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Goddard cruises past Santa Teresa

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Goddard High School senior Damian Lopez takes a contested shot against Santa Teresa Friday at Ground Zero. (Steve Notz Photo)

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Goddard’s four seniors Dalin Stanford, Tommy Madrid, Jesse Reyes and Damian Lopez, will remember this game when they get together to talk about their senior year. The game against Santa Teresa was over with as soon as the players hugged their parents on Senior Night.

Goddard coach Anthony Mestas finally got to keep his jacket on all night as he emptied his bench early in the third quarter. The moment of the night was when Goddard’s senior Damian Lopez caught a pass on the wing and pulled up for a jumper and swished it as he scored seven points. And then he was fouled hard driving toward the basket on a reverse layup. The points kept coming for the Rockets as they drubbed the Warriors, 73-34, Friday night at Ground Zero.

“I can’t say enough about (Damian) Lopez,” Mestas said. “He has stuck around the program and grinded, just like tonight he had seven points. He’s here. He hustles. He works hard, and he grinds it out, so he was rewarded tonight by playing some minutes (11) that’s something he will always remember on Senior Night.”

Goddard boys’ basketball team needed a game like this. They’ve had too many games this season where they’ve lost in the end of regulation, or in overtime. This is a season of growing pains and what-ifs. There are five games that had the ball bounced the right way they could easily be, 14-4.

“We needed a win,” Mestas said. “We needed a win in a bad way. The last two games that we played, Clovis and Alamogordo, we gave the game away at the end. Tonight, we needed a win.”

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This is Mestas first senior class when he took the job four years ago, he put in a new system, and Mestas has a special fondness for this class, as they have been through summer camps with him. Some of the players might not have been starters, but they have contributed to the team in ways that go beyond the scoreboard.

“Those four seniors are the guys that have stuck in the program, Mestas said. “They haven’t quit, there has been no discipline issues; they’ve had great attitudes. These seniors have progressed from their freshman year until their senior year. Which is great. Four years has gone by too fast.”

With two games before district play begins, Mestas would like to see his team win out before facing Roswell. For one of the few times this season Mestas was able to let some of his younger players like, Hunter Beene, Ryan Terry see varsity action, which should help the Rockets down the road if they get into foul trouble come district play.

“We ‘ve got to learn from our losses,” Mestas said. “We’ve got to be able to finish games at the end. We’ve got to hit our free-throws, and we cannot turn the ball over late in the game.”

Goddard (9-9) was led in scoring by Dalin Stanford 16 points, Ryan Terry 12 points, Jesse Reyes 11 points, Jonah Chavez 10 points, and Thomas Madrid added nine points.

Goddard faces Deming at home at 11:30 a.m. Today.

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