the Indians went in at halftime leading 23-18.

The halftime break appeared to cool both team’s shooting as they struggled from the field as Bayard was four for 12 from the field during the first four minutes of the quarter and Minatare made just two shots of its 10 attempts. But Ethan Marker warmed up for Bayard with a score and Hargens scored a bucket as the Tiger took a one-point lead at the end of the third quarter, 30-29.

Entering the final quarter, Bayard had two key players with four fouls, Baird and Schuller, which would come back to haunt the Tiger late in the quarter.

Bayard kept a slim lead in the final quarter as Marker and Fiscus scored, but Koke added four points and Perez added a free throw, but with less than six minutes to play, Bayard still led by three points.
Then the Indians sparked with Perez scoring and Longoria canning the three-pointer and Minatare regained the lead, but Marker answered right back to tie the game. Javier Guerrero took it to the basket and was fouled by Schuller, his fifth foul, and Guerrero sunk the pair to increase the Minatare lead to three. Perez added another two points and Koke had a huge block. On Minatare’s next possession, Baird was called for his fifth foul, and Guerrero sunk one free throw. Marker was called for a travel and Fiscus tossed up an air ball in the final seconds as Minatare went on to win, 47-40.

1 2 3 4 Final
Minatare 13 10 6 18 47
Bayard 10 8 12 10 40

Minatare: Javier Guererro 5, Juan Garfio 6, Yovan Perez 16, Tyler Koke 15, Chance McAllister 2, Dominic Longoria 5.
Bayard: Tyler Fiscus 9, Justin Baird 13, Phil Schuller 4, Jake Hoff 2, Bryce Hargens 6, Ethan Marker 6.

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