Coyotes push through for CIF win

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Buena Park’s gym was rumbling to a winning rhythm as the Coyotes’ walked away from their first round CIF game against North High of Torrance victorious.

Despite being down at the half, the Coyotes rallied back to achieve a 89-82 win over North on Wednesday, Feb 18.

As a team, Buena Park rose above mistakes in the first half to gain and keep a lead over North High, who played a very physical game. Despite the Saxons’ physicality, they weren’t able to compete with the outstanding athleticism of the Coyotes’ key players.

Buena Park’s gym was rumbling to a winning rhythm as the Coyotes’ walked away from their first round CIF game against North High of Torrance victorious.

Despite being down at the half, the Coyotes rallied back to achieve a 89-82 win over North on Wednesday, Feb 18.

As a team, Buena Park rose above mistakes in the first half to gain and keep a lead over North High, who played a very physical game. Despite the Saxons’ physicality, they weren’t able to compete with the outstanding athleticism of the Coyotes’ key players.

Three Buena Park players scored over 20 points in the game. Cedric Dashiell II scored 26 points. Rocky Watkins also scored 26 points. Buena Park’s Deonte Beckham, the Coyotes leading star, contributed 23 points.

What led to the Coyotes success on the scoring end was their improvement on the defensive side of things in the second half. Dashiell has an incredible 10 steals in the game and Beckham pulled down 14 rebounds.

“I think what was key for us was the fact that we just decided to absolutely buckle down defensively,” said Buena Park’s head coach Damian Farmer. “We were working hard but not necessarily as smart as we could in the first half and in the second half we worked everywhere and were absolutely better defensively.”

The defensive adjustments made at the half opened up things for Watkins and Beckham. Both of which looked to gain confidence with every layup they scored.

Watkins, a sophomore, was in full flight mode against North High as he scored contested lay-ups with ease.

“[At practice] we work on the strategy of transitioning but his athleticism, that’s all him,” said Farmer.

Beckham started off the night a bit slow but in the second half of the game North defenders couldn’t discourage or keep him from attacking the rim.

“Before the game I try to get in the mindset of being aggressive and when I step on the floor that’s just what I do,” said Beckham. “So I do whatever it takes for my team. I’m very excited. We’ve been working all summer for moments like this and it just feels great to win.”

Beckham had the Coyotes’ coaching staff on their toes before the game due to illness. However, you couldn’t have guessed the player was feeling sick by the way he played.

“Deonte was one of the guys that was throwing up all day long,” said Farmer. “[He] was one of the guys that we were really concerned about but the fact that he was able to bring it today is awesome.”

The Coyote squad showed great composure in the first round CIF game. The feat is even more notable considering every player on the squad besides one is either a junior or younger. Buena Park’s CIF journey has only begun and they will need to sustain their form once they face tougher opponents.

Buena Park play their next CIF game against Yorba Linda. The CIF second round game is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 20.

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