No one expected the effort that was given by the Goddard Rockets against their nemesis, the Roswell Coyotes. In a game that started with a frantic pace, with both teams diving on the floor for loose balls and bodies flying all around to steal passes and grab rebounds, most fans were surprised at the fight shown by the Rockets as they led at the end of the first quarter, 16-15.
The game was nip and tuck with the lead being exchanged several times. In the first half, both teams had players playing with three fouls as Goddard’s Jonah “Little General” Chavez was fearless in breaking Roswell’s press. After he would break the press, he would drive the lane and make a shot or set up his teammate for a three-pointer or a layup.
Matching Roswell score for score was Goddard big man Derek Carrica, who neutralized Roswell’s inside game and was a force in the first half.
The game was tied 24-24 when Chavez was diving for a loose ball and called for a foul. Chavez had two fouls on him and then was called for a personal foul and a technical with 4:30 left in the second quarter. Chavez had to sit for the rest of the half and all of the third quarter.
“When I got that foul they were pulling me down,” Chavez said. “I said to the referee that’s a foul both ways and then he T’d me up, which hurt us because that was my fourth foul.”
Support Local Journalism
Subscribe to the Roswell Daily Record today.
Support Local Journalism
Goddard coach Anthony Mestas had to alter his aggressive strategy when that happened. With his floor leader on the bench it was a game changer — and no matter how many comebacks the Rockets made it wasn’t enough to stop the Coyotes Dominic Nava and Taymon Burrola as they led the way to a Coyote victory, 80-71, at Ground Zero Tuesday night.
“We just didn’t play very good,” Roswell coach Moses “Dude” Burrola said. “We didn’t play very good and they were ready for the press. They were prepared and they did a good job, it’s hard to win on the road. We were able to get it done.”
Roswell (13-4) was shorthanded Talon Sanders, who did not dress for the game, and their bench was depleted. The Coyotes were in foul trouble but managed to get scoring from Rhett Stokes, who hit a big three-pointer and was aggressive at the front of their press. In the second quarter after the call on Chavez, Xavier Garcia dominated, hitting a 3 three-pointer in the quarter. Brandon Montanez would drive the length of the court and score an uncontested layup against Roswell’s defense — and then on a stolen pass and a basket to tie the score 36-36 with 1:35 until halftime.
“We played a good game,” Montanez said. “We just couldn’t make bunnies or free throws. We should have shot way better on free throws. I had to get the team back on track after the technical foul. We have to regroup for Saturday’s game.”
Goddard (9-8) had no answers for Roswell’s point guard in Burrola, as he scored four points in a row to give the Coyotes a 42-37 lead at halftime.
In the second half, Goddard’s team continued to press and closed the gap to 63-58 when Garcia hit a three — it was as close as they would come as Roswell would spread the floor and go four corners, forcing Goddard to foul.
“If we can play like we played tonight,” Mestas said. “If we can play like that against Chaparral, and the play like that against Clovis at the Rock and get a win over there and try to get one against Santa Teresa and go into the district on a little win streak, that’s what we want to do.”
Goddard returns to action on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. against Chaparral at Ground Zero.
Roswell is at the Coyote Den at 7 p.m. against Santa Teresa.