For the Lady Coyotes and their fans: the sky is not falling. Roswell had less than 24 hours to bounce back from a tough defeat to the No.1 ranked team in 5A the Hobbs Eagles on Friday night.
“I wish people would have been there at Hobbs,” Roswell Coyote coach Fernando Sanchez said. “I thought we played a great game. We led almost the entire first half. We were down, 22-19, at halftime. They hit a basket at the buzzer on a steal. Hobbs is deep, and we just ran out of gas. I thought we played fairly well for three quarters against them.”
Home cooking proved to be what Roswell needed as they smoked Hatch Valley, 58-24, Saturday at the Coyote Den. Junior guard Cheyenne Martinez has moved from the post position to the guard position. Martinez wasn’t afraid to raise up and shoot the 3-pointer from deep beyond the three-point line. Martinez stunned the Bears as she put the ball on the floor and drove past them as she scored 10 points.
“I’ve been working on trying to drive more,” Martinez said. “I’ve been working on shooting, too. I used to play in the post, and they transferred me over to guard this season. I like the guard spot; my goals are to get better and learn to communicate better.”
Roswell’s other half of their “fire and ice” combination, and team leading scorer was fireball Alexandra Gonzalez. Gonzalez scored 11 points on nonstop hustle. She played so hard the Bears were stopped in their tracks when it came to hustling for loose balls.
“I’m definitely a competitor,” Gonzalez said. “Roswell high has always been known for their fight, and I’m trying to carry that over. That’s what I’ve been taught and what I like to do. We were coming off a loss last night, and we had to bring the intensity.”
Sanchez is pleased with the play of point guard Anica Dillard and the way his team responded after losing on Friday night.
“We have the same expectations every year,” Sanchez said, “that’s to get to the Pit and play for a title.” “That’s never going to change in this program, no matter who is coaching this team.”
Sanchez stressed to his team they must get better every day. He wants his team to be working toward playing their best basketball come January. The Lady Coyotes depth will vary from the teams they are playing and the strategies they face. The team could be nine players deep or play just five players.
Roswell will play in the Rio Rancho Tournament on Dec. 7-9, a tournament they have won the last two years.