Roswell senior Makenzie Tarin ignited her team by putting them on her back. Tarin carried the Lady Coyotes by scoring the team’s first nine points to start the game. Tarin drove baseline and was fouled on the game’s first two possessions, sending her to the line.
She hit four free throws and then scored on a pull-up jumper to give Roswell a 6-2 lead. After a Clovis turnover, she cooly stepped beyond the arc and hit a three-pointer to give the Lady Coyotes a 9-3 lead. Roswell would hold Clovis scoreless for five minutes in the first quarter. It was not enough to hold on as Clovis came back with a big third quarter to defeat Roswell, 49-33, at the Coyote Den Friday night.
“We know that we have trouble scoring at times,” Roswell head coach Fernando Sanchez said. “In that fourth quarter, we went extremely young. We had to rotate between four sophomores and four freshmen — they give us a different look and they play with a lot of energy.”
As it has been the story with the Lady Coyotes, they’ve had trouble scoring the ball for a long period of time. In this game, it was the second quarter when they only scored four points and the third quarter when they could only score five points.
The good news is Roswell didn’t quit. Roswell has found an inside presence in Kaitlyn Olguin, who scored seven tough points inside the lane in the fourth quarter as Roswell made a comeback to close the score 38-28 with 3:30 to play in the game. Momentum was on the side of Roswell as they forced turnover after turnover until Clovis took a timeout.
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“I think Kaitlyn Olguin is going to be tough,” Sanchez said. “I think she has a bright, bright future. There’s a lot of things she does well. She’s a sponge and she works hard. She takes everything we say and she works hard. She’s a great kid who’s going to have a great career for us.”
As Roswell pressed, Clovis threw the ball the length of the floor and scored a breakaway basket, to pull ahead, 46-33, with 1:26 to play in the game. On the next possession, Roswell turned the ball over. In the end, Roswell played with a sense of urgency as they scored 15 points in the fourth quarter to scare the Lady Wildcats. Olguin is another inside player to go along with Janae Faust, Clarissa Vega and Tarin.
“I was disappointed we came out flat,” Clovis coach Jeff Reed said. “I told my girls that Roswell was going to come out, this is their chance to be able to get a district win. Coach Sanchez is going to have them ready for this game. I knew that we had to match Roswell’s intensity.”
Roswell (7-16, 0-3 District 4-5A) will have their work cut out for them as they face Hobbs next. The Lady Coyotes will have to brace themselves for the press that the Lady Eagles throw at them. In a meeting on Jan. 28, Hobbs beat Roswell, 64-17.
“We know that we have to be able to score better,” Sanchez said, “that’s kind of been our Achilles’ heel this year and even tonight. I thought we did a decent job early and we had the lead.”
Roswell will play Hobbs at 7 p.m. Tuesday.