Home Sports Local Sports Goddard looks to knock off Los Lunas

Goddard looks to knock off Los Lunas

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The state playoffs say welcome back to Goddard’s boys’ basketball, and it’s coach Anthony Mestas. The committee did the Rockets no favors as they have to face the same team that knocked them out of the opening round of the playoffs two years ago in No. 2 seed Los Lunas, 30-29 in 2016.

Mestas has turned to go to the state playoffs in three of his four years as coach. His task this season is to be able to get out of the first round and advance to the elite eight. He will do so with a team that is capable of winning the tournament if they play a perfect game four times in a row.

“I’m very happy and excited for these boys at Goddard,” Mestas said. “They get to be apart of the round of 16 in the state tournament. They have worked hard, and they deserve to play together again.

For that to happen, Goddard has to have their floor general Jonah Chavez control the tempo from start to finish. Chavez has to get his points and make sure the floor is spread enough to open up the middle to allow 5A points leader Dalin Stanford to work inside and score. Stanford has to be able to stay on the floor and not get into foul trouble. The team is used to Stanford not being on the floor; he suffered an eye injury at Roswell, and the team had to play without him.

There are other big men who have come along and done well this season. Fast developing Derek Carrica has served notice that he has arrived and put opponents on notice for next season. The Rockets need him in this game to dominate on the boards and score. They also need him to make the right decisions with the basketball when the offense runs through him.

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Goddard has to get effective play from Ryan Terry and Brandon Montanez, who have to be able to go to the rim when they turn the corner on offense. Hunter Beene will give the team toughness and bang down low, which is what the team will need if they are to advance. Jonathan Carrillo has played well and must continue to do so when he is in the game. If Goddard is to slay the dragon tonight, they have to have consistent outside shooting from Tommy Madrid and Xavier Garcia. Garcia has to hit the three and slash to the basket when given the opportunity.

The Rockets have to play with a heart and passion that saw them come from behind and knock off Artesia at home. In that game, defense ruled the day as they held Artesia to two-points in the third quarter and eight in the fourth quarter. If the Rockets team shows up all four games starting with the one tonight, they are capable of being the second team in school history to win a Blue Trophy. This team is that talented and that good, but it must play to their full potential all 32 minutes on the court.

Coach Mestas has to work his magic and get his team to believe they have a shot at winning this game. The Rockets are coming off of four straight losses, and another five games that they could have won but let slip away in the final seconds of play. This year’s team always seems to be there at the end and either at a key juncture of the game, something always seems to happen. There is no better time to reverse that trend than tonight against the No. 2 team in 5A.

Goddard play matches up perfectly against Los Lunas, and if they rebound, defend and hit their shots and make their free throws it should be a game that comes down to the last possession.

Goddard has to hit their free throws in this game, especially if it is close. This season they have had a hard time making them, which has cost them games.

“We have practiced our free throws,” Mestas said. “We practice free throws all the time. We are going to do more conditioning types of free throws. Each possession against Los Lunas is going to count because of their style of play that they use in their game’s schemes.”

The Tigers run a good man-to-man pack line defense. On offense, they are extremely patient, like the old Princeton offense, they like to keep the score in the 40s.

New Mexico Preps has the Tigers in the final four and this game going down to the wire with Los Lunas winning, 47-41.

Goddard travels to Los Lunas where they will play at 6 p.m. today.