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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, January 28, 2005

Netters facing Owls, Bulldogs after Tuesday loss

The Pecos Eagles tennis team will try and bounce back from a homecourt loss to the Fort Stockton Panthers on Tuesday, when they travel to Midland to take on the Reagan County Owls and Midland High’s junior varsity tennis squad in morning and afternoon matches.

Pecos fell to 0-2 for the spring tennis season with an 11-4 loss to Fort Stockton, in which the Panthers dominated in boys’ singles and doubles play.

“All my guys lost. We had five singles and one doubles, and they all lost,” Eagles’ coach Mike Ortiz said. “We had six girls singles matches and three in doubles, and we won three of the singles and one in the doubles.”

The middle seeds for the Eagles picked up all their wins on Tuesday. Crystal Ikeler and Amber Pando scored an 8-1 pro-set win over Darcey Ripley and Laura Casas for the doubles victory, while in singles play Pando, Catherine Garcia and Sara Natividad picked up their victories. Natividad downed Ripley, 8-6 at no. 3 seed, Garcia won at No. 4 seed over Casas, 8-2 and Pando shut out Bianca Fuentes at No. 5 seed, 8-0.

The closest match on the boys’ side came at No. 2 seed in singles, where Curtis James fell 9-7 to Raylee Ramos. Earlier, James and No. 1 seed Pedro Gomez were teamed up in doubles, where they fell to the team of Marquez and Hernandez by an 8-4 score.

“They were just a little bit stronger on the boys side,” Ortiz said. “We could have played better, but I think it’s all right. It’s still early in the season.”

Ortiz said he was still short several boys who were playing basketball on Tuesday, and will be shorthanded gain this Saturday against the Owls and Bulldogs.

“I’m only going to have three boys. Three are still in basketball and three are failing,” he said, adding the girls also would be short a couple of players in Midland.

“I’ll just play whoever shows up,” Ortiz said. “I just hope they play their best and see what happens.”

Saturday’s matches are scheduled for 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Midland High tennis courts.

Results from Tuesday’s matches are listed below:

Fort Stockton (11) at Pecos (4)

Boys Singles

Pedro Gomez lost to Robby Barriga, 8-3; Curtis James lost to Raylee Ramos, 9-7; Jerris Rayos lost to Alex Marquez, 8-2; Rayos lost to Daniel Martinez, 8-3; Francisco Ornelas lost to Marquez, 8-1 Girls Singles

Mimi Ornelas lost to Jessica Fierro, 8-2; Crystal Ikeler lost to Kayla Guliher, 8-2; Sara Natividad defeated Darcey Ripley, 8-6; Catherine Garcia defeated Laura Casas, 8-2; Amber Pando defeated Bianca Fuentes, 8-0; Delicia Ramirez Meagan Mowry, 8-2. Boys Doubles

Gomez and James lost to Marquez and Hernandez, 8-4. Girls Doubles

Natividad and Garcia defeated Smith and Rodriguez, 8-4; Pando and Ikeler defeated Casas and Ripley, 8-1 Orona and Vanessa Galindo lost to Fuentes and Mowry, 8-2.

Eagles to face challenge for district swim title

Staff Writer

The Pecos Eagle boys will be going for their 14th district title in 16 years and the girls for their 13th championship in the past 15 years, when the District 4-3A meet is held for the first time in Abilene this weekend.

The district meet, which has been rotated between Pecos, Fort Stockton and Monahans, will be hosted by Abilene Wylie this Friday and Saturday, and will be held at McMurry University. Coach Terri Morse said the preliminaries and finals will begin at noon on both days, while diving competition should start about 4:30 or 5 p.m. on Friday.

Pecos’ boys have been the district and regional champs for the past five season, since Class 4A and below schools began holding their own regional and state meets, while the girls have won the district and regional titles the past four seasons, since Monahans won the inaugural I-4A meet, after taking this district title in 2000.

This year, the girls’ biggest challenge figures to be at the regional meet, where they’ll battle El Paso Chapin for several automatic state berths. But Morse said the boys will face a tougher challenge to extend their streak of district championships.

“Monahans and Fort Stockton will do pretty good, at least that’s the way it looks now,” Morse said. “I’ll have a better perspective after the preliminaries, but I think it’s going to be pretty tight between us and Monahans. It’s going to come down to the last race.”

The boys easily won the district title last season, before graduating five seniors. This year, Pecos has no seniors on their squad on the boys’ side, and they’ll be trying to hold off a Lobo squad that has several veteran swimmers.

Morse added that the Loboes will be trying to gain some extra points in the relay events on the boys’ side, while most of the other district swimmers on the girls’ side will be entered in their normal events.

