Home Sports Local Sports Coyotes run Scorpions out of the gym, 77-55

Coyotes run Scorpions out of the gym, 77-55

From left, Derry Moore, former Roswell volleyball head coach Flo Valdez and Sally Knight. (David Rocha Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

By Mikayla Fuller
Special to RDR Sports

A pioneer was in the house, Sally Knight, and a Roswell High School champion legend was in the house, Jaeden De La Cerda. Fans came out to watch Knight receive her varsity letter for her letterman jacket presented by Duane Evans at halftime. Knight won a 2A state championship in volleyball at Dexter in 1998 and was coach of the year in ‘98.

The Roswell boys came out and ran Farmington out of the gym with a 77-55 win, at Coyote Den Thursday night in the opening game of the Sunrise Optimist Club Poe Corn Invitational Tournament.

“We got our tails kicked,” said Farmington Scorpion head coach, Larry Don Chitty. “Is that good enough? In the first quarter, I thought we played pretty well. In the second quarter, we lost it. We had six times where we turned it over and it wasn’t even on their press. We kind of handed it to them, but they’re good anyway. That’s where I thought the game really turned. They’re really good.”

So far this season, team MVP Dominic Nava was an unstoppable force and he hit two three-pointers with his high of 24 points. He was helped in high-scoring by Jasia Reese scoring 11, and TJ Fletcher with 10 points.

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The Coyotes didn’t need to keep the pressure on in their game against the Scorpions, but the fast pace is what gave them their lead, which stayed throughout the entire game. The Coyotes took the lead and ran, never allowing Farmington to catch up.

“We did what we needed to,” said Moises “Dude” Burrola. “We needed to have tonight what we had some guys contribute.”

Roswell played without starting guard, Taymon Burrola, who was sick. Roswell started Talon Sanders in his place. Sanders played excellent defense, pressured the ball and forced turnovers while scoring 4 points.

“Without Taymon tonight,” said Burrola, “we got help when we needed it. He’s sick and we will see how he feels tonight and tomorrow whether he will be able to play in the tournament. We may not get him back tomorrow and he may not be 100%, but we miss him. We had some scoring, but you could tell Dominic struggled without him. I think they feel comfortable with each other out there. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”

Duane Evans presented Coach Knight with a jacket at halftime, which was the 19th presentation of a jacket. She received a standing ovation from everyone in the crowd. The jacket symbolizes people who have given back to the community. Knight taught and coached for 40 years. She was a founding member of Title IX and she played in the first-ever state volleyball tournament in 1973 at Silver High School.

“It’s great,” said Knight, “40 years of teaching and coaching kids and a lot of fun times. It was amazing to win the state title Animus because they had beat us a week earlier. They had four 6-footers. We had a great group of girls that were determined to win.”

Roswell (8-3) wants to improve as a team and get better. They have depth and they want to limit the turnovers, make their free throws and make their press work better.

“We’re still working on things,” said “Dude.” “We’re still trying to incorporate stuff we’re working on. We’ll get our real test next week when we get Las Cruces and Onate. So that’s what we’re gearing for and we want to win all the games in between. We have to win one of those statement games next week. That’s what we’re looking for.”

Roswell will play tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Coyote Den against Gadsden.

Goddard comes back to win

By Tom A. Ruiz
Special to RDR Sports

The Goddard Rockets’ remarkable comeback in the fourth quarter over the Bloomfield Bobcats, 3-5, propelled them to their second win of the season, 62-47, Thursday night in the first round of the Sunrise Optimist Poe Corn Tournament at Ground Zero.

The score does not indicate what it took Goddard to get the win. They trailed for most of the game and at one point were down by 15 points in the second period, 29-14. By the third quarter, Goddard began to chop away at the lead and entered the fourth period trailing, 36-40.

It was one of the most gritty performances seen at Ground Zero in quite some time. The Rockets got the home crowd going with their hustle for loose balls on the court, into the bleachers and others dove into the exits for the rock.

“We’re down 11 points going into halftime, we get down 15 at one point and we end up winning by 15 — we’ll take the win, we needed a win and we got it,” said an ecstatic Goddard coach Anthony Mestas.

The youthful Rockets entered the game 1-8 on the season and were taking their licks early in the season. Coaches frequently latched on to one of the most overused cliches in sports. “Experience is the best teacher, and in the case of the Rockets, they have experienced some hard knocks.”

Thursday night they took Bloomfield’s best shots and were on the ropes. In the fourth quarter, they caught their second breath and began landing some big shots of their own.

Noah Reese used his dominant physique, converted a bucket underneath, was fouled and made the free throw for a 41-40 lead with 6:12 to go in the game.

Bloomfield answered momentarily and took the lead on a three-pointer and a layup for a 45-41 lead.

The Rockets though would not be denied, as Brandon Montanez came up with the performance of his basketball life. He gave Goddard the lead back on a scoop shot underneath the goal, a reverse layup and then was fouled in an attempted three-pointer. He stepped to the free-throw line and with ice in his veins, drained three consecutive free throws.

Damian Aragon and Anthony Panto made key buckets down the stretch, too, and left the Bobcats wondering what had just happened to them.

“Our kids showed a lot of energy, showed a lot of heart and a lot of want to — hopefully it will help us turn the corner,” Mestas said.

The Rockets will play Los Alamos at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Ground Zero.

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