It has taken some time for the Lady Rockets to find their big three, but it is beginning to take shape. Let’s see, you have all-everything senior Bailey Beene doing her best LeBron James impression as she comes from behind and swats shots away preventing an easy two points.
Then, Beene is not afraid to lead the fast break or give an assist out to a teammate — and none more impressive than when she drove the lane and threw a behind-the-back pass to teammate Lacie Schooley for an easy two points with 35.8 seconds left in the game against rival Roswell.
What the Lady Rockets did to Roswell wasn’t right, they had their way with them and forced them into an almost desperate state at times in running their offense.
Roswell had trouble passing the ball and getting into their offense. Goddard’s defense was so dominant that they held Roswell to four points in the first quarter, setting the tone for the game. When they were able to get free looks they would miss easy layups or hurried their jumpers as Goddard suffocated the Coyotes with their defense on the way to a 53-39 win.
“We have to play better to start the game,” Roswell coach Fernando Sanchez said. “Can’t dig out of a hole like that against a quality opponent. We are going to have to learn to finish around the rim better too. We had some opportunities to cut into the lead and we didn’t take them. I thought Goddard shot the ball extremely well to start the game and we took some shots that may have been a little too deep to start. So we were settling too quickly. I’m gonna be real happy to see Bailey Beene graduate, she’s a hell of a player.”
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The other big two are starting to come together nicely as sophomore Lacie Schooley has become a dominant rebounder and is able to give the team extra opportunities by keeping the ball alive, and she will even look to score. One of her biggest assets is she can get out and run the floor, causing mismatches for the other team’s center.
Alexis Sandoval is starting to get comfortable and find her groove as a freshman, with the way she is handling the ball and taking the big shots when she has an open look. As with all of Neighbors’ teams they are starting to hone in and play their best basketball when it comes to district and playoff time. Not only are those three players starting to stand out, but coach Neighbors is getting good defense from Tanya Ueland and Alma and Cielo Salinas as well. The quarterback of the team getting them into the right sets is senior PJ Villareal.
“Two years ago we won state,” Neighbors said, “ last year we won the district. This program feels a responsibility to carry on the tradition. One thing unique about our program is everyone cares about each other and does their best everyday. We have 13 kids on this team and no one is more important than the next. People only see the ones on the court, but our bench is amazing in practice and keeping the energy in games. We are lucky to have people that care so much about the tradition we are building here. To sweep a program like Roswell is a testament to these girls and the preparation they put in every day. Bailey played like the dominant player she is, having Lacie (Schooley) and Alexis (Sandoval) step up in scoring was amazing. PJ, (Villareal) Tanya, (Ueland) and Cielo’s (Salinas) defense and poise was tremendous … total team effort.”
Goddard will be off until they play at Hereford Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Roswell will travel to Santa Teresa on Thursday for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off.