For Goddard’s boys basketball team, three of the team’s goals are accomplished: Win district in the regular season, win the district tournament, advance to the Elite Eight and see what happens. Goddard has done all of that and gotten to The Pit.
Goddard will have to play No. 3 seed Silver Fighting Colts. Both teams are heavy in seniors and both match up well with each other. Goddard might have the height advantage and both teams have special guards. Goddard has three guards that can handle the ball in Jonah “Little General” Chavez, who runs the point and is equally adept at getting his own shot and hitting an open teammate.
Off guard Brandon Montanez has been perfect in his role as he can penetrate and score inside the lane. Montanez has the height to post up and has the shooting ability to hit the three-point shot. Coach Anthony Mestas uses defensive ace Jon “Lockdown” Carrillo to stymie other teams’ top scorers. Teams that sleep on his offense usually get burned because he can hit the three-pointer and drive inside as well. Mestas is playing with three guards.
Carrillo’s defense and offense in the first half kept Goddard in the game against Portales. In this game, he will match up against Silver’s Tristin Moore who is special in that he is basketball savvy — he just has a feel for the game and does enough to help his team win. Look for Carrillo to draw this assignment.
The Fighting Colts are a senior-laden team and are used to playing in the playoffs. This team doesn’t have a style — they are more like a chameleon and they adjust to whatever their opponents do. Sometimes they run a man-to-man press and other times they will run a 1-2-2 defense, and they are comfortable getting up and down the court, and at other times, they will slow it down.
“I don’t have a style,” Fighting Colts’ coach Brandon Siqueiros said. “I just want my guys to play hard defensively, and offensively, we work on execution. If our points come fast, they come fast. I try to develop my players and hopefully they make good decisions.”
Coach Siqueiros has nothing but respect for the Rockets. He feels like Goddard plays hard and their program continues to get better under Mestas. These teams have not played each other since Kevin Jones coached, but they have played each other in the summertime.
“I like our matchup,” Goddard coach Anthony Mestas said. “I think we match up well with them. We have a defender that can match their best player and we have a height advantage on them.”
Look for Goddard to go to Derek Carrica as the senior makes his last run in the tournament. Carrica has an array of offensive moves that should allow him to score, get to the free throw line or find an open teammate.
Mestas likes the rugged play of Hunter Beene as he has kept the ball alive on the glass and scored on outback. Freshman Noah Reese has gotten better as the season has gone on. Reese took the charge against Portales with five seconds to play to allow Goddard to win that game and get to this game. Look for Xavier Garcia to affect the outcome of this game with his defense and if need be, to hit a jumper when he is open.
Mestas believes the keys to the game are making their free throws and playing good defense. He also feels like they have to be stellar on the boards and outrebound Silver if they are going to have any chance to win and continue on.
“The Portales win was a great win,” Mestas said. “I think we can play a whole lot better. We’ll be ready tomorrow. We are up here to take care of business, we’re not up here for a vacation.”
Goddard (19-9), plays Silver (23-4), today at 8 a.m. at Dreamstlyle Arena (The Pit).
For Goddard’s bracket, please see page B3 of Tuesday’s edition.