Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
The Roswell boys’ basketball team is finally in the driver’s seat, but the drive promises not to be a smooth one. They survived a slowdown game and came back from being down 13 points against a walk-it-up Carlsbad team to win 63-60 at Carlsbad Friday night.
This game could not be settled in regulation. Roswell had a key turnover and allowed Carlsbad to tie it up. The Coyotes had a great defensive stand at the end of the game to send the game to overtime.
This season Roswell has had three unsung heroes. Alonzo Acosta and T.J. Fletcher both grabbed key rebounds and put the ball back in the baskets. Sharp-shooting Rhett Stokes nailed free throws to give the Coyotes a road win.
“Carlsbad is a tough place to play every year,” Roswell coach Moses “Dude” Burrola said. “Give Carlsbad credit, they came out and zoned us and slowed it down. They did a great job on containing Taymon Burrola and made it difficult for him to get the shots we are used to getting.”
Roswell was led in scoring by Stokes, with 15 points. Taymon Burrola added 14, Fletcher put in 11 points, with Acosta chipping in with nine. Talon Sanders scored eight points.
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Roswell (7-1, 2-0 district) will have three home games starting Tuesday when they welcome Clovis to the Coyote Den at 7 p.m.
For most of the season, Superman has been bottled up. He has been trying to get well and dominate down low as he did as a freshman. Noah “Young Money” Reese made his presence felt, put the Goddard Rockets on his back and refused to let them lose by scoring 25 points down low on the blocks.
“Noah (Reese) has stepped up the last couple of games,” Goddard coach Anthony Mestas said.
Mestas said that when Noah is on the low block and playing his game, there is no one in District 4-4A that can stop him. Lovington did not stop him or the Rockets as Goddard won 74-71 at Ground Zero Friday night.
“I was really happy with the win against Lovington,” Mestas said. “Lovington gave us all that we wanted. I’m just glad we found a way to win in overtime.”
Goddard (3-5, 2-0), after starting 0-4, has won two games in a row. Goddard will now face Artesia on Tuesday for a battle for first place.
Mestas told his team, we’re playing Hobbs, Clovis, Carlsbad and Roswell, they’re not cupcake teams. Mestas said those teams are legit, and it is just getting the Rockets better — and wait until they get to the district and you’ll see. Mestas said classification matters.
“Our team could have gone sideways on us quick,” Mestas said. “They stayed focused and stuck with us. Now, we have the showdown with Artesia. Our sophomores have had to grow up quickly.”
Mestas said Mitchell Schooley hit two big free throws for the Rockets to help win the game.
“It is going to come down to who wants it more on Tuesday night,” Mestas said. “I’m just happy for the kids and all of the hard work they have put in.”
By Tom A. Ruiz
Special to RDR Sports
LOVINGTON — Much was made about former Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson’s quote, in 2002, “We’re talking about practice. We’re talking about practice. We ain’t talking about the game. We’re talking about practice, man.” Iverson was being accused by the media of not liking to practice and thus not being prepared to play.
Practice is what Goddard girls basketball coach Jared Neighbors preaches. The Lady Rockets were coming off a tough 51-43 district-opening loss to Portales on Tuesday and a good practice session is what they needed to prepare them for the Lovington Lady Wildcats.
The practice session paid off as the Lady Rockets improved to 4-1, 1-0 in district play, with a 58-17 road victory over Lovington Friday night.
“That was our best practice since we started the season. I believe we came together then,” said Neighbors.
The Lady Rockets came out running and gunning, to the tune of a 13-2 first-quarter lead. You could see by the beginning of the second period that Goddard was through fooling around. By the 4:28 mark of the quarter, Goddard had seized a 25-7 lead.
Alexis Sandoval came out on fire with 12 first-half points, Daci Smith added seven points and Goddard led 34-10 at halftime.
