The Roswell Lady Coyotes dug themselves a hole in the first half against the Los Lunas Lady Tigers in a non-conference game Saturday afternoon at the Coyote Den. It was a deficit they were unable to overcome but that didn’t stop them from trying to do so, losing courageously 72-46.
Roswell, (4-10), was coming off a 50-38 win over Lovington Friday night and had won two of the last three games, which included a thumping of Chaparral a week ago, and their only loss in that three-game stretch came against Portales.
In this game, the Lady Tigers had just about everything going for them, which included six three-pointers, two and sometimes three shots at the basket, and their backcourt pressure bothered Roswell in the first half.
Roswell did manage a lead on their first possession of the game, a bucket from Janae Faust. It was Roswell’s first and last lead, as Los Lunas came down the court and hit a three-pointer taking the lead for good.
“We might have been a little fatigued from the night before. We just didn’t pick up the tempo. Tonight, (Saturday night) we played one of the best teams in 4A and they showed why they are,” Roswell coach Fernando Sanchez said.
However, Roswell was not gonna let Los Lunas just push them around in the Den. Entering the second period, Roswell trailed, 16-8. They went on a 4-0 run, thanks in part by baskets from Makenzie Tarin and Isabelle Trusan respectively, and trimmed the lead to 16-12.
“I was very happy with the way the girls fought. They could’ve quit at any time but refused to do so.” Sanchez pointed out.
Time and time again, Roswell hustled for loose balls and tried to get every rebound, much to the delight of the Roswell Nation.
At the end of the first half, Los Lunas secured a 30-15 lead. In the third period, Los Lunas got the advantage on the boards. Two and three shots at the basketball, sometimes four didn’t help the Lady Coyotes and by the 3:56 mark of the quarter, they had built to 47-25, and led 52-29 heading into the fourth quarter.
With a 23-point lead to overcome in the fourth quarter, Roswell’s mission was to get back into the game one bucket at a time. And they began to chip away but not before Los Lunas scored five unanswered points to begin the quarter and lead, 57-25
The Lady Coyotes then caught their second wind, they went on a 10-0 run and cut Los Lunas to 18, 57-35. However, Los Lunas was not going to let this game get away from them and outdistanced Roswell down the stretch.
Roswell was led in scoring by Cheyenne Martinez who pumped in 13 points.
“Every game we are improving. We’re playing better, not where we need to be, but better,” said Sanchez.
One of the things Sanchez wants his team to develop is a killer instinct. “In several of our games this year, we were down 10 points, or leading in the fourth quarter. We need to learn to put those games away.”
Case in point, in the first cross-town rival game against Goddard. Roswell executed their game plan very well up until the last few moments of the game when turnovers led to converted baskets by the more experienced Lady Rockets who kept their composure, made key buckets down the stretch and forced the game into overtime in which they eventually won in the extra period.
The rematch is set for Tuesday night at Ground Zero at Goddard High.