“There were a couple of changes Monahans made that surprised me, but it was nothing out of order,” Morse said. “Big Spring made one change on the girls’ side that surprised me, but again that was nothing unusual.”

“Monahans took a couple of people out of the individual events to make their relays faster, which kind of surprised me, and they moved Brandon Nichols from the 100 fly to the 100 free, which will be a little harder on his part,” Morse said. He’ll go in seeded second by half a second behind Pecos’ Kyle Winkles, while the Eagles will have the top two seeds in the 100 butterfly, in Matt Elliott and Matt Oglesby.

Elliott will also be seeded first in the 200 freestyle, over four seconds ahead of Big Spring’s Daniel Pike, while Winkles is seeded first going into the prelims on Friday in the 100 yard backstroke by one second over Monahans’ Zac Vaughn. In the 200 individual medley, Oglesby is seeded first, over six seconds ahead of Vaughn.

In the relay events, the Loboes go into the 200 medley relay seeded first by three-quarters of a second over Pecos, with Fort Stockton another three-quarters of a second behind, while the Eagles are seeded first over the Loboes by seven seconds in the 400 freestyle relay. In the 200 freestyle relay, Fort Stockton is seeded first going in, while Pecos is seeded last among the five entered schools, though Morse said she might shuffle her relay lineup before Saturday’s meet.

“I may change my relays up for district for the boys. I’m not sure what I’ll do yet, but it will probably depend on what we do in the prelims,” she said.

The other swimmers for the boys going into Friday’s preliminaries will be Adam Medina in the 200 and 500 freestyle, Bill Moody in the 50 free, Matthew Florez and Luke Serrano in the 100 free, Alonzo Garcia in the 500 free, Serrano in the 100 backstroke and Garcia in the 100 breaststroke. The Eagles’ other entry is Dustin Windham in the 1-meter diving competition.

Garcia is seeded fourth in the 500 free and sixth in the 100 breaststroke, while Florez goes in seeded fourth in the 100 free, while Windham has the second-best point totals among district divers, behind Andrews’ Matt Culberson. The top six finishers in each event Friday qualify for both Saturday’s finals and the regional meet at Lubbock in two weeks.

In contrast to the young squad the boys will have at district, the girls will have five seniors going to Abilene, and will be facing a line-up where most of the other top swimmers are seniors this year.

Big Spring’s one change on the girls’ side was with senior Jessica Hughey, who will be the only non-Pecos swimmer seeded first going into the preliminaries in the individual events. She’ll be ranked first in the 200 freestyle, three seconds ahead of Pecos’ Teddie Salcido, and in the 100-yard breaststroke, where Hughey goes in with just under a second better time than the Eagles’ Lindsey Shaw. Shaw has a 3 1/2 second advantage on the Steers

’ Lauren Sage in the 200 individual medley, while Salcido will be seeded first in the 500 freestyle, with a little more than a four-second advantage over teammate Amie Reynolds. The other two Eagles seeded first in their races are seniors Susan Moore and Catherine Minjarez. Moore has over a one-second advantage in the 50 free over Andrews’ Jessica Farmer and is seeded No. 1 by about 1 1/2 seconds over Farmer in the 100 free. Minjarez is seeded first by four seconds over the Steers’ Sage, one of the few freshman top seeds at district, and she has a two second advantage over teammate Ashley Horsburgh in the 100 yard backstroke.

In the relays Pecos’ 200 medley relay has the best time in district by 10 seconds over Monahans, going into Friday’s preliminaries, while they have a nine second advantage over Abilene Wylie in the 400 freestyle. The closest race figures to be the 200 free relay, where the host Bulldogs go in seeded first by two seconds over the Eagles.

Aside from the top seeds for Pecos, several other Eagles are seeded in the Top 6 in their individual events going into the start of the meet. Ashley Mendoza is seeded third and Amanda Contreras is seeded sixth in the 200 freestyle, Cassandra Mata is seeded fifth in the 200 medley, Contreras is seeded fifth in the 100 fly, Horsburgh is seeded fourth in the 100 free, Mendoza is seeded third in the 500 free, and Reynolds is seeded third and Mata sixth in the 100 yard breaststroke. The other Eagle entered in an individual event is Cynthia Marmolejo, who goes into the 500 freestyle seeded seventh.

This is the second meet of the season for Pecos at McMurry University. Both teams placed second to San Angelo Central back in late October, but while the girls finished well ahead of Wylie for the No. 2 spot, the boys got second by just six points over Monahans and eight over Fort Stockton. Monahans’ girls and Big Spring’s boys are the only teams besides Pecos to win district titles since 1990.

