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Rockets remain perfect in district

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Goddard’s Jonah Chavez drives the lane against Portales Friday night at Ground Zero. (Steve Notz Photo)

The Goddard Rockets and the Lady Rockets split their district games against the Portales Rams Friday night at Ground Zero. The Rockets made key free throws down the stretch in the fourth quarter and won by 10 with a score of 48-38, to improve to 4-0 in the district.

The Lady Rockets took a step back in their quest for a district title by dropping a 53-41 contest to Portales.

As Goddard longtime supporter Jerry King was saying goodbye to his beloved Rockets, the Goddard boys were also saying goodbye to the Portales Rams’ chances of winning a district title. They used a tenacious defense that allowed Portales a paltry eight points in the fourth quarter. Just as important, the Rockets converted 10 of 14 free throws in the quarter to keep the Rams at bay.

The win keeps the Rockets, (15-9, 4-0 3A), in first place in the district with two road games next week at Lovington Tuesday night and Artesia Friday night. Because Artesia beat Lovington Friday night and Portales lost, both have been eliminated from the district race, which could set up a potential title game for the Rockets at Artesia.

“First things first, Lovington is a tough place to play, I’m not taking anything from them,” said Rockets head coach Anthony Mestas.

That Goddard defense though has stepped it up. They have allowed, 42, 38 and 50 points in their last three games.

“I will hang our season on our defense. They kept attacking Portales and making them change up their shots.”

As was the case with freshmen Noah Reese — he only scored two points but it was played on defense that forced Portales to rotate the ball away from him. A couple of times they double-dared him and responded by knocking the ball away.

Portales didn’t go challenge him again. However, the Rams did give the Rockets fits, especially in the first quarter when they took a 14-13 lead. They matched the Rockets basket for basket and also led 22-20 going into halftime.

Entering the third period, the Rockets put the clamps on the Rams, five of the first seven Ram possessions. The Rockets forced them into turnovers and by the end of the quarter, Goddard had outscored the Rams, 11-4.

The fourth quarter belonged to Goddard at the charity stripe. Brandon Montanez stepped up and made six of eight free throws and Xavier Garcia calmly sank five free throws down the stretch.

Goddard girls

Portales 53, Goddard 41

The Goddard Lady Rockets and the Lady Rams were less than ladylike in their district tilt Friday night at Ground Zero against Portales. Goddard played well, but Portales played better. The first two quarters were back in fourth.

The loss drops Goddard to 2-2 in the district and diminished their chances of winning the district title.

Entering the third period, Goddard only trailed 22-17. But that all changed when Portales scored on five consecutive possessions. In that span, Portales scored three triples and two goals and that turned out to be the difference in this game.

“We could’ve played better. I was proud of the girls, they hung in there, like diving for loose balls and not letting Portales get out on fast breaks,” said Goddard coach Jared Neighbors.

The Lady Rams finished the quarter on a 23-10 run.

The fourth quarter could’ve belonged to anyone — The Lady Rams managed only eight points and all of them were free throws. Goddard just could not find its rhythm. The Lady Rockets will have to regroup with two district games remaining all on the road.

“We’ll have to buckle down, we know what’s ahead of us,” said Neighbors.

Roswell boys

Roswell 46, Carlsbad 37 

Roswell’s Miguel Baray drives down the court during Friday night’s game against Carlsbad at the Coyote Den. (David Rocha Photo)

Roswell coach Moses “Dude” Burrola accepted an impossible mission on Tuesday night after his team lost at home to Hobbs. If they would like to make it to the postseason and possibly host a postseason game, his team is going to have to win the remaining two games of the season.

No one told coach Burrola that he would have to play without the heartbeat of his team in Dominic Nava or be without backup point guard Cristian De La O, who has missed two out of the last three games. Roswell had to be careful of Carlsbad, because on Tuesday they upset the No. 1 seed in the district in Clovis, 45-35.

With a must-win needed, the Coyotes had to feel good about themselves as they accomplished half of the mission with a 46-37 physical victory over Carlsbad Friday night at the Coyote Den.

Roswell managed to replace those players with another sophomore in guard Dayton Gonzales, who stepped up big in his hustle effort on defense and ball handling to relieve pressure off of point guard Taymon Burrola.

Roswell, (17-8, 2-3 5A), has to learn to play a more disciplined game and not get silly fouls. The Coyotes had two technical fouls accessed on them in the game: The first with 4:04 in the first quarter and then the last one with 00.6 seconds on the clock to give the Cavemen life.

What was outstanding was that Roswell came out and shut down the offense of the Cavemen. Roswell held them to seven points in the first quarter and led 19-15 at halftime. To start the third quarter, Roswell withstood a three-pointer by Carlsbad’s Riley Hestand from the top of the key to take a 25-24 lead. Roswell’s Miguel Baray came back and hit a three-pointer from the elbow to give Roswell a 27-25 lead in which they never relinquished.

Roswell turned up the defense in the fourth quarter as they didn’t allow Carlsbad to score a point until 2:55 left to play in the game as Roswell went on an 8-0 run. Roswell was at times undisciplined as they committed fouls and allowed Carlsbad to stay in the game. Roswell’s fouls put Carlsbad at the line as the Cavemen scored five points with no time off the clock at the free throw line to make the game closer than it had to be.

Roswell was led in scoring by Taymon Burrola who had 18 points. Miguel Baray put in 12 points, Tarren Burrola added 11 points and Juan Ybarra chipped in with three points.

Roswell accomplished half their mission winning Friday night at home — now comes the hard part. Roswell has to go on the road and play at the Rock. Roswell has to defeat a Clovis team they lost to at home, 62-54, on Feb. 8.

Roswell ends their regular season when they travel to Clovis on Friday for a 7 p.m. tipoff.

Roswell girls

Carlsbad 50, Roswell 27

Roswell went on the road and gave a scare to Carlsbad in the first half forcing the Cavewomen to regroup at halftime. Roswell limited Carlsbad’s scoring threats of Carsyn Boswell and Kaliyah Montoya to 13 points in the first half.

In the third quarter, Carlsbad went on a 16-4 run, which Roswell had no answers for. The Lady Coyotes would hit a free throw in the first minute of the third quarter but was held scoreless until the final 30 seconds of the quarter when Jalen Baca drained a three from downtown.

“We just told them to keep doing what we talked about in our pregame plan,” Roswell coach Fernando Sanchez said. “Carlsbad is such a good team, you know they’ll get opportunities. I told them (team) we needed to try to weather any little run Carlsbad made. We didn’t do a good job of that in the third quarter.”

Roswell was led in scoring by Cheyenne Martinez with 14 points and Jalen Baca added five points.

Roswell will play their final home game of the season at the Coyote Den when they take on Clovis at 7 p.m. Friday.

Dexter boys

Dexter 52, Tularosa 35