The Uvalde Coyotes struggled offensively, defensively, and in rebounding last Friday night, but they still nearly won their basketball season home opener.
Down 31-19 at the end of the first half, the young Uvaldeans cut the scoring deficit to seven points by the end of the third period.
They rallied to take a two-point lead with two-and-a-half minutes left in the ball game.
But Bandera’s Bulldogs outscored the Coyotes, 8-0, the rest of the way to escape Uvalde High School’s Harvey Kinchlow Gym with a 56-50 win.
Early on in the game, missed close-range shots, turnovers, and a lack of rebounding plagued the Coyotes as the Bulldogs got off to a 12-2 lead.
The Coyotes rallied to cut the deficit to 14-10 by the end of the first period.
Bandera began the second period with a 9-0 scoring run as they upped their lead to 23-10.
Jarrett Hernandez hit on a baseline jumper for three points to end a lengthy scoring drought for the Coyotes.
During the final half of the period, the Bulldogs outpointed the Coyotes, 8-6, to take a 31-19 lead by the end of the half.
Joseph Flores nailed a pair of three-field goals to lead an eight-point comeback by the Coyotes early in the second half.
Brian Reading downed a pair of free throws late in the period to cut the Bandera lead to 38-29.
In the closing seconds, Joseph Flores downed a pair of free throws on a technical foul assessed against the Bulldogs.
Early in the final period, Isaiah Rodriguez drained a three-point field goal to trim the deficit to 38-34.
Bandera scored six unanswered points, before Joseph Flores netted a three-point shot.
Flores later sank two free throws to trim the Bandera lead to 45-42.
Brian Reading converted on a three-point play and later fed a pass to Joseph Flores, who scored on a layup to tie the score at 48-48.
Gabriel Larralde hit on two free throws to give the Coyotes a 50-48 lead with 2:39 left on the game clock.
Bandera tied the score with a field goal.
The Bulldogs then scored on a field goal and four free throws during the final minute of the game to wind up with their six-point victory.
Joseph Flores led individual scoring in the game. He netted 25 points for the Coyotes.
Flores downed four three-point field goals.
Brian Reading also scored in double figures for the Coyotes. He posted 10 points.
Others scoring for UHS were Daniel Perez with five points; Jarrett Hernandez and Isaiah Rodriguez each with three points; and Garrett Sendejo and Gabriel Larralde each with one point.
Tyler Moore scored 20 points to top the individual scoring for Bandera.