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Thriller in the Coyote Den

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It took an overtime to decide the non-conference battle between host the Roswell Lady Coyotes (2-6) and the Goddard Lady Rockets Thursday night, with Goddard winning, 42-38.

Goddard (6-3) overcame a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter and tied the game on a Bailey Beene jumper in the lane to even the score at 35.

In the overtime, Roswell took the lead back on a triple by Mercedes Velasco to make it 38-36 with 2:26 to go; it was the last lead that Roswell would enjoy. Goddard would outscore Roswell 6-0 down the stretch and left the Den with a hard-fought win.

“We knew to go in, that it could be this kind of game,” Beene said. “We didn’t play very well for most of the game. But we kept calm and composed, our shots began to fall and we converted on some key turnovers,” said Beene who finished with 10 points.

The turnovers Beene was referring to came with just under four minutes to play in the fourth quarter. Trailing 33-27, a steal led to a three-pointer by PJ Villarreal, followed by another Roswell miscue. Beene then was fouled on a missed layup. She converted both free throws and Goddard trailed by one 33-32.

Roswell scored one more basket and Goddard made three key free throws down the stretch.

However, this game was Roswell’s to win. Midway through the second period, Goddard failed to score on 11 consecutive possessions. A 16-15 Roswell lead could have ballooned by double digits had their shots fallen, but it was only 21-15 at halftime.

The third period began much like the second period ended for Goddard. Their first nine touches resulted in a goose egg. Mix in four turnovers and the Lady Coyotes were just a couple of plays from putting their crosstown rivals away.

However, the scrappy Lady Rockets dug themselves out of a 12-point hole, led by Lana Morley who had six of her 10 points in the fourth quarter. “Once we cut their lead in half, we believed we could come back and win,” she said.

Roswell continued to play with grit and determination even as their lead began to evaporate. “Five of our girls were playing in this rivalry game for the first time,” said Roswell coach Fernando Sanchez.

“What the Lady Coyotes failed to do was find a way to finish off Goddard. And that’s on me,” Sanchez said. “I promise you, we are going to work on that.”

Roswell came out in the first quarter and jumped out to a 7-2 lead and was led by Cheyenne Martinez with six points in the first quarter. But she didn’t score the rest of the way.

Roswell outplayed the Lady Rockets. Goddard missed their first three shots followed by three consecutive turnovers in the first quarter.

“We let this one (game) get away from us — again, that’s on me. I’ve got to do a better job of having a game plan to overcome these type of situations,” said Sanchez.

Goddard coach Jared Neighbors said before the game,” It doesn’t matter how they are playing at this point of the season. It’s Goddard vs Roswell enough said.”

The Lady Coyotes get a week off before playing in the Hobbs Holiday Tournament beginning Dec. 27.

The Lady Rockets will be the host of the GHS Holiday Classic, which begins on Dec. 27.

Boom, Boom, Boom

By J.T. Keith

It doesn’t seem like much at first; a turnover here, a turnover there and you’re down by two points, as Goddard was 6-4 in the first quarter. The next thing Goddard knew was after a series of turnovers and a couple of three-point shots made by Roswell’s Nate Dutchover and the lead is 17-12 at the end of the first period.

“I thought we came out a little sluggish in the first half,” Roswell’s Moses “Dude” Burrola said. “It’s a rivalry game. Goddard played well. I thought our guys played well.”

Goddard missed some shots in the second quarter and that was all the Coyotes needed to be like a shark smelling blood in the water. Then came the second wave of points, three-pointers by instant offense and defense in Dominic Nava and Jasia Reese as they converted steals and scored three-pointers from Nava and flowing layups from Reese to give Roswell a lead they would never relinquish. RHS won the game, 94-70, Thursday night at the Coyote Den.

Goddard did a good job of keeping Tarren Burrola in check for most of the game, in fact, Burrola was held scoreless the first half. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that he was able to get loose and hit three 3s in a row when the game was out of reach.

It looked like it was going to be a running clock game, but the Coyotes came out of the second half sluggish and Goddard came out ready to play. Goddard bodied and got physical with Roswell taking them out of their game.

Goddard’s Xavier Garcia split the defense and scored at the rim. He was fouled on the play and hit the free throw. A Rocket’s trap forced the ball into Garcia’s hand again and he hit another basket and completed another three-point play to close the gap to 55-44 with a minute left in the third period.

The third quarter saw three technicals called, which changed the complexion of the game and gave Goddard life. Goddard’s Brandon Montanez was fearless as he drove the baseline and into the lane to challenge Roswell’s defense. He finished with 15 points.

Goddard put up a fight but it was too big of a hole for them to climb out of. They were led in scoring by perhaps the best passing big man in 5A — Derek Carrica — who scored 21 points. Goddard guard Jon Carrillo drove the lane and was fouled as he hit 10 free throws and scored 14 points.

“We played hard,” Goddard coach Anthony Mestas said. “We had lots of missed opportunities in the first half that could have kept the game close. We did what we were supposed to do in the first half containing their shooters. We only got one chance for opportunities. Right now I’m thinking about Valencia, we have to get that game for seeding purposes.”

Roswell finished the game on a 19-4 run to put away Goddard. Roswell doesn’t play until next Thursday in the Poe Corn Invitational where they will play against Bloomfield at 7:30 p.m at the Coyote Den.

No rest for the weary, as Goddard coach Anthony Mestas has to get his team ready to play against Valencia at 5:30 p.m. today at Ground Zero.