If there was to be a comeback by the Lady ‘Cats it would’ve meant scoring on each possession. Wishful thinking. Lovington missed shots on its first three possessions of the third quarter and turned the ball over on its next four. Goddard, meanwhile, turned up the heat. They nailed three consecutive triples and turned those four Lovington turnovers into points. By the four-minute mark of the quarter, the non-stop mercy clock was initiated with Goddard leading 47-10.
The victory was nice but all it means is that the Lady Rockets can’t afford to lose another game.
“That home loss to Portales really hurts us,” said Neighbors. Meanwhile, the Roswell Lady Coyotes are needing a win to remain in the hunt for a 5A playoff spot after a heartbreaking loss to Carlsbad last night, dropping to 2-2, 0-2 in district play.
The district-winning teams get an automatic bid to their respective state tournaments. The state committee will then select the remaining at-large bids. “We’re not willing to put our destiny in the hands of the selection committee,” said Neighbors.
Gateway Christian girls
By J.T. Keith
Roswell Daily Record
Things are starting to clear up on the local basketball scene. Gateway Christian girls are undefeated (5-0) and looking to make their second appearance at state. Veteran coach Holly Tipton has used last year’s lessons to spur on this year’s team.
After losing to Clovis Christian 26-25 last year in the round of 16 playoffs, there were lessons to be learned. In that game, the team was comprised of freshmen, sophomores and juniors.
“I think we learned to relax a little more from last year,” Tipton said. “We were playing not to lose, instead of playing to win. They (Clovis Christian) zoned us. We should have taken the ball at them. This year we are making sure the kids play with confidence.”
Each year Tipton has gotten better as a coach and the program has taken the next step. This week has been a big week, starting with the runaway win against Hagerman, 56-7, on Thursday night and then they powered past Dora, 60-32, Friday night.
“We had a hard time getting the ball in the basket in the first half,” Tipton said. “We outscored Dora 18-6 in the third quarter. Our girls were a little frustrated, but we settled down. We relaxed and hit some shots.”
This year’s team is getting key buckets from the athletic M.J. Stephens, who had 25 points on Friday night, and a strong inside game from Hannah Lilley, who added 11 points, and Kayley Smith powered in 10 points. Tipton looks for senior leadership from Mckayla Fox whether she is making buckets or not.
This year’s team has the perfect inside-out game and has used defense to jump-start their offense. Captain Taylor Higgins is the point guard. She can give assistance to her teammates, and yet she is able to create her own shot.
The team should be 6-0 when they have a showdown with Melrose on Saturday. With only one team getting a playoff berth, Gateway has its best chance to make a deep run and claim their first Blue Trophy in the school’s history.
One of the biggest differences for Gateway Christian this year is, they did a lot of weight-room work.
Gateway Christian boys
Head coach Jerryme Ledesma did not like feeling helpless like he did on Thursday night. All he could do was call timeout after timeout and try to diagram plays. To no avail they could not score the basketball, going a quarter and a half without a basket to Hagerman as they lost to Hagerman 50-10 in a non-district game on Thursday.
“We called the boys out Friday,” Ledesma said, “and they responded. We came out and put up 24 points in the first quarter.”
The offensive explosion was enough for the Warriors to get their second district win, 45-40 against Dora. With another round of games to play in the district, they have a chance to make the playoffs, but it starts with a win against Elida on Tuesday at home.
Hagerman boys’ basketball had everything going for them on Tuesday, as they held Gateway Christian scoreless for a quarter and a half. The 50-10 win would be easy on Thursday.
The key to the season would be when they played district opponent Jal on Friday. The Bobcats seemed to have a lid on the basket as they suffered their first loss of the season, 66-41 to Jal on the road.
Hagerman (4-2, 3-1 district) was led in scoring by sophomore David Chacon with 14 points. Roberto Delacruz put in eight points.
“We came out flat,” ‘Cats coach Andrew Rodriguez said. “We made too many errors and played sloppy team defense. We also missed too many put-backs and layups. Once we settled down, we started to play at their level, but by then it was too late.”
The ‘Cats return home Friday to take on Eunice at 7 p.m.