Goddard boys’ basketball fans have to be feeling pretty good about themselves, and their team’s chances in district play. If they play like they did these two games, then they have to like their chances against every team they play including Roswell. A lot of fans hope that teams in 5A will sleep on them.
What Goddard didn’t have in their first matchup against the Coyotes in the Poe Corn Invitational was the depth. That is not the case any longer as they are able to go 10 players deep, now. The Rockets used that depth to turn back a Deming team in the final minutes of the third quarter to win at Ground Zero, 64-50, on Saturday.
Goddard (10-9) got a spark from the explosive sophomore Xavier Garcia. Garcia’s offensive abilities give Goddard another weapon they haven’t had this year. He is able to slash to the rim, and he’s quick enough that he can create space to get his own shot off.
“Xavier(Garcia) been a little sick lately, Goddard coach Anthony Mestas said. “We need him to step up just like what he did today in the district. He can shoot the ball really well for us. He’s a really good shooter. He can handle the ball for us, and that’s what we need.”
Goddard led at the end of the first quarter, 16-10. In the first quarter, Dalin Stanford was a force scoring six points, over the smaller Deming team. At one-point, Goddard led 9-2 before Deming hit two 3-pointers in a row.
“We’ve been needing a lot of those guys,” Goddard coach Anthony Mestas said. “We’ve had guys hurt, sick and in foul trouble, so now we are starting to use the bench. We need to use everybody and our pieces to help us out.
Once again, the Rockets played without power forward Derek Carrica, who injured his other ankle, which allowed for another sophomore Ryan Terry to help Dalin Stanford protect the rim, in this game Terry rebounded and altered shots as well as looked for his shots giving them a needed lift in the waning moments when Stanford got into foul trouble.
“Terry is coming into his own,” coach Mestas said. “He’s starting to fill out, and he’s starting to do what he’s supposed to do to help us out and get those minutes when Stanford and Carrica are in foul trouble. He’s been playing a lot since Carrica has been out with his ankle injury.”
In the second quarter, Goddard outscored Deming 15-8, as Ryan Terry scored four points in the paint as they took a, 31-18, lead into the half.
Another sophomore Hunter Beene is starting to come into his own as a rugged defender and rebounder. On one play, Beene had a defender on his hip and rolled into the basket and was contested as he put up a left-handed shot arcing high off the glass.
“He’s muscle,” coach Mestas said of Beene. “He’s a football player who brings toughness to our team, and that’s what we need.”
The only time Goddard was challenged as when they lead, 38-23, in the third quarter. Goddard had gone scoreless for the last 3:30 in the third quarter. Deming hit two 3-pointers back to back as Goddard’s coach Mestas called a timeout. Right out of the timeout, on Deming’s next possession they hit another three-point shot to cut the score to 38-31. Mestas immediately called another timeout.
“We were concerned when they hit the back-to-back three-pointers,” Mestas said. “They are a young team, and they can get hot. That’s why I called the second timeout, anything can happen at that point.”
Out of the timeout, Stanford scored on a lob to the basket. After that, the Rockets received scoring from Jonathan Carrillo, as he hit a couple of jumpers in the middle of a Deming run to give the momentum back to the Rockets.
Goddard has been without guard Brandon Montanez, who is due back come district play, which will give the Rocket a totally different look and feel, with the added depth. When Montanez comes back it will give the Rockets another true point guard who can handle the ball and help with the press.
“As an overall team we have to get better on free-throw shooting,” Mestas said. “We needed these two games to get above the .500 mark. We gave some games away earlier, but hopefully, we have learned from that, and we can get better.”
Goddard’s leading scorer was Dalin Stanford with16 points, Jonathan Carrillo 13 points Jonah Chavez 12 points; 11 assists; 11 rebounds and six steals. Xavier Garcia 11 points.
Goddard travels to Los Alamos to play at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Goddard 60, Chaparral 15
There was more mystery in the national anthem being sung than when the referee threw the ball up.
When the game began between the Lady Rocket and visiting Chaparral Lobos, if a fan went to the bathroom and came back the game was over with as Goddard powered to a 23-0 first-quarter lead as they routed the Lobos, 60-15, on Saturday at Ground Zero.
Once again, Goddard was led by the big three as Camarynn Villalpando led all scorers with 21 points, Three-point specialist Eden Wiggins found her stoke and hit five 3-pointers from beyond the arc for 15 points, and smooth ball-handling Bailey Beene added 12 points.
Goddard (11-7) is at home to take on Portales at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.