If the Portales Rams had any hopes of winning they were quickly dashed in the second half as the Coyotes held the visiting Rams to five points in the third quarter. With a suffocating press and quick striking fast break and an inside presence from center Logan Eaker, the Coyotes turned a close game into a blowout 72-55 win at the Coyote Den Thursday night.
“We just had to adjust to the box-in-one; Roswell coach Moses “Dude” Burrola said. “We have stuff for the box -in-one, but you don’t expect teams to pull it out the third game of the year. We just got our football guys back. We handled it OK after we hit some jumpers.”
Portales was up 9-2 in the opening stanza of the game as Rams Jase Wallace hit two 3-point shots from the top of the key. Portales stymied the Coyotes during the first half with their box-in-one defense. Roswell’s big man Eaker missed a couple of shots in the lane as their defense collapsed on him. For the first quarter, it seemed like the Coyotes were just trying to find their outside shot. With 45 seconds left in the quarter, Roswell took a 14-13 lead.
“It’s good to see that,” Burrola said. “In the game against Onate, they ran a trap on us, and our young guys didn’t know what to do, so we work on it. This is good to see because we use this as a teaching tool and take this up as a learning experience to make our guys stronger.”
Roswell is playing with all of their players since football season ended. With a backcourt of Jasia Reese and Isaiah Carmona, to go along with Tarren Burrola, and Patrick Brown, and the 6-foot-7 Eaker standing in the lane as the Coyotes “Human Eraser” forced the Rams into 20 turnovers, and Eaker blocked four shots and altered another 10 as he was challenged at the rim.
“I think our team is picking up a lot more than it has been,” Eaker said. “I hope we can continue to get better and put forth the effort. I was motivated after I missed my first couple of shots. When teams come at me on the defensive end of the floor, I try to either alter their shot or block it. I try to be smart about it and not get into foul trouble”
In the second quarter, the teams played nip and tuck and Portales had a chance to take the lead but missed three layups. Both teams were tied at 26-26, with 2:33 and the Rams went cold from the field as Taymon Burrola hit a two-pointer from the corner to give the Coyotes a 31-28 lead at the half.
In the third quarter, Roswell scored 12 unanswered points and held the Rams for 4 minutes without a field goal as they marched out to a 42-30 lead. Portales would score a total of seven points in the quarter as Reese and Carmona intercepted passes and stole the ball off of traps to give the Coyotes a 50-35 lead at the end of the third period.
In the final quarter, Roswell put the game away and coach Burrola played some younger player to gain experience, as they would score 20 points as a team to win 72-55.
This is a bounce-back win for the Coyotes as they suffered their first home loss of the season on Saturday, 75-65 against Onate. Onate was bigger than the Coyotes in that game. Roswell had cut the lead to four points with a minute to play, but had to foul. Onate made their free throws to pull away.
Leading scorer for Roswell was Eaker with 19 points, Reese 16 points, Brown had seven points Burrola and Nava had six points.
Burrola feels the match up against Hobbs will be much like the Onate game. He feels like The Eagles will press and run, he is expecting a track meet.
Roswell will play Hobbs at the Coyote Den at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Goddard 62, Santa Fe 61
In a game that would stop hearts, all game long the Rockets were trailing and was down by nine points in the fourth quarter. Goddard kept digging and playing. Senior guard Tommy Madrid hit a big 3-points with 10 seconds left to close the lead to 61-60. Goddard ended up stealing the ball and called a timeout. Out of the timeout, Dalin Stanford caught the ball and turned to his right hitting a jump hook as the horn sounded giving the Rockets a 62-61 victory.
Stanford had 24 points and 14 rebounds. Xavier Garcia scored nine, and Jonah Chavez added eight points.
Godard plays Capital at 7 p.m. in the Al Armendariz Tourney.
Escalante 61, Dexter 50
Dexter went on the road against Escalante at the Melrose Tournament and found they cannot compete if they have foul trouble. The Demons big gun Sergio Ramirez had foul trouble early and ended up fouling out.
The Demons had 22 fouls in the game to Escalante’s 12. With Dexter in foul trouble, Escalante scored 17 points on the free-throw line to Dexter’s six points. That was the game as the Demons made an effort to get back into the game as they hit eight 3-pointers.
“I’m not disappointed in the boys at all,” Dexter coach Arthur Cobos said. “They’re willing to do whatever I ask. It’s my job to ask the right things. I love our intensity; however, we have to learn to adjust to how the game is being called. Sometimes you wish this game went five quarters. This was one of them.”
Dexter next opponent in the Melrose Tournament will be Elida. They play at 4 p.m.
Hagerman 52, Dora 41
Hagerman opened their season with a 52-41 victory over Dora in the J. P. Stone Invitational, Thursday night. The Bobcats were led in scoring by Osbaldo Najera who scored 24 points and grabbed one rebound, also chipping in with 12 points was Martin Trevizo. Hagerman will play Tatum at 7:30 p.m. today.