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Roswell wins Poe Corn Tournament

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The Coyotes finished won the Poe Corn Invitational tournament Saturday at the Coyote Den. (Shawn Naranjo Photo)

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Goddard played caught a glimpse of what it will be like to play Roswell once district play begins. When they do meet again on Jan.26, hopefully, they will be at full strength. The Rockets played with junior power forward Derek Carrica. Carrica was out with an injured foot that he suffered last night in a win against Lovington.

Not only will they need him, but they will have to come out and play the second half with a sense of urgency. On the first three possessions of the second half, Coyotes’ guard Jasia Reese had two steals and forced a turnover as he went to the basket scoring Roswell’s first seven points in the second half. Reese’s points ignited a 12-2 run as Roswell won the Poe Corn tournament for the ninth year in a row, 81-59, Saturday at the Coyote Den.

“Coach wanted us to pick up the intensity,” Reese said. “I’m a defensive player, so I had to come out and help get us some buckets. I’ve got shots. I just try to go to the hole and make my shots. My role is to play defense, get steals and get assists by finding the open man.”

In the first quarter, both teams traded baskets and matched each other’s intensity, as Goddard’s center Dalin Stanford matched Roswell’s big man Logan Eaker point for point, he even blocked Eaker’s shot which brought the Goddard side of the crowd to its feet. Goddard led for the only time in the game, 12-10 at the 3:29 mark.

“Our defense carried us tonight,” Coyote coach Moses “Dude” Burrola said. “Offensively we made our shots. We were able to take the ball in and convert when we were fouled. I think we hit 27-of-30 from the line. We make free throws, and that will win us a lot of games. Our press was going well. We did a good job in the half court once we settled down a bit.”

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Goddard (7-6) switched defenses on the Coyotes and pressed them. The Rockets could match Roswell’s on the ball quickness with guard Jonah Chavez until he picked up his third foul with 3:23 left in the half. With Chavez on the bench, Roswell held Goddard to two-points the rest of the half as they went to the locker room with a 35-28 lead.

“I thought Stanford was a tough kid,” coach Burrola said. “I just thought our press, and that we did a pretty good job of getting after them in the second half. That is what Reese does. A lot of times he is the best athlete on the court, he’s gotten turnovers for us. He gets out into the open court and finishes at the rim. He’s so athletic. It was big for us in the third quarter. We talked about that at halftime.”

Once Roswell started rolling they took a 20-point lead with 1:48 in the third quarter, coach Burrola substituted emptying his bench. One of the key moves for the Coyotes was when Reese and Eaker’s both picked up two fouls in the first quarter. Coach Burrola instead of bringing in Victor Bolanos at that moment he put in Miguel Baray to guard Stanford.

“My thing is the deeper we are, the more difficult we are going to be later,” coach Burrola said. “Because, we can’t get to the Pitt and get into foul trouble, or God forbids we get an injury or something like, and we have to rely on somebody, and they have that deer in the headlight look. Our belief is we want someone to step in any situation and be ready to go. Early one we are going to give those guys experience and give them a chance.”

Roswell had Tarren Burrola with 16 points, Eaker chipped in with 15, and three block shots. Taymon Burrola put in 13, and Reese added 11 points.

Goddard’s leading scorer was Stanford with 24 points. Jonathan Carrillo had 12 points, Chavez added nine before fouling out and Tommy Madrid scored seven points.

Goddard plays Portales at Ground Zero at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Roswell (10-5) hits the road and plays Clovis at 7 p.m. Thursday.