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Upset in the Coyote Den

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Roswell’s Cheyenne Martinez takes a three-pointer from the corner Tuesday night at the Coyote Den. (Shawn Naranjo Photo)

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If you’re Roswell boys’ basketball coach Moses “Dude” Burrola, he has to be bothered and bewildered by his team’s strange play with a lead in the fourth quarter. The game was all but locked up with a 39-31 lead with 6:05 left to play in regulation. For some inexplicable reason, the Coyotes forget to keep their composure, fouling and sending Artesia into the bonus to shoot two free-throws every time they were fouled. Foul the Coyotes did, which allowed the Bulldogs to get back into the game.

Roswell (16-6, 1-1) turned the ball over on three consecutive possession as the Bulldogs hit their free-throws and forced the game into overtime as they hung on to win in dramatic fashion 64-62.

“We gave the game away,” Roswell coach Moses “Dude” Burrola said. “We’ve done that all year. Early we had the lead and we kind of went back to that. We had the right stuff called, and we turned the ball over three times in a row. We just gave the game away.

Artesia (15-6, 2-0) broke the Coyotes press and took the ball at Roswell’s big man Logan Eaker. Eaker managed to stay out of foul trouble, but the Bulldogs had enough confidence to make their shots or to hit the open man as they made their comeback.

It looked like the Coyotes were going to put the game away after Eaker scored eight points in a row and made two blocked shots in a row to give the Coyotes momentum. Artesia would not go away even though they had two players foul out of the game in the fourth quarter.

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Roswell players missed several free-throws in the fourth quarter as they managed to tie the game at 52-52 to go into overtime. In overtime, the lead went back-and-forth until Tarren Burrola hit a jumper from the field with 2:15 left to give the Coyotes a 56-55 lead. Chaney Hardt hit a jumper for the Bulldogs to put them up 57-56 with 1:38. From there the Coyotes could not mount a comeback as they had to foul, and Artesia hit their free-throws to win, 64-62.

“I’ve been here four years,” Atresia coach Michael Mondragon said. “We’ve been close a couple of times, and we’ve had them on the run. Tonight, you have to credit our guys never quit, and we kept fighting. This is only one; we’re going to have to see them two more times this season.

The loss was Roswell’s first district loss in 33 games and the first loss to Artesia since 2009. For the first time in a long-time Artesia is in first-place in 5A.

“You can say there were due to beat us,” coach Burrola said, “but we gave the game away that’s all there is to it. We have to find a way to win. I know we’re young, but we are deep into the season now where we can’t do that. We’ll see how they (Roswell) fight back on Friday.”

Tarren Burrola scored 21 points, Logan Eaker chipped in with 12 points. Jasia Reese scored nine and Taymon Burrola put in eight points.

Roswell travels to Lovington to play at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Girls

What a difference a game makes. This was not the same Lady Coyote team that upset Goddard at the Ground Zero on Friday night. Roswell won’t win many games scoring six points in a quarter. Roswell was stymied by Artesia’s 1-2-2 press. In fact, it looked like Roswell had never seen that version of the press Artesia was employing, as they turned the ball over, and over, and over, until they were out of the game, losing 48-36 Tuesday night at the Coyote Den.

Roswell (8-13, 1-2) seemed like they were flat except when they made a run as they closed the gap to 33-30 with 6:50 left in the game when Alexandera Gonzalez made a three-pointer.

The turning point of the game was when Artesia scored with 2 seconds to go before halftime to take a 22-21 lead after Cheyenne Martinez scored to give the Lady Coyotes the lead. In the second half, Artesia scored the first seven points to lead 29-21.

Roswell closed the score to 29-27. Roswell had their chances but every time they would get within striking distance, they would turn the ball over, or miss easy shots inside the paint.

“We have to play better at home,” Roswell coach Fernando Sanchez said. “I thought we didn’t play well tonight. I don’t know what it is about home, we have a team that seems to do really well on the road, and we struggle a little more at home. We have to make plays. I thought tonight Artesia out-executed us.”

Artesia (13-9) had their inside-out game working and was able to get multiple shots on the offensive end of the floor. The Lady Bulldogs are in control of the district with this win. On Friday, they play Goddard at 7 p.m. They have a one-game lead over Roswell, Goddard, and Lovington.

Alexandra Gonzalez led the way in scoring with 11 points. Cheyenne Martinez added nine points, and Kaitlyn Holl scored seven points.

Roswell goes on the road to take on Lovington at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

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