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Gateway still perfect in district play

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Sierra Fresquez was the hero for the Gateway Lady Warriors, scoring the winning basketball at the 5:00 mark of the first quarter, making the score 14-2 over the Elida Lady Tigers.

Fifth-ranked Gateway (18-2, 7-0 District 4-1A) didn’t have to score any more as they ran away with a 61-12 district win over Elida at home Friday night.

The game was in hand by the end of the first quarter with Gateway leading 28-2. By halftime, Gateway led 41-4.

A middle-aged Gateway couple became so unconcerned about the contest that they playfully began poking each other with candy wrappers — ah, love was in the air — after all, it was Valentine’s Day.

The only ones getting no love though was Elida. Gateway just went to task on the Lady Tigers who suited out only seven players — they had nine but two quit the team earlier in the week.

“You play with what you got, I am gonna be proud of them regardless,” said first-year coach Madison Haley, whose team fell to 2-21 and (1-7) in district.

“I’ve been on that other end,” Gateway coach Holly Tipton said, referring to Elida’s dismal season.

Tipton, who is in her ninth year at Gateway, pointed out that this year’s team has accomplished several firsts this season.

“This is the first time that we have ever been at 7-0 in district at this point of the season,” Tipton pointed out.

Gateway also has 18 wins — the most in a single season. Tipton added, “And we have beaten Tatum for the first time ever.”

With three district games remaining, Gateway can finish undefeated in district for the first time ever, as well.

The Lady Warriors were not going to take any chances in the game against Elida. “This game was 0-0 to begin with,” said Tipton.

It would have been easy for Gateway to play down to Elida. Instead, they played their game almost to perfection.

The Lady Warriors converted on their first five of six shots for a 10-2 lead in the first quarter and all of these points came off of front end layups.

“We kind of designed it that way, and didn’t have to shoot from the outside,” said Tipton.

As a matter of fact, Gateway did not attempt an outside shot at all in the first quarter.

Fresquez led the scoring in the first quarter with six points and ended the night with 12 points.

M.J. Stephens was right behind her with 10 points, and to round out the top scorers, Sarah Lilley pumped in eight points, and every player but two on the official scorebook recorded a score.

Elida was also their own worst enemy. They committed 23 turnovers in the game, and shot five of 26 from the field, but they were two-of-two from the free-throw line.

It was a pretty easy night for the officials who let the clock run at the 1:00 mark of the second period when Gateway led, 39-4.

Because of the mercy rule, anytime one team has a 35-point lead or more over another one, the game clock only stops for timeouts.

Gateway now has three games left in the season. “We don’t look ahead,” said Tipton. “Tatum is next and that’s who we have to prepare for.”

The Lady Warriors get the opportunity to sweep Tatum in district when they play them in Tatum at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Roswell comes back against Cavemen

By Matthew Asher
Carlsbad Current Argus

Roswell’s Taymon Burrola (24) gets a contested layup against Carlsbad in the second quarter of Friday’s game at The Cave in Carlsbad. Burrola finished with 19 points and Roswell won in overtime, 56-49. (Matthew Asher Photo/Carlsbad Current-Argus)

CARLSBAD – The Carlsbad Cavemen are still looking for their first district win after falling to Roswell on Valentine’s Day. The Cavemen had a great chance to give their seniors a proper sendoff on senior night but gave up a 12-point lead, allowing Roswell to send the game into overtime and went on a scoring run to end any chance of a Carlsbad comeback, 56-49.

How it happened

Carlsbad (14-10, 0-4, 4-5A) and Roswell played a tight first half with the Cavemen leading 27-26 after two quarters. Carlsbad had a great third quarter, building up a 41-29 lead before Noel Chacon buried a three-pointer to cut the lead to single digits before the third quarter ended. Carlsbad outscored Roswell in the quarter, 14-6 and looked to be on their way to their 15th win of the season.

Turning point

Roswell had other ideas. After struggling in the third quarter, the Coyotes found their long-distance stroke again while Carlsbad went cold. Roswell went on a 13-2 run and tied the game at 46 with two minutes left.

Both Roswell and Carlsbad went for game-winning shots in the final minute. It looked as though Carlsbad would be able to overcome the shooting woes when Shamar Smith took a layup to the hoop that went in with 0.4 seconds left but was called back for an offensive foul.

