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Goddard boys lose on last-second shot

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Steve Notz Photo Goddard High School sophomore Brandon Montanez takes a jump shot against Lovington Tuesday at Ground Zero.

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Lovington keyed a fast break and put shot up after shot until their 6-foot-8 junior forward, Colby Vancleve tipped the game-winner in with 2 seconds left to give the Wildcats a 60-59 road win at Ground Zero Tuesday night.

“We decided to push,” Lovington coach Ezau Rios said. “We decided not to call a timeout. Once he put it up, I was like all-right.”

The game turned when Rockets’ coach Anthony Mestas gambled that guard Jonah Chavez could stay out of foul trouble after picking up his fourth personal foul with 6:52 to play in the game.

“I was aware that I had four fouls,” Chavez said. “I made some silly fouls early in the first-half that hurt my team. On the last foul, I was going for a rebound that was over my head. We have to win the next game.”

The gamble did not pay off as Chavez fouled out on the defensive end going after a ball that was over his head. Chavez would foul out 20 seconds later at 6:32 left to play, and the game would turn into an up and down the court race, with both teams matching shot after shot.

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‘I took a gamble with Jonah (Chavez),” coach Mestas said. “I knew we needed him. Without him, we don’t have another ballhandler without him; that’s life Jonah in the fourth quarter. This is the story of our season with missing free throws.”

Without a true ball handler to run their offense, several players stepped up, especially senior Dalin Stanford, almost single-handily won the game by himself. Stanford scored eight points of his game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter. He had seven block shots four of them coming on Lovington’s last two possessions of the game.

Goddard senior Tommy Madrid was inserted into the point and managed to find open players for their shot as they were able to drive the lane and score, when they couldn’t unsung sophomore, Austin Ramey hit a three-pointer from deep in behind the arc to bring the Rockets to 56-55 with 1:52 left to play.

“My guy did a good job of taking his man away,” Ramey said. “I had an open look and knocked it down.”

Lovington’s Alijah Ballard hit a free throw to give them a 57-55, lead with 1:32 left to play. On the next possession, Stanford hit a twisting move along the baseline to tie the game at 57-57. After a Wildcat turnover, once again Stanford scored underneath in the lane to give Goddard a 59-57 lead with 45. 6 seconds left to play.

Both teams were shooting two free throws from the three-minute mark of the fourth quarter. Goddard fouled Gage Sandoval with 34.1 seconds left. He made one of two free throws to make the score as Goddard was up 59-58.

Goddard was 13-of-25 in free throws in this game. Lovington ran the clock until about 12 seconds before they put up a jumper. A scramble ensued as Lovington’s Christian Fitts put up another three-pointer ran that missed. It was rebounded and put back again by another Wildcat player who missed, and another Wildcat player tipped it but missed. Lovington’s Vancleve grabbed it and gently kissed it off the glass as the ball fell through the nets with two seconds on the clock. Goddard inbounded the ball, but their shot was well short.

“Our seniors brought the tempo the second-half,” Vancleve said. “It was just me working hard and making the hustle play.”

Goddard (12-13, 1-4) was outscored 21-15 in the final period. They will travel to Artesia for their final district game. Artesia defeated Roswell 53-50, Tuesday night to capture sole possession of first -place in 5A.

Stanford had 22 points. Chavez scored 10 points, Madrid added nine points.

Goddard will travel to Artesia to play at 7 p.m. Friday.

 

 

Goddard Girls

Steve Notz Photo
Goddard High School junior Bailey Beene goes up for a shot against Lovington Tuesday at Ground Zero.

“We struggled early in district,” Goddard coach Jared Neighbors said. “I think we showed what we are capable of. I’m really proud of the team effort. We had some changes in personnel, and everybody stepped up and gave a total team effort.”

Neighbors thinks going forward his team’s recipe for success is to protect the ball, rebound and play defense and not turn the ball over. Neighbors added a spark to the team by giving junior PJ Villareal her first start of the season.

“I’m happy to get the win,” PJ Villareal said. “The varsity girls push me every day to get better, and I want to thank them. I want to improve my defense and passing the rest of the year.”

Goddard defeated Artesia for their first district win on Feb.2, 60-49 in overtime.

Goddard goes to Artesia on Friday as Artesia defeated Roswell Tuesday night.

Goddard plays at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Artesia.

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