Home Sports Local Sports Goddard wins the district championship

Goddard wins the district championship

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

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It has taken five years of building and patience on both the fans of Goddard and coach Anthony Mestas. Finally, he has accomplished one of the first goals on his rung and that is winning a district title in the regular season.

The Rockets can scratch that goal off their list, as they dominated a Lovington Wildcat team that had trouble scoring the ball Tuesday night and won against Lovington, 54-29 at Wildcat Gym.

Goddard coach Anthony Mestas looks at the scoreboard after another Goddard victory. (Scott Stevenson File Photo)

“I’m just so happy for the kids,” Mestas said. “The kids deserve it. Our kids continued to put in the hard work during the summer, and in the offseason and even in the season. Our kids deserve to be successful. The nice part about this team is that they play as a team, and they all want to be successful.”

Goddard’s season seemed to change when they were 10-9, coach Mestas made the switch from matchup zone defense to going man-to-man. Mestas decided he had the athletes to pressure and the toughness to guard head up and deny the basketball. Since changing defense, his team is on a six-game winning streak and they have a chance to be undefeated in regular season district play.

“Our kids played great, pressure defense,” Mestas said. “We just played hard man-to-man defense. We wanted to play hard no matter who we were playing. We wanted to play hard and keep going.”

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The Rockets’ win guarantees a bye for them until the championship game in the district tournament next week, no matter what happens on Friday in Artesia.

Goddard, (16-9, 5-0 4A), had an easy time in this game as the defense keyed their offense. Goddard’s Jonah “Little General” took control of the game and led the team in scoring with 16 points. Another key move this season was Mestas keeping them together during a rough slide. He also brought up freshman big man, Noah Reese after the freshman season was over with. Reese is 6-foot-3 and has been a matchup problem for other teams in 4A to cover.

“Jonah Chavez has been the main man the whole year for us,” Mestas said. “He’s got his basketball legs under him now. He’s all-state in football and all-district in basketball and he’s going to do it again this year. Reese has been good enough to play with us all season, but we decided to bring him up at the end of the freshman season. He’s a big, strong kid who’s a matchup problem for other teams. We can play him all over. He can shoot the ball from outside and put it on the floor.”

Mestas cleared the bench with four minutes in the third quarter. Going into Artesia, Mestas looks to keep his team sharp and hungry. Backcourt mate Brandon Montanez added 12 points as he went four-of-six from the field with Reese putting in eight points.

“These kids get along with each other,” Mestas said. “They can care less about statistics, they just want to win. Our kids don’t care about the other stuff, they’re fun to be around and they enjoy each other.”

Goddard will travel to Artesia for their last game of the season when they play the Bulldogs at 7 p.m. Friday.

Goddard girls

Lovington 31, Goddard 30

Goddard girls lost a heartbreaker at Lovington, 31-30 Tuesday night. The Lady Rockets are 14-10 on the season and 2-3 in 4A.

Goddard will play at Artesia at 5:30 p.m. on Friday for the last game of the season.

Gateway Boys

Gateway 55, Tatum 42

Gateway’s Wes Tipton battles for position Tuesday night at home against Tatum. (Arnold Roe Photo)

Gateway Christian started off hot leading 21-8 after the first period. They could only score eight points in the second quarter and led at halftime, 29-17. Gateway Christian withstood a rally from Tatum and the Warriors ended up going 12-of-13 from the free throw line to put the game away.

Gateway travels to Lake Arthur for a 6:30 p.m. tipoff in their final game of the season.

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