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Coyotes top Hawks in first meeting of the year
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The Hawks' Aranveer Bains does his best to keep his Denair opponents away from the ball during the game Friday. Denair beat Delhi 55-39. - photo by CANDY PADILLA / The Journal

Denair (8-10 overall, 2-2 SAL) and Delhi's (3-11 overall, 2-1 SAL) varsity boys basketball teams met on the court Friday night for the teams' first Southern Athletic League clash of the season.

Although the Coyotes of Denair were coming off a loss earlier in the week, they were able to rebound for a 55-39 victory over the Hawks of Delhi at home Friday.

“Denair played really well tonight. They had a big second quarter and broke the game open heading into halftime,” said Delhi head coach Brian de la Porte. “Just a tough road loss, give all the credit to Denair.”

“Tonight we had a couple guys do well overall for us,” said Denair coach Garett Elliott. “All of our guys made a huge impact for the entire game and we could not have done this without everyone stepping up.”

The Coyotes only turned the ball over once for the entire first half.

With the win, Denair also snapped an eight-game losing streak to Delhi. The last time prior to Friday's game that Denair defeated Delhi was on Feb. 18, 2011.

“We know Delhi is always a scrappy team normally, but they played zone which we are not used to seeing them do,” said Elliott.

Matt Storms of Denair started off the night on fire, putting up 9 of his 11 points in the first half alone and grabbed 8 rebounds for the night.

Denair held Delhi to only 10 points total in the entire first half, taking a 29-10 lead heading into the break.

“We made some good adjustments especially on defense,” said Elliott. “Most of our shots were falling and we were the aggressors tonight, which is not the case usually for us, so to see us be aggressive shows after that tough loss that we were hungry to come back. [It] feels good.”

Delhi trailed by double digits after the first quarter and never came closer than 12 points.

Denair extended their lead to as much as 19 points by the start of the third and continued their aggressive push inside to the basket.

After the third, Denair had built a 40-24 lead before holding on for the win, snapping a two-game losing streak for the Coyotes.

Isaac Starks was all over the court once again as he had a game-high 22 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists and 6 steals.

“Isaac for Denair did a really good job against us, scoring and distributing the ball all over,” said de la Porte.

Dylan Mann finished with 10 points and Brenden Curnow had 10 rebounds and 4 assists for the game. Justin Steeley had 9 rebounds and Chase Pritt added 7 points.

 Delhi's top scorer was Chance Browning, who finished with 14 points. 

“We stayed atop most of the game and pretty much led by double digits for most of the game,” said Elliott. “Seemed back and forth but we got things rolling. We out-rebounded them, which is not normally the case for us, and I honestly think Storms stepped up and was huge tonight.”

Delhi's next game will be against Gustine at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The next game for Denair will be against Gustine at 7:30 p.m. Friday.