Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
ALBUQUERQUE — As Roswell boys’ basketball coach Moses “Dude” Burrola led Isaiah Carmona, Taymon Burrola Tarren Burrola and Logan Eaker into the interview room, all of them had puffy eyes from crying after losing one of the closest games they had played all year. In games earlier this season, Roswell had lost games they should have won and had the lead in, because they were young, careless with the basketball or had the inability to break the press. None of those things happened on Wednesday.
The Roswell basketball team came of age today in a bittersweet game that came a little bit too late. This game saw the emergence of a team to be reckoned with in the future even though they are moving up in class.
In a course of this season, Tarren “Bake” Burrola played with the savviness of a senior to score a game-high 25 points and help bring his team from a 15-0 deficit in the first quarter. His offensive efforts helped Roswell battle back and lead the rest of the game until Belen took the lead on a three-point play by Eagles’ guard Uriah Zengerly to make it a 48-47 lead with 3:48 as the No. 3 seed Belen Eagles would score on a putback. Belen gave the Coyotes a dagger and hit a three-pointer in the last minute of the game to win, 60-53 ending the defending champion’s reign Wednesday at The Pit.
“We’re awfully young,” coach Burrola said. “When we were down 15-0, we knew we’d be all right. That’s a big hole to overcome, but we did. We had our chances, through the course of the game we had that lull where we didn’t score for about two or three minutes, we were trying extremely hard, we just didn’t score.”
Roswell did not get its first basket until 2:52 when Eaker drove baseline and made a layup. The Coyote press started to take effect as Jasia Reese stole the ball and went in for a layup to make the score 15-4 with 2:30 left in the first quarter. Roswell managed to hold the Eagles scoreless the rest of the quarter, as they score two more baskets to make it 15-8.
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In the second quarter, Roswell’s press continued to work as they forced Belen into 16 turnovers in the quarter. Freshman Taymon Burrola hit a two-ball form inside the lane to bring the Coyotes back to an 18-10. Again, on the same move at the exact same spot, Burrola again hit a two-pointer to make the score 18-12.
“I just had to step up,” Taymon Burrola said.
Eaker went to work down low and scored an uncontested shot as the Coyotes came to within striking distance, making the score 18-14 Eagles. With 5:40 left in the second quarter and Roswell’s press working the Coyotes got another turnover and found Tarren Burrola in the corner for a three-pointer to bring them within one point of the lead, trailing 18-17. Belen threw an errant pass as the Coyotes pick off the ball and Reese scored on a soaring layup down the middle to give the Coyotes their first lead of the game at 19-18 with 5:01 left in the second quarter.
In the second quarter, coach Burrola played Victor Bolanos for three minutes, Bolanos grabbed four rebounds and slowed down Ryan Garcia by putting a body on him. Coach Burrola played Miguel Baray, Baray scored four points and was a spark defensively, giving a rest to Eaker. Roswell managed to lead 30-25 at halftime.
In the third quarter, it was back and forth between the two teams, as Belen’s defense made adjustments and held the Coyotes to 10 points. Roswell held the lead, 40-38 going into the fourth quarter. Belen took a 36-35 lead on a jumper by Justin Evans with 2:04 to play in the third quarter.
Taymon Burrola was fouled on the preceding possession and made two free throws as the Coyotes took the lead back, 37-36 with 2:02 to play in the quarter. The Eagles’ Uriah Zengerly hit a jumper at the top of the key to make the score 38-37. Taymon Burrola hit a jumper from the corner as RHS took a 39-37 lead with 16.8 seconds. After another turnover, Tarren Burrola drove the lane and was fouled. Tarren makes one of two free throws as the Coyotes lead the third quarter, 40-38.
“For him to be a freshman,” coach Burrola said, “to be able to put that on his shoulders, we called a lot of stuff for him. He’s one guy they didn’t know about. He’s done it against Artesia, he’s done it against teams all year long. To put him in that situation and ride him with the way we did today, that’s huge for us.”
In the fourth quarter, Belen’s Garret Gallegos made two free throws to tie the score at 40-40. Zengerly hit a jumper from the top of the key to give the Eagles a 42-40 lead with 5:41 left to play in the game. Eaker was fouled on the next possession and made one of two free throws as they trailed 42-41 with 5:27 to play.
It was back-and-forth basketball with each team matching the other team’s shot for shot, up until the Eagles’ Gallegos hit a three-point shot from downtown to give them a 45-41 lead with 5:05 left to play. The Coyotes came back when Taymon Burrola made a leaner with two guys draped all over him to as the Coyotes were down 45-43. The next time the Coyotes had the ball Taymon Burrola was fouled making both of them to tie the score at 45-45 with 4:42 to play in the game.
“I told them normally this hurts and feels bad,” coach Burrola said. “Belen’s a good team, they were ranked a preseason No.1. They have everybody back from last year. We have two guys back from last year, Tarren (Burrola) and Logan (Eaker). For us to be in the situation with a chance to win, I’m proud of my guys.”
What hurt the Coyotes was they had no answers for Gallegos as he was fouled and made two free throws to make the score 47-45. Taymon Burrola again hit a runner in the lane to tie the game at 47-47 with 3:52 left to play.
This is where Roswell went cold for the next two minutes and didn’t score again until it was 55-51 with 1:54 left to play in the game. In the final minute, the Coyotes had their chances to tie the game or take the lead, but they couldn’t keep Garcia off the boards as he gave them second-chance points off free throws and three-point shots.
“We felt like we were kind of worried about their guards,” coach Burrola said. “I thought we could equalize their big with our big. I felt like Logan (Eaker) was battling, working hard and boxing out. We just didn’t get the rebounds we needed when we needed them, especially on the offensive glass. They were big, we’ve only had one player that’s 6-foot-7, so, yeah that played a role in it.”
Roswell (20-10) says goodbye to four seniors, Patrick Brown, Eaker, Carmona and Bolanos. They will move up a class next year in basketball, but they gained plenty of experience this season for next year.
“This is a great group of kids,” coach Burrola said. “They have fun together, they worked hard and that’s all you can ask as a coach. I wouldn’t trade the relationship we have with these guys, the fun we have. I would never trade it for any team that we had.”
Roswell scoring: Taymon Burrola 25 points, Logan Eaker 10 points, Tarren Burrola, 7 points, Jasia Reese, 6 points and Isaiah Carmona, 1 point.
Belen 15, 10, 13, 22
Roswell 8, 22, 10, 13