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Lady Rockets best Roswell for third place

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The Lady Rockets finished in third place in the Goddard High School Holiday Classic. (Sarah Villalpando Photo)

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Roswell and Goddard played for third-place in the Goddard High School Holiday Classic on Saturday. Both teams were tired because of playing multiple games, it is still a rivalry, and the intensity spilled onto the court with a Roswell player getting whistled for a technical foul for slamming the ball on the court.

It wouldn’t have been a big deal, but those free throws lead to a seven-point swing and turned a, 22-20, Goddard lead into a 29-20 lead with 6:49 left in the third period. Roswell could not overcome this and ended up losing to Goddard, 55-44, Saturday at Ground Zero.

“That little seven-point exchange and the technical foul was huge,” Sanchez said. “We thought that was a big difference, because it was, 35-30 to end the third quarter. That seven-point run was the difference between being up three and being down five points.”

Roswell hung tough when Alexandra Gonzalez, hit her first two shots scoring five-points and Anica Dillard hit a 3-point shot from the top of the key to bring the Lady Coyotes to trail 31-30 with 1:22 left in the period.

“I thought we didn’t play very well at all,” Roswell coach Fernando Sanchez said. “We have to be more focused and make a layup and free throws. If we can’t make layups and free throws, we are in for a long rest of the season. We have to do a better job of getting some leadership out there.”

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In the fourth quarter, Goddard’s Baily Beene was money as the took over the game hitting a 3-point shot, a duce from the top of the key, and then she did the little things, hit her free throws, for a game-high 20 points.

“The game was ugly,” Goddard’s coach Jared Neighbors said. “Both teams were exhausted after last night. It was a good rivalry game, and I think we made more plays today because it was sloppy play by both teams.”

Even though Goddard won third-place in their tournament, Neighbors likes that his team is competing hard. He likes the fact that his role players are playing well in their defined roles and the hustle of Grace Shea. She came up with big rebounds and was the key to their press on defense. Junior Cielo Salinas, came off the bench to provide a spark, along with Allie French.

“I’m very pleased to see that our second unit had more composure than our first team,” Neighbors said. “I’m really pleased about where our program is headed in a great direction. I think that’s a testament to the kids in our program, that if we lose four -or- five players, we are not rebuilding, but reloading. I think you’re seeing that, and I think we are getting ready to hit our stride.”

A quick recap of Roswell and Goddard’s girls’ basketball teams. Their games finished past deadline to put into the paper on Saturday.

At Ground Zero, Goddard dug out of a 26-point first-half deficit, before losing to the Burges Mustangs, 62-42, Friday night.

At the Coyote Den, the Lady Rockets fought back against Franklin Cougars, but couldn’t score in the waning moments of the game to lose, 47-34, Friday night.

Goddard (9-6) faces Alamogordo at home on at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Roswell (4-10) is on the road to take on Chaparral 7 p.m. Thursday.

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