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Roswell pulls away from Goddard

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Roswell High School sophomore Jasia Reese gets tangled up with a Goddard defender Friday night at the Coyote Den. (David Rocha Photo)

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After the festivities of the introductions were made and pounds were exchanged, both teams got right down to it quick. Goddard had Hunter Beene in the lineup, and Roswell coach Moses “Dude” Burrola countered with the physically imposing Victor Bolanos with 3:18.

“The reason I brought Victor (Bollanos) in,” Coyote coach Burrola said, “was that Logan (Eaker) was struggling early. “Bolanos gives us some size in there. Eaker played better in the second half. Bolanos gives us some football toughness that we needed at that time.”

Both teams traded baskets in the early going until with about 5:18 lef in the first quarter, Rockets’ big man Dalin Stanford was hit in the eye by a Coyote player inadvertently. That was all it took as the Coyotes kept coming in waves after waves, after waves as the defeated Goddard Friday night at the Coyote Den, 84-47.

At the time of the injury, Stanford scored the first two points for Goddard and was starting to feel his way and teammate Derek Carrica scored down low as the Rockets trailed 6-4 with 5:36 in the first quarter. The game was delayed for 15 minutes as Stanford had to ice a quick swelling eye.

Once play resumed Coyote center Logan “Eraser” Eaker dominated inside, as he blocked five shots in the first quarter and altered another eight, as Roswell raced out to a 15-8 first-quarter lead.

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In the second quarter, Goddard fought and clawed their way back into contention when senior Tommy Madrid brought his three-point shot last night as he hit three 3-pointers in a row and then hit a pull up jumper in the lane to bring the score to 32-28. Bollanos hit a layup at the buzzer to give the Coyotes a 34-28 lead.

Goddard (12-12, 1-3 5A) could not find an answer for the more athletic Coyotes press, as they turned the ball over and let the Coyotes have layup drill, and when they did stop them they had no one to match up with Eaker’s 6-foot-7 frame as he controlled the boards. In a game when they could not afford to let Roswell’s height, drive and kick game bother them.

Roswell had their way with the shorthanded Rockets. Beene and Carrica both had three fouls on them in the first half. They could not stop the drive and kick to Tarren Burrola as he spotted up from the three-point line and drilled them as he led all scorers with 23 points.

“Game plan you lose Dalin (Stanford) right off the bat,” coach Mestas said. “Hunter (Beene) gets three fouls; Derek (Carrica) gets three fouls. We banged on them. We tried the best we could.

Goddard made their last push of the ball game when Goddard coach Mestas put in little-used senior Damian Lopez because he had no other bodies to combat the Coyotes physical rebounding and shot-blocking inside. Madrid made a three-pointer from the top of the elbow with 4:26 left to play, and Carrica made a free throw to make the score 39-34 with 3:59. That was as close as the Rockets would come before Roswell had a barrage of three-pointers from Burrola to end the third period 48-38.

“I was proud of Lopez,” coach Mestas said. “He came in and gave me what he had. He works his butt off and comes out and gave us some points. I’m proud of him, for three quarters, we battled them, and it got away from us in the fourth.”

In the fourth quarter, coach Mestas looked forlornly to his bench as he patted Stanford and his players on the back for the effort they had given. One of the things that hurt his team’s efforts was their dismal 8-of-21 from the free-throw line. If they could have hit even half of them maybe the game would have been closer.

“Yesterday in practice,” coach Mestas said, “we practiced for 24 minutes.” “Then we played another six-minute free-throw shooting game, and that’s 30 minutes of free throws. Free throws are crucial. Free throws will win you games, and they will lose you games.”

With the loss, Goddard plays at home against Lovington 7 p.m. Tuesday. In an earlier matchup between the two teams, Lovington defeated the Rockets 65-56.

The Coyotes’ Jasia Reese is playing free and loose, he added several steals and ended up with 16 points. Eaker dominated on both ends of the floor as the Coyotes started to play through him a stretch of the game. He had nine points and would have a more impressive stat line he had made some bunnies; he also ended up with nine blocked shots and altered another 10 shots in the lane by himself.

“I tried Taymon (Burrola) a little bit at the point,” coach Burrola said. “Reese is comfortable at the two guard. Both of the players are young, Taymon is a freshman and Reese is a sophomore, and we have to remember that they’re young.”

Miguel Baray banged inside and gave Roswell quality minutes. With this win and Artesia defeating Lovington it sets up a showdown on Tuesday as the Coyotes play Artesia for first-place. Roswell lost to Artesia at home on Jan. 30, 64-62 in overtime. Artesia defeated Lovington last night, 59-44.

Roswell (18-6, 3-1 5A) plays at Artesia 7 p.m. on Tuesday for what will be first-place.

Tayon Burrola added 10 points, and Dominic Nava played well overall and chipped in with nine points.

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