By Rick Atkinson


For the Anna-Melissa Tribune


FARMERSVILLE – The Anna Coyotes appeared to be in good shape midway through third quarter at Farmersville on Jan. 6 - up 33-25 after putting a 10-2 run on the Farmers out of the halftime locker room.


But that’s when Farmersville Head Coach Jordan Bedford called a timeout – and from there the script flipped.


The Class 4A Farmers (6-11) went on to double up Anna 26-13 the rest of the way for a 51-46 non-district victory at home.


It was a frustrating afternoon for the Coyotes (8-9) who saw plenty of second-half shots not go down, including from the charity stripe, where Anna shot 50-percent (13-of-26) for the game.


“I think that has a lot to do with focus, though,” Coyotes Head Coach Kyle Phifer said. “You’ve got to be able to fight through a game like that and find a way, and we just didn’t do that.”


Breaking down the lost third-quarter lead, Phifer recalled an Anna turnover out of that pivotal timeout that led to two Farmers points, then giving up an offensive rebound for a banked-in three.


“When you allow a team to stay around, sooner or later they’re going to make plays down the stretch when you keep giving them chances.”


Bedford was asked what occurred during his team’s timely huddle.


“I don’t know it if it’s anything I said. I just basically saw what was going on and saw that the game was starting to slip away. I felt like we needed to have a little bit of a wake-up call. … Fortunately, the guys got the message. We played a lot harder during that stretch and executed better.


“And we got a little bit lucky. One of our guys, I know, banked-in two [threes]. I’m sure he didn’t call ‘glass’ on it or anything, but we’ll take it.”


Guard Josiah Mackey led Anna with 16 points, followed by guard Jayden Rodgers with 10. The Coyotes scattered seven threes in the game – three by Rodgers, two by Mackey, with singles by Bullet Geer and Jackson Vandagriff – while Farmersville tallied six.


Guard Sloan Thomas knocked down a team-high 16 points for the Farmers, including a pair of three-pointers in the pivotal third quarter. Two more Farmersville treys hit home at key moments of the fourth.


Tied 23-all at the break, the Coyotes’ early third-quarter surge was sparked along by a Rodgers steal, which he ultimately capped with a three for a 29-25 Anna lead.


Two Geer free throws followed and Mackey completed the scoring burst with a steal at Farmerville’s end, which he cashed in for two points.


Then came the timeout – and the Farmers’ ensuring 7-0 run.


Up 37-34 to open the fourth stanza, the hosts knocked down two quick shots – a put-back layup and a jumper from the lane off a long-range pass – and the lead was seven. Then, after a charging call on the Coyotes, Farmersville buried a right-corner three to boost its margin to 10 for the first time, 44-34, with 6:30 left in regulation.


A Vandagriff layup off a missed three gave the Coyotes hope – down, 44-36, with five minutes to go – but Farmersville’s Braden Lair answered with a right-corner dagger from downtown.


Down 47-36, the lid stayed on the basket for Anna’s next two shots from the field and a pair of free throws, but Rodgers soon found three-point net from the top of the key.


Vandagriff’s three from the right-front drew Anna to within 49-42 with 2:50 left, but subsequent Coyotes shots still wouldn’t go.


A free throw by Mackey cut the deficit to six before Farmersville hit one of its own for a 50-43 edge with 42 seconds remaining.


With under 10 seconds to go, Mackey’s right-side three pulled Anna to within five, 51-46, the game’s final margin.


Three-pointers by Geer and Rodgers fueled Anna’s 13-11 lead after one quarter. In the second, the Coyotes’ biggest advantage was four points, with three logjams following before the break.


Note: Anna’s non-district match with 4A Alvarado on Jan. 10 was cancelled due to weather. __________________________________________________________________


Anna 13 10 11 12 - 46


Farmersville 11 12 14 14 - 51


Anna scoring – Josiah Mackey, 16; Jayden Rodgers, 10; Jackson Vandagriff, nine; Bullet Geer, five; Jaiden Campbell, three; Zay Gentry, one; Jeremiah Ivery, one.