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Rockets beat Warriors at the Shootout

Goddard’s Noah Reese (22) prepares to drive against a Roswell defender last month at Ground Zero. (Steve Notz File Photo)

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Goddard Rockets’ coach Anthony Mestas finally got from his players what he had been looking for — four quarters of consistency in the Rockets’ 64-50 win over the host Ruidoso Warriors at the Ruidoso Mountain Madness Shootout at Warriors Gym Friday night.

“Finally, it was a hurdle that we finally jumped over,” said Mestas. “I think we were up by 15 in that first quarter and we kinda let them back in the second, but I was proud of our team’s effort against a very good Ruidoso team.”

The Rockets, 4-10, and the Warriors, 5-6, were similar to each other entering the game. Both squads are still trying to find their identity. Both teams are very young squads, both have a go-to player in Noah Reese of Goddard and Grant Oberheu of Ruidoso. Reese finished with 14 points on the night, Oberheu tallied 13 points.

In this game though, the Rockets spread the wealth in scoring, too. Brandon Montanez was the high-point man for Goddard with 16 points. Anthony Panto had four points, James Torrez pumped in seven.

Goddard never trailed in this game. They raced out to a 4-0 first-quarter lead and by the end of it, led 21-11.

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“We went out in front and stayed out in front,” Mestas pointed out. The Rockets also were diving for loose balls and hustling back on defense. Time and time again, they caught the Warriors in a transition game and had five blocked shots in the game.

At halftime, the Rockets led 34-27, and entering the third quarter, they held off a mini-comeback by Ruidoso. The Warriors connected on their first two shots of the third period, to cut the Goddard lead to three, 34-31.

But that’s as close as the Warriors would get. After that, the Rockets went on a 7-0 run and by the end of the third period, led 54-41. Both teams played each other pretty evenly in the fourth period. The Rockets scored 10 and Ruidoso 9 points.

Next up for the Rockets is Silver, the team that knocked off the Rockets in the quarterfinals of the 4A state tournament last season. When asked about a little payback, Mestas downplayed the game.

“They are a different crew and we are a different team, too,” Mestas said.

Silver is struggling this year at 1-10. They lost to Moriarty Friday, 49-45, in overtime at the Shootout and were hammered by Artesia, 76-23, on Thursday in the first round of the tournament.

Goddard and Silver square off today at 1 p.m. at the Ruidoso Gym.

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