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Roswell looks to advance against Atrisco Heritage

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Roswell’s Tarren Burrola takes a three-point shot against Santa Teresa Jan. 18 at the Coyote Den. (David Rocha File Photo)

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It’s that time of the season, one and done. For the Roswell boys basketball team, they will have to get it together in a hurry. Roswell is in a tailspin in which they are 3-6 over their last nine games. None of that matters now as they face the dangerous Atrisco Heritage Academy today on the road.

What’s at stake is a chance to advance to the Elite Eight and have a shot at the Blue Trophy. Roswell has had to adjust to the speed of the game in moving up to 5A basketball. Normally they scrimmage the likes of Los Lunas and Volcano Vista, but this season, it has been a steady diet of tough game after tough game, and this season’s district was no picnic either.

Roswell will look to get Tarren Burrola untracked early. Burrola is the school’s all-time three-point leader in attempts, makes and percentage. He is also the last player that won a state title in 2016.

This is a game when his brother Taymon will not only have to score but get others involved in the game and make sure he is scoring as well.

The Jaguars play a lot like Gallup, only they are more athletic and they like to get up and down the floor. This game is going to be a game of attrition — Roswell cannot get into foul trouble and they have to limit second-chance opportunities and rebound the ball at both ends of the floor.

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This is the perfect matchup for the Coyotes because neither team is tall. This game is going to be a run and gun game. The Jaguars want to spread Roswell out and look for their No. 1 scoring threat in Joziah Ramos, who is a 5-foot-6 junior guard and is ultra-quick. His game is that he wants to put the ball on the floor and get to the lane and either score or dish for an assist. More times than not, Ramos often is shooting free throws.

One change for the Coyotes is they will start sophomore Talon Sanders on Ramos to try to slow Ramos down. According to coach Moses “Dude” Burrola, Sanders may be the team’s best athlete. Look for Rhett Stokes to help out on Ramos and Cristian De la O, and Freddie Anaya to help out as well.

“They are pretty similar to what we do,” “Dude” Burrola said. “We match up to them pretty well — because of that — I think we match up to them pretty well. I think we got a pretty good draw, it’s better than matching up with someone that had a lot more size than us. We got a pretty good draw there. They’re a top-four team in the state. We are going to have to play.”

On defense, look for the Jaguars to play man-to-man most of the time, which should play to Roswell’s strength of drive to the rim and either hit a layup or kick to the open man in the corner for an uncontested shot.

“In spite of everything that’s gone on this season,” “Dude” Burrola said, “we’re still 17-10. We could have been better, we could have been worse. We’ve hung in there and fought through it and the team has fought through it. Everybody is 0-0 — hopefully, these guys will catch fire and we’ll see what happens.”

Burrola has told his team that the sophomores have to play their game and not play scared. Burrola is also looking to Dominic Nava and Miguel Baray. Burrola thinks that quiet sophomore big man Alonzo Acosta will get some minutes in this game.

“We don’t want to be done,” “Dude” Burrola said. “Certainly in this classification, I told our team, the further we go, the better we are going to be. We have nothing to lose — we are the underdogs and the smallest school in the whole class. Let’s just go out there and see what we can do. Now it’s money time.”

This could be the last game that father coaches his son, Tarren Burrola. Coach Burrola feels like Tarren Burrola is going to have to carry the team, not only on offense but with his leadership.

“He’s going to be missed,” “Dude” Burrola said.

With only one guaranteed game left in their season, Roswell is hoping to survive and advance.

Roswell plays at Atrisco Heritage Academy at 5 p.m. today.

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