Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
For the Roswell boys’ basketball team, all they can do as far as securing a district crown is wait until next year. Coyotes’ first-year coach Moses “Dude” Burrola has had to learn to be a new head coach on the job. Many will give him a mulligan because the biggest part of the Coyotes season is still ahead of them, with the district tournament coming up and then the state playoffs.
On Tuesday night, Roswell was undone by a slow second quarter in which they scored six points. Three-point shooter Tarren Burrola is the district No. 1 scorer with 408 points. A lot of questionable calls went against the Coyotes as they were called for 24 fouls compared to 12. Roswell had the lead with five seconds left but took a bad shot. Roswell missed the shot, and Artesia came down and scored. Look for these two teams to meet again in the district tournament.
Even if Roswell defeats Lovington on Friday, Artesia would lose to Goddard, which is not out of the realm of possibilities considering Goddard defeated Artesia, 38-37 at home on Feb. 2 in overtime. If that were to happen, Artesia and Roswell would both end up at 4-2 in district play, but Artesia would have the advantage since they have defeated Roswell twice this season.
Roswell faces Lovington to close out district play, if the Coyotes come out lethargic, it is possible that the Wildcats could get hungry and start sniffing upset. The Coyotes shouldn’t sleep on Lovington and need to head into the tournament on a high note. Once again, when the pressure comes against teams that have equal talent and are well-coached, Roswell has to find an answer when their three-point shooters are off. Roswell has to play through Logan “Eraser” Eaker on both ends of the court. Finally, they must be fundamentally sound when the game gets tight, and they must be able to break the press.
Roswell hosts Lovington at 7 p.m.
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Lovington had four shots at the basket in the last 12 seconds. Finally, Lovington’s big man Colby Vancleve corralled the ball and kissed it softly off the glass with two seconds left before losing 60-59.
The one thing Goddard’s basketball fans found out Tuesday night if they didn’t know it already, they are a vastly different basketball team without the little floor general Jonah Chavez. Chavez doesn’t just make a little difference, he makes a big difference to the team. Things like floor spacing, getting steals and getting shots for his teammates in the right spots.
With one game left against Artesia, it’s a tough game, but a winnable one. Coach Mestas has to reach deep down in his coaching bag of tricks and get his players to believe they can win. The problem is Goddard has trouble matching up with teams that get up and down the floor; athletic teams have given them trouble all year.
Good thing they’re playing Artesia. Artesia’s style matches up perfectly with Goddard. Artesia doesn’t get up and down the court; they will run if the fast break is there, but normally, they want to run a patient offense. The recipe for tonight’s game is to keep Stanford out of foul trouble on both ends of the floor. Flood the lane with big bodies and substitute in and out like they did last time they played. Keep a body on their big men and make them set up their offense at the top of the key. Stop Artesia from getting out on the fast break and limit them to one shot, and plain just want it more.
One of the key problems that has continually raised its ugly head for the Rockets this year is they have a tendency to get into foul trouble. They have trouble breaking the press and when they shoot free throws it is not a sure thing.
Goddard has lost seven games this season they could have won. The question right now is, with nothing to play for with a (12-13, 1-4 5A) record, will they mail the last couple of games in or will they go out fighting. If the Rockets play smart, hard and hit their free throws, they have the talent and skills to defeat every team in the district. For this team to win, they have to play to their full potential and make their free throws.
Coach Mestas needs to get another big effort out of his team, one game at a time, starting with tonight.
So, in case you’re not sure of the district seedings and who is ranked No.1, and you think there is a clear-cut team, well it is a little more complicated than that. If Roswell wins and Goddard wins, all the teams will be tied at 3-3, and it will go to a point differential.
If Artesia and Lovington win, they would be tied for first. Then it would be decided by a point differential.
Lovington has split with Goddard, Artesia and Roswell on the season if they win.
With the Lady Coyotes losing three players off of their final four teams, to be in a position to win district has to be an accomplishment in and of itself. Coach Fernando Sanchez has done an admirable job of filling in for injuries and bringing along his young team to this point. The team has not played especially well at home this season, but home is where they would rather be, with a chance to go .500 in the district and have a shot to go back to state. The Lady Coyotes are ranked No.12 according to Max Preps, which should be enough to get them into the dance at state.
To do that, they are going to have to keep the Lady Wildcats from scoring 25 points in the fourth quarter as they did in their 57-48 loss on Feb. 2.
Coach Sanchez has had to do a lot of teaching with this team, and senior Kaitlyn Holl has become the team-leading scorer and leader. Roswell will be looking for big things in this game against Lovington from Jalen Baca and Cheyenne Martinez, who has stepped up her game in the last week if she is hitting her jumper inside the lane, and if she plays stout on defense, it could be a long night for the Wildcats.
Once again, sophomore Makenzie Tarin’s game continues to get better each time she hits the court. She still has to look for her shot and have the confidence to take it when she is in the paint. Alexandra Gonzalez has to play hard but under control and stay out of foul trouble; her team needs her on the floor. Anica Dillard has to run the point and not get caught in traps and play good defense.
If Goddard loses they will be fourth in the district, regardless of the outcomes of other games. If Goddard and Lovington win both teams tied for second or 3-3. If Roswell wins, and Goddard wins all teams will be 3-3 and tied, separated by point differential.
The Goddard Rockets are the defending state champions for a reason, actually they maybe the surprise team in the district after losing four players off of a state championship team. Right now, their motto is: “Do whatever it takes.” Alternatively, more aptly as the Houston Rockets, former champions of the NBA said: “Never underestimate the heart of a champion.” Neighbors may have done his best coaching job of the district because he has created and cultivated an atmosphere where players are playing in game situations and can contribute right away, hence: PJ Villareal making her first start of the season at game 25 of the season.
The Lady Rockets have to be chomping at the bit to travel to Artesia and take on the Lady Bulldogs because Artesia was the game was the game that turned their season around as they defeated them 60-49 in an overtime win at Ground Zero on Feb.2.
With each team member playing their role well, Allie French has provided defense. Grace Shea has rebounded with tenacity and set solid screens. Cielo Salinas has come off the bench and played well.
The Lady Rockets big three All-Stater Camarynn Villapando has had another superb campaign. She leads the team in scoring at 14. 6 points per game. Ball handling marvel Bailey Beene can fill up from the inside and from the threepoint line as well, is averaging 11.7 points per game. And the final member of the big three is Eden Wiggins.
Wiggins gets off the bus looking for her shot, in the last game, she put the ball on the floor and went to the basket drawing foul. In their last game against Artesia, they were down double digits and yet crawled back to within striking distance about midway through the third quarter. What a lot of teams overlook is how good their defense is and how they can keep teams scoreless for long periods of time. If they are going to make another run at the Blue Trophy, it will not have to start with the Big Three, but on the defensive end of the floor.