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Tournament of Champions roundup

Goddard’s Ericca Cannon (4) shoots over a Carlsbad defender Thursday in Artesia. (J.T. Keith Photo)

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Roswell boys come up short

Roswell’s Juan Ybarra (32) shoots over a Rio Rancho defender Thursday in Artesia. (J.T. Keith Photo)

Roswell had a look at the basket with 1.6 seconds left in the game. Taymon Burrola squeezed between Rio Rancho defenders and was hit as he shot the ball. No foul was called as the shot hit the rim but came up short, giving Rio Rancho a 59-57 win in the Tournament of Champions on Thursday.

Roswell had to overcome a 41-32 deficit with 1:44 to play in the third quarter. The officials let the teams play with Jasia Reese, fouling out of the game midway in the fourth quarter.

When Rio Rancho’s coach Wally Salata complained about the fouls, the officials could be heard telling him it’s physical. The fourth quarter was played at the foul line as it turned into a foul shooting contest while Roswell continued to climb out of the hole, slowly chipping away Rio Rancho’s lead of 49-42 with 6:38 to play in the game.

Roswell’s Dominic Nava took the game over for the Coyotes and imposed his will, scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter. Not only did he score but he grabbed four rebounds and had three steals down the stretch.

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Roswell has played three games this season and every game has come down to a two-point win, but this one was a loss. The Coyotes will be exciting this season with every game going down to the last second.

One of the bright spots for the Coyotes early this season has to be Xavier Sosa, who scored four points in the game, but his ability to handle the ball and be an offensive threat playing pressing defense will be needed this season.

Other bright spots were Talon Sanders and Cristian De la O. It has only been four days since the football players have joined the basketball team and once they get into basketball shape, opponents will have to look out.

“We’re a little bit rusty with the football guys,” Roswell coach Moses “Dude” Burrola said. “It was free throws and layups that cost us this game. We’re going to be resilient — we have a pretty experienced group. Even at the end, we had an open shot.”

Roswell will play Deming at 10 a.m. today at the Tournament of Champions in Artesia.

Roswell girls vs Deming

Roswell’s Jalen Baca (1) surveys the court against Deming Thursday in Artesia. (J.T. Keith Photo)

It’s this plain and simple, if the Roswell girls basketball team is going to have any kind of season, they’re going to have to score the ball. Deming was begging for them to score by the way they gave RHS a free pass to the basket, uncontested shots and they still couldn’t score.

In their first game of the season, Roswell went scoreless in the first quarter. After halftime, they managed to score three points in the third quarter, ending with a 46-24 loss Thursday at the Tournament of Champions in Artesia.

“We got to be able to score,” Roswell coach Fernando Sanchez said. “We can’t keep missing easy shot after easy shot in games. I thought we played fairly well defensively and the girls responded on the defensive side.”

Roswell is young and did a lot of things good, but they missed layups and free throws. Janae Faust is a difference-maker as her size alone has teams afraid to attack on the inside.

Faust blocked four shots in this game and altered another eight shots — she grabbed six offensive rebounds. When Roswell really wants to try and take advantage of their size, they go inside to Clarissa Vega and Makenzie Tarin. Both players are good at drawing fouls and getting to the line.

“We had a lot of open looks,” Sanchez said. “I think we did a good job defensively, we just missed way too many easy shots with our big kids inside.”

The other thing that did-in the Lady Coyotes this game was the turnovers. If Roswell is going to be successful this season, they will have to hit their free throws. The turnovers are really not that big of a deal, because they’re playing at a faster pace and trying to force other teams to match their speed.

Roswell and Goddard will meet for the first time this year — they will play at 8:30 a.m. today at the Tournament of Champions in Artesia.

Goddard girls lose to Carlsbad

Goddard coach Jared Neighbors knew coming into the season his team would need plenty of tender loving care. Not because of the grind of high school basketball, but because his ladies are young. This group of athletes are the youngest of his tenure at Goddard.

The Lady Rockets fell to Carlsbad, 45-21, after a slow start Thursday in the Tournament of Champions in Artesia.

“This is probably the best team we will play all year,” Neighbors said. “First half didn’t go real well, but the second half, we outscored them and that was our goal at halftime.”

They will need his guidance in the little things like playing at 8:30 a.m. Those are the kind of games and times that teams play when they are at state. Maybe it’s an omen of things to come for this very young Rockets team.

Goddard (1-1) on the season will take on the winner of Deming and Roswell at — you guessed it — 8:30 a.m. Friday. With a young team, the little goals are as big as the big goals. By taking care of the little goals, it will lead to the ultimate goal of the Lady Rockets making a run at another Blue Trophy.

In this game, coach Neighbors hoped to outscore the 5A Carlsbad in the second half and they did, 15-9. Small strides lead to big gains.

Goddard’s Daci Smith hit a three-point shot with 1:54 left in the third quarter to get Goddard going. Goddard held Carlsbad to six points in the third quarter.

“I thought in the second half, we battled well,” Neighbors said. “We never gave up against a top team in 5A. I like where we’re at — we finished well and never gave up. I’m happy we’re playing a top team right now and I like where we’re at, this is good for us.”

Goddard plays Roswell today at 8:30 a.m. in Artesia.

Sports editor J.T. Keith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or sports@rdrnews.com.

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