Goddard coach Anthony Mestas was hoping his team would bounce back from a rough game against Roswell on Friday night. Goddard did come out and play Valencia tough in the first quarter, but faded as too many back-to-back games in three weeks of basketball tournaments seems to have taken a toll on his team.
Goddard (5-5) ran their offensive sets and got good looks at the basket and was leading 13-10 after the first quarter. The Rockets inability to stop dribble drives and close out on their man, made kick outs easy for the Jaguars’ Jake Mattox, as he was able to get uncontested threes. That would ultimately doom the Rockets and give them consecutive losses as Valencia beat Goddard, 62-55, Friday night at Ground Zero.
“We dug ourselves a hole,” Mestas said. “We got down eight points, we brought the game back to 31-31. We missed at the free throw line and from there it went downhill. We had to substitute and play offense and then defense, just to try to get something going. We didn’t have any energy.”
The Jaguars turned a 29-23 lead at halftime into a third-quarter blowout as they outscored Goddard, 21-14, to take a 50-37 lead to end the quarter. Goddard had made a run to close the score to within 10 points, but senior guard Alex Lopez hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give his team a 13-point lead and the momentum.
Goddard’s best chance to win the game came when they held Valencia scoreless for the last three minutes of the game. Slowly, the Rockets extended their defense, and Derek Carrica made a shot in the lane with 2:49 left to play to make the score 59-45. Guard Jon Carrillo was fouled going to the basket and made both of his free throws. Carrillo had a team-high 14 points to bring the Rockets to within 12 points, at 59-47.
After a Goddard steal, Rockets’ Xavier Garcia made a three-point shot from deep in the right corner to make the score 59-50. On the Jaguars next possession, there was a scrum between a Goddard player and Valencia player fighting over a loose ball at mid-court.
Mestas ran onto the court to call timeout and Jaguars’ coach Joshua Mattox called timeout at the same time to the referee right in front of him. After a tie ball signal, the referees gave the ball to Goddard who could not capitalize and turned the ball back over. Goddard’s Brandon Montanez would score a basket at the rim, and Rocket sophomore Gabriel Campos hit a three-point shot as time expired.
“I thought we had a good middle of the game,” Mattox said. “We had a little struggle to start and a little struggle to finish. We found a way to get it done. I think getting the ball in the paint was key for us. We were able to collapse the defense and it opened up a lot of good looks for us.
Carrillo had 14 points, Garcia added 10 points, Hunter Beene hustled and chipped in with nine points. Derek Carrica put in eight points, Montanez had five points and Chavez scored six points with Campos getting three.
“We have to get better,” Mestas said.
Goddard is off until Thursday when they play Los Alamos at 7:30 p.m. at Ground Zero.
Valencia 10, 19, 21, 12-62
Goddard 13, 10, 14, 18-55