Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
It seemed to go by so fast, the last 18 years of Goddard’s Brandon Montanez’s life. He has spent all his life in the colors of navy blue, Columbia blue and white. Brandon was at Ground Zero before he was born.
Brandon’s dad, Dennis, was the basketball coach for the Rockets from 2001-2005. Brandon was born after his dad’s team beat Moriarty, 79-58.
An article written by former Record staff writer Eric Paul Erickson was titled: “B is for baby, J is for jumper-W is for GHS win.”
It was 18 years ago, but RDR Sports can now add A for all-district in 4-4A. Brandon had one of the best senior years anyone could ever ask for. Brandon was the team leader and literally took over games.
He helped the team to 11 wins and without his points or leadership, they might have had a hard time reaching double digits in wins.
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Brandon was not afraid to turn the corner and go to the rim. Often there was a collision at the rim when he confronted bigger players. That devil-may-care attitude with his playing style may have had an effect on the team. He would pull up and take a mid-range jumper at the top of the key just inside the lane. He would also start the fast break for the Rockets. Brandon was not afraid of playing all-out and it showed and his teammates took their cue from him.
“It’s nice to be recognized by the district coaches,” Brandon Montanez said. “For all the late-night workout, two-a-days, and early morning workouts, it was worth it all. None of this would have been possible without my coaches: Coach Mestas, Austin, Sosa, and Helmstetler. None of this happens without my teammates.”
The one thing that plagued his career was injuries. He missed most of his sophomore year with injuries. He came back to form one of the best backcourts his junior year with Jonah “The Little General” Chavez.
Brandon’s hard work was rewarded with a trip to “The Pit” his junior year. He helped coach Anthony Mestas go undefeated in district and also win the regular and district tournament title in a heart-stopping one-point win against Portales. The team was a couple of makes away from moving on to the next round.
“I have really appreciated the way Brandon has played for Goddard,” Coach Mestas said. “He has played with everything he has had for the last four years.”
In his senior season, Goddard might not have had the best record at 11-16, but they were 3-3 in the district. The Rockets were picked to finish last. Brandon has learned to overcome obstacles in his basketball career. In one game this season he scored 38 points to lead the team in scoring.
“My teammate’s trust and confidence in me made me the player I was,” Brandon Montanez said, “I thank them. It was always the team first before anything, these are the guys I went to war with and I want by my side. I’m humbled to get this award again and will miss playing with my teammates and for Goddard next year.”
The one thing the team could not get past was the injuries to Ryan Terry and Hunter Beene. For the rest of their lives, they will wonder what could have happened had those two not gotten injured. Brandon’s going hard every second he was on the court would cost him in the Lovington game. He was hit and could not overcome a back injury in his last game at home. Goddard needed that win, and the loss sent Lovington to the playoffs.
“Brandon is a very coachable kid,” coach Mestas said. “His parents, (Dennis and Mini) allowed me to coach him hard. He works hard at his craft, he’s such a good and respectful kid. He deserves everything he has earned.”
While Mestas maybe be losing Brandon, he has to be excited about being able to coach Noah Reese for the next two seasons.
Making All-District in his first full season starting is sophomore Noah Reese. Noah can put the ball on the floor and get to the rim, and he can jump out of the gym, and he has the quick jumping ability to keep offensive rebounds alive on second and third jumps. He is able to finish at the basket. He is and has worked on his jumper which will make him more dangerous next season.
Next season, without a proven leader or scorer returning, coach Mestas will be counting on him to provide leadership and scoring. Noah routinely scored over 20 points a game. The only thing that hurt Noah as a sophomore was he was prone to getting into foul trouble.
With an offseason to work on his game, Noah should keep Goddard in the hunt for another trip to “The Pit.” With a team heavy in guards next season, Noah will have ample opportunities to do his damage down low. If he can get his low post game going, it will make it easier for him to take bigger players off the dribble and score down low. Look for Noah to have an assortment of moves and be able to have whatever it is he needs at the time.
As a freshman, Noah was a heavy contributor on the team that went undefeated in district. He knows what it takes to get to “The Pit.” At times this season, Noah was the best player on the floor on either team.
Noah has some goals going into next season. One of them has to be being one of the first Goddard teams to beat Roswell. Goddard is a three-point shooter away from having an inside-out game and if they can force some turnovers, this team is not far from being in contention.
No doubt about it with the team coming back next season, Noah has to like how things set up for him. He has a chance to have the offense run through him. He has the chance to make all-state in basketball.
For the young sophomore, he has everything in front of him. He will have the experience to dominate in the paint, on the outside and wherever he is on the court. As a junior, he will not be surprised by what any team throws at him. Chances are that if he keeps working he will be the best player on the court.
“Noah Reese has a bright future,” Mestas said. “As a sophomore, he did an outstanding job for the Rockets. He is gonna have to be a leader moving forward.”
If Noah continues to improve his game, look for big things for the Rockets’ basketball team. As one career is ending by making all-district 4-4A, another is beginning by making all-district 4-4A.
Sports editor J.T. Keith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or firstname.lastname@example.org.