Roswell scored the first seven points of overtime and when Carlsbad’s Andrew Miller made a three-pointer of his own, it was too late for Carlsbad to regroup.

They said it

“In the third quarter, we just had a bad quarter. It just didn’t go in the basket for us. Carlsbad did a better job on (guarding) Taymon Burrola and neutralized him in the third quarter. I thought a couple shots were rushed but we had our opportunities. We tried to drive-and-kick and we just missed the shots. Fortunately, Noel Chacon hit some threes for us in the fourth quarter and we got what we wanted when Taymon got back into rhythm. We did what we needed to in the fourth quarter.”

— Dude Burrola, Roswell head coach

“Roswell stayed in their 1-2-2 and 2-3 defense all night. In the fourth, they started playing in our passing lanes. We couldn’t handle it and we turned it over. We turned it over too many times tonight. We had a chance with a 12-point lead but couldn’t hold on to it.”

— Steve Garza, Carlsbad head coach

Stat leaders

Carlsbad was led by Shamar Smith’s 20 points. He was the lone Caveman in double figures. Smith’s fellow seniors Riley Hestand, Evan Sullivan and Trai Calderon combined for 16 points.

Roswell was led by the trio of Taymon Burrola (19), Noel Chacon (17) and Freddie Anaya (10).

What’s next

The Cavemen will finish up the regular season on the road. Carlsbad travels to Clovis on Tuesday to make up for last week’s canceled game and travels to Hobbs on Feb. 21. Roswell will have a week off before hosting Clovis in its regular season finale on Feb. 21. All games are scheduled for 7 p.m.

Roswell goes cold from the field

By J.T. Keith
Roswell Daily Record

Roswell’s Mercedes Velasco (5) looks to pass the ball to a teammate last week against Clovis at the Coyote Den. (David Rocha File Photo)

If there were such a thing as a genie, and Roswell coach Fernando Sanchez had three wishes: His first wish would be to find scorers to put the ball in the basket. Once again, as has been their story all season long, the Lady Coyotes go cold from the field and cannot score the basketball.

It happened, not for one quarter, but two consecutive quarters in a district game against Carlsbad. In the second quarter, Roswell scored two points and in the third quarter, the Cavewomen held Roswell scoreless en route to a 49-30 win at Coyote Den Friday night.

“Our girls don’t quit,” Sanchez said. “I love that about our girls. I love that they have a lot of fight in them. Our young kids have a great future ahead of them. Our biggest Achilles’ heel is offense, we know that. Again, the second and third quarter was a killer for us. We have to do a better job of scoring.”

Roswell (7-16, 0-4, District 4-5A) looked to make it a game after being down 5-0 to start the first quarter. They scored when Jalen Baca scored a basket and then later in the quarter made a free throw to make the score 8-3 Carlsbad. After a couple of stops, senior Makenzie Tarin hit a mid-range jumper to make the score 8-5. Tarin then ended the scoring for the Lady Coyotes in the quarter with another jumper, as Roswell trailed, 11-7.

In the second quarter, Roswell had six turnovers and went 7:15 seconds without scoring. It was on a basket by Amariah Toscano, by then, the game was out of reach as Roswell trailed 23-9 going into halftime.

In the third quarter, Carlsbad went on a 20-0 run and held the Lady Coyotes scoreless for the quarter and took a 43-9 lead. Roswell had no answers for Carlsbad freshman Allie Myers, as she scored from the inside and with her three-point shooting.

“Allie (Myers) shot it well tonight,” Carlsbad coach John Zumbrun said. “Our defense is everything. We tell them the three ways you have to play in our program: You have to defend, you have to rebound and you have to take care of the basketball.”

Roswell played hard, they just could not score. Roswell won the battle of the second-teamer players as they scored 21 points in the final quarter. Going forward, Roswell has to get Kaitlyn Olguin on the floor for minutes and let her learn and grow.

Olguin is a banger and has a knack for scoring around the basket. She also led the team in scoring with nine points in limited minutes off the bench. Tarin was next with seven points and Baca chipped in with three points.

Roswell will play Hobbs Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at the Coyote Den in a makeup game for last Tuesday night. That game was canceled because of weather.