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Monday, June 17, 2024

Runnin’ ‘Dogs come up short of Coyotes on slow-shooting night

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The Artesia boys came out on top of a low-scoring first quarter at the Coyote Den, jumping out to a 4-0 lead on a bucket in the paint from Clay Kincaid and a Diego Wesson offensive putback. Six unanswered from Roswell would turn the tables, but a putback and a free throw from Jarren Wadkins and a jumper in the final seconds by Charlie Campbell pushed the ‘Dogs back up one, 9-8, heading into the second.

The boys in orange opened the quarter answering every Roswell bucket with two of their own to maintain that lead. A pair from the free-throw line by Jaylon Cloud was followed by two under the basket from Kincaid and Nye Estrada, and a Kyle Mesquita three-pointer was met by a Kincaid dunk and another offensive putback from Estrada.

A free throw by Wadkins around the three-minute mark had the Bulldogs in front by five, 18-13, but the Coyotes would close out the first half on a 12-4 run that included a three from Josh Estrada and one at the buzzer by Steven McCaskill that broke what would’ve been a halftime tie, 25-22.

Things would likely have played out differently had the boys in red not kicked off the third quarter with another big run, this time 10 unanswered. That put the ‘Dogs ina 35-22 hole before they ever got on the board in the second half.

Campbell finally broke the seal with a jumper, and David Hammond would deliver a three, Wadkins a basket, Wesson two from the stripe, and Matthew Hafliger 1-2 from the line in the final four minutes of the period, but that could only cut Artesia’s deficit back to single digits, 41-32.

Still, a big fourth quarter could’ve closed that gap, but the Bulldogs continued to struggle from the field while also being hindered by an uncharacteristic amount of turnovers.

A Hammond putback and a shot off the glass by Kincaid made it a seven-point game, 43-36, and that margin was trimmed to six after Wesson and Kincaid followed a McCaskill and-one with baskets and Hammond went 1-2 from the line.

A late three by Manny Fuentes, however, was only countered with a Kincaid free throw as the ‘Dogs continued to miss their final attempts from the field. A Xai Carrasco drive to the hoop around the 1:30 mark set the final — 52-42 — as Artesia declined to foul through Roswell’s running off of the final minute.

Despite Artesia’s shooting woes, Kincaid wound up high point with 11, with all four of Roswell’s top scorers — Carrasco, McCaskill, Josh Martinez and Rylan Sarracino — posting eight each. Campbell, Hammond, Wadkins and Wesson all finished with six for the ‘Dogs.

Artesia posted 17 field goals on the night, only one of which was from beyond the arc, and was 7-14 from the line.

The ‘Dogs had moved to 9-6 following a 2-1, third-place finish at the Hope Christian Tournament but drop to 9-7 with Tuesday’s loss. They’ll be looking to get to 10 wins at 7 p.m. Friday as they join the Lady Bulldogs in hosting 5A Hobbs for the 2023-24 Basketball Homecoming games at Bulldog Pit.

Brienne Green
Daily Press Editor

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