Home Sports Local Sports Goddard girls win third place at Holiday Classic over Roswell

Goddard girls win third place at Holiday Classic over Roswell

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Goddard defeated Roswell to finish in third in the Goddard Holiday Classic Tournament. (Steve Notz Photo)

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The Goddard Lady Rockets took third place at the Goddard Holiday Classic Tournament, 57-29, over the Roswell Lady Coyotes at Ground Zero Saturday afternoon.

What a difference a day makes after one of their worst performances on Friday resulting in a 44-40 loss to Bloomfield, Goddard (9-2) bounced back with a basketball clinic on Saturday.

They moved the ball around, ran a pretty good transition game and made the triples when they got the open shots. Alexis Sandoval made four of her three-pointers to finish with 21 points for the game.

But it was Daci Smith who ignited Goddard’s three-point shooting in the first quarter. She scored six of Goddard’s first eight points in the first 90 seconds of the game for an 8-2 Goddard lead.

“We definitely responded well, that was our challenge, our focus today was to take out the sloppiness and play with an intensity we played with Friday and do it for four quarters today,” said Jared Neighbors.

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“We felt we did that for a majority of the game and shot very well. We are fun to watch when we can play like that.”

Cruising 35-10 into the third quarter, the Lady Rockets hit a lull where they missed on eight of nine shots and Roswell took advantage of it.

Roswell (4-9) came up with two turnovers and tallied seven points and a 35-8 lead had been trimmed to 35-10 heading into the fourth period.

“Our girls battled, they didn’t quit — I’m proud of them for that. Take away those first two quarters and we’re in this game,” Roswell coach Fernando Sanchez pointed out.

The Lady Coyotes took Goddard’s best punches in the fourth quarter, but they wouldn’t go down. They countered with their inside game with Clarissa Vega and Janae Faust.

Vega finished with four points and Faust had two. But it was the way both played in the paint. Vega got into the grill of her defenders while Faust found the opening and went to the hole.

Their efforts came late in the fourth period, but they no doubt left an impression. Goddard only outscored Roswell 10-7 in the final period.

“We just want to improve every game, and I feel like we are beginning to do that,” said Sanchez.

As for Goddard, they’re learning some life lessons, too. “It was the way we responded from Friday’s loss. Our challenge was to play forced for 32 minutes. We were almost there, maybe for 27, 28 minutes as we prepare for February and March,” Neighbors pointed out.

For now, the Lady Rockets are the queens of basketball in the city of Roswell. However, the Lady Coyotes have too much tradition not to regain that status they held for so many years.

They will rise back to the top and the city of Roswell will have competitive programs that the rest of the state will have to take notice of.