Home Sports Local Sports Goddard girls ruin Artesia’s upset hopes

Goddard girls ruin Artesia’s upset hopes

Goddard’s Alexis Sandoval (12) takes a shot over an Artesia defender Tuesday at Ground Zero. (Steve Notz Photo)

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For the first quarter, Artesia looked as if they might pull an upset, as Tyson Fury battered Deontay Wilder into a knockout Saturday night. After halftime, Goddard girls did the exact same thing to the Lady Bulldogs. It was their suffocating defense with the lady in the middle, Aliyah Valdez blocking shots and altering them. Valdez had seven block shots on the night, to go along with eight points. Goddard would run away from Artesia, 55-32, Tuesday night at Ground Zero.

“Good win for us,” Goddard coach Jared Neighbors said. “This is the fourth time we have played them and this is the best game, by far, Artesia has given us.”

Not only was the defense turned up, but Goddard had the press working and their half-court defense only allowed nine points in the second half. On the offensive end of the floor, Daci Smith hit from three-land and led the team in scoring with 18 points. Ambrosia Teasyatwho chipped in 11 points and had 10 rebounds with her hustle. Ericca Cannon added 10 points.

“I like our team,” Neighbors said. “No one cares who scores or gets the credit, they all play unselfishly. We have kids making assists, steals and rebounds. This is a good team and a fun team — everybody is chipping in.”

It is hard to beat a team three times in a row, and the game started a little shaky, as Goddard trailed in the first quarter, 14-11. Goddard managed to take a 26-23 lead into the half. This win was at home and will give the Lady Rockets momentum going forward.

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Goddard seems to have gotten their second wind as they suffered a couple of losses in the regular season. A lot of that can be attributed to the physical play in District 4-4A. It is rematch time as they will play Lovington.

In the first meeting between these two teams, Lovington upset Goddard 51-39. In the rematch on Feb. 18, Goddard won at home in a low-scoring game, 33-24. This game will be about who can control the tempo. Goddard has so many weapons that anyone is capable of scoring and beating their opponent.

Goddard (21-6) will travel to Lovington Thursday for a 6 p.m. tip.

Roswell snatches defeat from hands of Carlsbad

Roswell’s Taymon Burrola (24) hits a three-pointer against Carlsbad Tuesday at the Coyote Den. (Shawn Naranjo Photo)

For Roswell Coyote basketball fans, parents, players and coaches — they have to be adrenaline junkies with no health problems. If they were named after a TV show, it would be “Survivor.” Plain and simple, they snatched defeat out of the hands of Carlsbad.

Carlsbad had the lead until 3:32 to play in the game. That’s when Dominic Nava took over and did his thing, scoring on a crossover move and was harmed on the way to the basket. It would be enough with the help of his sidekick Taymon “Iron Man” Burrola as he scored Roswell’s last seven out of eight points with a three-pointer, a couple of free throws and then bodied himself inside to score as Roswell won, 57-51, Tuesday night at the Coyote Den.

“We did not come out with the same intensity,” Roswell coach Moses “Dude” Burrola said, “we did against Clovis. Luckily we were able to play a good second half in the fourth quarter. I told our team there is not a bad team left. Carlsbad is a top-16 team in the state. Everybody we play from here on out is going to be a top-level team. We can’t afford to play a bad first half.”

Roswell (19-8) on the season, has weathered the storms of a long season and kids being kids. Their season could have gone sideways with a couple of bad losses at home to Onate and Las Cruces earlier in the season.

Recently, the team went 2-1 when seven players were suspended for disciplinary reasons. The reason Roswell is in the position they’re in is because of the leadership of coach Moses “Dude” Burrola. He was given the keys to a Rolls Royce three years ago and he has done a remarkable coaching job given all of the distractions.

“We are going to find ways to win,” “Dude” said. “That winning mentality has always been there. Even though it doesn’t go our way all of the time, we find a way to win. That’s what we try to instill in our team, our junior varsity and freshmen teams. Every one of them had a winning record and competed every night.”

The 19 wins are the second-most in his three seasons on the bench. He has started putting his name as one of the best coaches in 5A. All that left for for him to do is win a title. Give him time — it took Britt Cooper time to get his first. If Roswell stays in 5A, Burrola will figure a way to get his program to where they can compete with Cleveland and Las Cruces consistently.

“I know it was set up with coach Cooper before,” “Dude” said. “For us to be able to continue what we started years ago and to keep it going and compete in a class where our district has twice as many kids than we have here at Roswell — for us to get 19 wins speaks volumes to our kids and how hard we work.”

“We turned it over,” Carlsbad coach Steve Garza said. “We turned it over the third and fourth quarters. They started pressing, I felt a few fouls weren’t called and our kids were going to the floor. We just didn’t take care of the game.”

Taymon Burrola lead all RHS scorers with 23 points and Nava had 21 points.

Roswell will travel to Clovis for a 7 p.m. tip-off on Thursday.

Sports editor J.T. Keith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or sports@rdrnews.com.

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