Home Sports Local Sports Lady Rockets roll into round 2 of playoffs

Lady Rockets roll into round 2 of playoffs

In this file photo, Goddard girls defeated Lovington on Feb. 26. The Lady Rockets face Artesia’s Lady Bulldogs tonight at 6 p.m. in Artesia.

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It’s another moving day for the Goddard Lady Rockets, (15-11), as they roll on to the second round of the District 4-4A tournament. Tonight, they take on the Artesia Lady Bulldogs in Artesia with the winner advancing to the championship game Friday night against Portales.

The late country music singer Merle Haggard had a huge hit with a song titled, “Big wheels rolling, moving on,” which also was the theme song for the television show, “Moving on,” that ran in the mid-1970s. The show was about the adventure and journey of two truckers, Will and Sonny, who traveled across the country. The Lady Rockets are on a similar journey. From here on, they will be on the road for as long as they are in post-season play.

Tuesday night was the last time that the Goddard Nation got to see the girls play at home, beating Lovington, 35-28. And just like Will and Sonny who lived like gypsies, always on the go, so will Goddard.

“We haven’t had many home games this year, so we’re familiar playing on the road,” coach Jared Neighbors said. “And going into Artesia tonight, their crowd will be loud. It will be a good playoff atmosphere for us.”

Of the eight games Goddard has played at visiting venues this year, they are 5 and 3. Entering tonight’s game, they take on a Lady Bulldogs team that is 17-9 on the year and finished at 4 and 2 in district. Tonight’s game is the rubber match between the two. Artesia beat Goddard, 59-42, in Artesia on Feb. 22.

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The Lady Rockets drew first blood against Artesia by blowing them out, 61-44, on Feb. 12 at Ground Zero.

So, coach, what’s the key to beating Artesia tonight?

“The key will be rebounding. They got us on the boards the last time. If we can win that battle and play good defense, we have a shot at winning,” said Neighbors.

The Lady Rockets also will have senior Bailey Beene, who was a member of the 2017 team that won the 5A title. She was instrumental in the win against Lovington on Tuesday.

“When Lovington tied it in the fourth quarter,” Neighbors said, “she stepped up and took over the game. She knows, like I do, for us to make any kind of run, she has to have help and she did from Alexis Sandoval, Lacie Schooley and P.J. Villareal — some other kids stepped up against Lovington.”

And as the Lady Rockets ride on the yellow dog to Artesia tonight, they may want to toss Haggard’s tape into the cassette player for a little inspiration, because from here on, they’ll be trucking it to Albuquerque — the final stop, The Pit. Tipoff tonight at 6 p.m.


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