It was over with once the ball went in the air to tip off the game. Goddard coach Anthony Mestas started five seniors on Senior Night. For the Sundown Roughnecks, they were beaten at every bounce and turned from Roughnecks into no-necks.
Goddard found their three-point shooters with the return of the “Mad Bomber” — senior Austin Ramey hit three threes to score 10 points as Goddard romped over the Roughnecks, 73-35, at Ground Zero on Tuesday night.
“I’m just happy and excited for the seniors,” Goddard coach Anthony Mestas said. “The seniors performed well and had lots of playing time. This was a good win for us.”
Ramey wasn’t the only Rocket bombing away from three-point land. Senior big man Anthony Panto hoisted up a three-pointer in front of the elbow and hit nothing but nylon as the crowd and bench erupted. Panto would also score 10 points.
“Tony Panto hit a three,” Mestas said. “His shot got the crowd up and at them. I’m happy for them and they made some good memories tonight.”
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If that wasn’t enough to bring the house down, guard Gabriel Campos hit a three-pointer in front of the bench and was fouled. The officials called the shot off, but Campos was feeling it and on the next possession, hit another three-pointer.
Goddard dominated from the opening tip of the ball. Senior guard Brandon Montanez stole the show with his ability to see over the press and almost single-handedly break it. Montanez was a force at getting to the rim and shooting over the smaller Sundown Roughnecks. He also was able to hit the mid-range jumper and lead the team in scoring with 23 points.
Impressive in the showing were a group of players.
Taylor Ramage, who had a nice game and was an enforcer when things started to get rough. He would play good defense and collect key rebounds to go along with three points.
James Torrez is the speedy shooting guard that is starting to find his shot. He has the ability to shake a defender and get his own shot. Torrez added seven points and his quickness is an asset to get past defenders. He hit a three-pointer. Senior Michael Mejia added five points but played good defense and helped bring the ball up the court. He also was not afraid to grab rebounds on both ends of the floor.
Noah Reese played well and was in foul trouble in the third quarter. He added five points. Goddard is playing Mestas’ favorite style of ball: man-to-man defense and getting up and down the court. Mestas was able to empty his bench and let all of his players, such as Jared and Jeremy Hicks, play well. Gavin Archer saw playing time along with Damian Aragon.
Goddard, 6-10 on the season, is on a three-game winning streak. Goddard will be off until next Tuesday when they face rival Roswell. Mestas said that against Silver his team hit nine three-pointers for the first time this season and making those shots has carried over — and he hopes it will carry over to district play.
Mestas assesses each senior: “Austin Ramey, lots of energy and a great shooter.”
Brandon Montanez: “Great leader and he’s been playing on varsity four years.”
Michael Mejia: “He’s been a journeyman and been doing good. He’s staying in there and he’s a great teammate.”
Taylor Ramage: “Has made huge leaps and bounds and tremendous improvement coming from a freshman to the C-team and junior varsity to the varsity.”
Anthony Panto: “Come to us from California, we kind of recruited him to play basketball when Hunter Beene got injured. He has stepped in and provided a spark for us. He’s big and wide, he’s got a couple of football scholarships.”
Hunter Beene: “He’s just an all-around kid. We wish that he was playing this year. We are so sad that he has an injury. He had such a great summer for us. He played amazing his freshman, sophomore and junior year. He’s just a great inspirational leader on the bench for us.”
“Overall” Mestas said, “this 2020 class is a great group of kids who worked hard. They all have great attitudes, and are good in the classroom. They take coaching and don’t give me any trouble, or bring drama to the team. I never had any issues with them. These kids are great individuals.”
Sports editor J.T. Keith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or firstname.lastname@example.org.