Home Sports Local Sports Coyotes upset Gadsden in tournament, 64-57

Coyotes upset Gadsden in tournament, 64-57

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Roswell’s Jasia Reese (4) gets control of the ball against Gadsden Friday night at the Coyote Den. (Scott Stevenson Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

In a highly anticipated game of two undefeated teams in the Sunrise Optimist Club Poe Corn Invitational Tournament, Roswell was neck and neck against the Gadsden Panthers.

Gadsden ended the first quarter with 10 fouls compared to Roswell’s three. Coaches, players and fans were all-in for a heated and physical game.

Back and forth between scoring points, the Coyotes delivered an intense game and deserved their win of 64-57.

“It was a hell of a game,” said Panther coach Juan Gonzales. “It’s kind of tough to swallow. We have to come into Roswell’s house and pull out a win here and it’s tough. They’re a good team. I think they’re a top 10 team in the state. It’s tough to lose a game.”

Although it can be difficult to keep the intensity in the second half of the game, the Coyotes did their job in holding the Panthers at bay. Roswell kept the lead and increased it even further — never letting Gadsden get within five points. The energy was matched on both teams, but Roswell pushed their drive to the next level and persevered.

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“I thought we executed what we needed to,” said RHS coach Moises “Dude” Burrola. “We knew they were going to be a tough team. We’ve played some tough people already and we knew they were going to be scrappy as far as the way they played defense and what they did offensively in the end. We changed up our defense a little bit and did what we needed to, to win.”

The Coyotes may have walked away with a win, but they took a beating physically. Taymon Burrola was back in the game from the flu, and Dominic Nava rolled his ankle. The team needs rest in preparation for the championship game Saturday.

“We just have to play (Saturday),” said Burrola.

Roswell will be playing in the championship game today against rival Goddard at 4 p.m. at Coyote Den.

Goddard to meet Roswell in Poe Corn championship

By J.T. Keith
Roswell Daily Record

Goddard was down and wounded. Goddard coach Anthony Mestas wouldn’t let his team stay down or quit on themselves or the season. Mestas knew that because he had lost Hunter Beene and Ryan Terry for the season, the New Mexico Activities Association wouldn’t cancel the rest of the schedule for Goddard.

Nothing like a little home cooking and players starting to believe in themselves and make big shots. Nothing like a 15-point come-from-behind win against Bloomfield on Thursday night to win 62-47.

Goddard, normally a zone defense and a walk-it-up-the-court team has turned into Showtime as they are playing freewheeling and loose.

“We played hard against Bloomfield yesterday (Thursday),” Goddard coach Anthony Mestas said. “Second half we exploded.”

The Rockets played such an entertaining style that Los Alamos was unable to defend the fast break, or stop the mid-range jumper in the lane. Goddard had plenty of players getting into the scoring act. Led by guard Brandon Montanez’s 23 points, Goddard pulled away from Los Alamos, 82-66 Friday night at Ground Zero.

“Tonight our first half was fabulous,” Mestas said. “Second half we got a little complacent. We let them back in the game.”

Goddard is looking a lot like cross-town rival Roswell whom they will meet in the championship game today at 4 p.m. at Coyote Den.

Goddard switched from a zone defense to a man-to-man defense with trapping and it forced Los Alamos into a quicker game and turnovers. Goddard controlled the paint and rebounds with play from first-year player Anthony Panto, and Noah Reese who added 10 points and altered multiple shots. Goddard also is starting to find their game with exciting Damian Aragon who kicked in 14 points and running mate James Torrez who put in 14 points as well.

Goddard (3-8) extended the floor and coach Mestas played a lot of players and will need them as they get ready for district. A lot of teams shouldn’t sleep on this team, because they’re going to be a tough out once tournament play comes around. The thing is, Goddard players are going to have to continue to grow up fast and play fast.

“Goddard came out on fire,” Los Alamos coach Benito Maestas said. “They were on fire in the first half. Goddard is a good shooting team, we couldn’t buy a basket.”

Montanez is starting to exert his senior leadership and having the offense run through him, as he tried to get into the lane. Once in the lane, he is either finishing, getting an assist or getting to the line. Once the inside game is established, the jump shots are open and they were on Friday night.

Goddard will have to face Roswell in the championship game today. No matter what happens in the game, if you’d have told Mestas that he would have a chance to win in the Poe Corn Tournament against a team they had lost to eight days ago, secretly, he’d be thrilled. These two games for Goddard basketball will be the measuring stick in which to play and fight this season to the end, no matter what.

“I’m glad we won,” Mestas said. “We’ll get ready for Roswell tomorrow. Roswell has shooters, they have Nava, who can shoot the lights out. They space the floor well and pressure like crazy. We have to handle their press and do better than last time.”

Goddard plays Roswell for the Poe Corn championship at 4 p.m. today at Coyote Den.