Home Sports Local Sports Third quarter dooms Roswell Coyotes

Third quarter dooms Roswell Coyotes

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Roswell’s Dominic Nava (3) takes a three-point shot over Onate’s Erick Meraz (20) during Saturday’s first-round playoff game in Las Cruces. (J.T. Keith Photo)

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Roswell came to play. They were all up in Onate’s chest from the beginning of the game. Roswell fans might have thought it was a football game the way the Coyotes’ defense was all over the Knights from the opening tip-off.

Roswell’s Taymon Burrola (24) grabs a rebound Saturday. (J.T. Keith Photo)

There would be no easy layups or uncontested shots. Roswell had bodies hitting the deck and taking charge after charge. Roswell bothered Onate star player Ricky Lujan so much that he picked up his third foul with 14.6 seconds left in the first quarter. Roswell felt they had the Knights where they wanted them with a 25-24 lead.

The game was Roswell’s type of game — physical, nasty and played below the rim. Roswell won all of the hustle plays in the first half — that was until the second half started. The Coyotes went cold from the field. They couldn’t be given a basket as they went 5:30 to start the third quarter scoreless. They did not score until Dominic Nava hit a free throw. Taymon Burrola hit two free throws to end the third quarter. Roswell scored three points in the third quarter and that would be their undoing as they lost to Onate, 55-49 Saturday night at Castle Gym.

“Roswell came out with a good game plan,” Onate Knights’ coach Michael Nanez said. “They threw a box in one on Ricky Lujan — I expected a team to do it earlier in the season. They executed well. Us holding them to three points in the third quarter with our defense was the key to the game.”

Roswell’s coach Moses “Dude” Burrola kept changing his players in and out to get maximum effort out of his team. This game would not be like the last one in Roswell. The Coyotes made this game into a Coyote fight with the Knights on the ropes. Senior Dominic Nava kept the team alive with 12 first-half points

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In a tightly contested first half, Coyote guard Talon Sanders would hit the shot to give Roswell a 25-24 halftime lead. With the clock winding down, Sanders found the ball in his hands as the crowd was counting down. Five, four, three, two, one. Sanders threw up a shot from outside the lane on the left corner and banked it in. Sanders scored with 2 seconds to go.

Things went from bad to worse when Taymon Burrola picked up his fourth foul with 5:58 to play in the game. Taymon Burrola would end up fouling out with 2:56 in the fourth quarter. Frustrations boiled over as the referee ended up telling “Dude” to get back into the coach’s box.

Roswell made one last run with Taymon Burrola on the bench when they outscored the Knights nine to five in the last 4:38 of the game. Sosa hit for five points before fouling out with 1:26, Nava hit a three-pointer and Freddie Anaya made one free throw to make the score 52-45 with 1:14. Roswell didn’t let Lujan beat them, but had trouble stopping 6-foot-5 senior guard Jordy Moreno. He scored 20 points.

Roswell came into the game looking to avenge a 58-43 defeat earlier in the season at home to the Onate Knights. The game was played at RHS on Jan. 2. A lot has changed since that meeting for both teams. Roswell has survived a season of adversity to finish district play at 3-3.

Roswell will have to replace five seniors next season. They will return nine juniors next year.

Roswell came in as the No. 13 seed and the Knights the No. 4 team.

Nava led Roswell in scoring with 18 points, Freddie Anaya scored 12 points. Burrola added nine points and Sosa put in eight points. Jasia Reese chipped in with four points. Roswell finishes the season at 19-10 and a bright future.

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