Pecos girls use 21-0 run to pull away for victory

Staff Writer

The start of both halves belonged to the Presidio Blue Devils. But the Pecos Eagles owned the second and fourth quarters, and in the end, the game between the two District 4-3A girls squads on Tuesday night in Pecos.

Presidio jumped out to a four point lead after one period, only to see the Eagles pour in 19 points in the second period to grab a 27-22 halftime lead. The Blue Devils would then regroup and eventually take a three-point lead on the Eagles, only to watch Pecos put in 20 points in the final period and roll up 21 straight points overall at the end of the third and start of the fourth quarter, as they defeated Presidio by a 59-39 final score.

“We worked the ball around, and we were probably more aggressive against Presidio than we’ve been against the other teams,” said Eagles’ coach Lisa Lowery. “I don’t know if it’s because of the reputation they’ve always had.”

Tuesday’s win was the third this season for Pecos over Presidio, and only the fourth overall in the 2004-05 season. Their earlier two wins were in Presidio, while their other victory was at Fort Stockton, a team the Eagles couldn’t beat at home last week.

For a while on Tuesday, it looked as though the Blue Devils would also be able to avenge their homecourt loss, as the Eagles didn’t start out as aggressive as they needed to be. Led by Yobia Zubia, Presidio got off to a fast start, while Pecos had ball-handling problems for a while against Presidio’s press.

“We made some mistakes at the start. I don’t know if it was nerves, but on the press we weren’t spreading the court out, and some of our girls seemed a little afraid and were hiding behind the defense and didn’t want to touch the ball,” Lowery said.

Adriana Armendariz and Chantel Mazone both scored in double-digits on Tuesday, though both failed to hit any of their free throws. Meanwhile, Danielle Garcia had just four field goals against Presidio, but spent a lot of time shooting from the foul line, hitting 12 of 20 shots to finish with a game-high 22 points.

That included a lay-up off a steal by Mazone of an outlet pass by the Blue Devils off a missed foul shot by the sophomore, which put Pecos ahead to stay, at 37-35. A steal and lay-up by Cynthia Tellez and a jump shot by Cynthia Wright a few minutes earlier had give the Blue Devils a 35-32 lead, but the Eagles would tie the score when Olga Mendoza hit a short jumper in the lane then connected on one of two free throws with 56 seconds left in the third period.

Garcia's basket came with just over 20 seconds remaining in the period, and before it was over the Eagles would get a steal and score on an Armendariz lay-up off a pass from Mendoza, making it a 39-35 game. Mendoza would then open the final quarter by again going 1-for-2 from the line, while Mazone would score twice after that on rebound attempts and Garcia would hit a 3-pointer and then sink two foul shots to make it 51-35 just over two minutes into the period.

A steal and lay-up by Amalie Herrera followed, and then Garcia connected on two more foul shots to give the Eagles an 18-point lead, before Presidio finally ended the run on an Ariceli Levario basket with just under five minutes left in the game. But the Blue Devils wouldn't score again until Nayla Carrasco hit the game's final basket in the closing seconds, after Pecos scored its final six points on two more foul shots by Garcia, an Armendariz lay-up and a steal and 15-foot jumper by Garcia.

“Chantel had a good game. She was active rebounding and putting it back in,” Lowery said. Mazone had 16 rebounds, 10 on the offensive end in the victory.

“I’m happy for all the girls. They had a chance to break away and they stepped up,” said Lowery, whose team improved to 3-6 in District 4-3A and 4-19 on the season going into their bye date on Friday. Presidio remained winless in district, with an 0-8 record.

Pecos’ next game is next Tuesday against Greenwood, which fell out of a tie for the third and final playoff spot in district on Tuesday with a 60-41 homecourt loss to Monahans. The Eagles’ junior varsity, which lost to Presidio on Tuesday, will be in action this weekend, competing in a district JV tournament at Seminole.

PRESIDIO (39) Levario 4 0-1 8; Wright 1 0-0 2; Tellez 3 0-2 6; Armendariz 1 2-2 4; Olivas 1 1-2 3; Ortiz 0 0-0 0; Zubia 5 0-0 10; Carrasco 1 0-0 2; Renteria 0 0-0 0; Carrasco 2 0-0 4. Totals 18 3-7 39.

PECOS (59) Valeriano 0 0-0 0; Carrasco 1 1-2 3; Garcia 4 12-20 22; Herrera 1 2-3 4; Valdez 0 0-0 0; Ortiz 0 0-0 0; Mendoza 1 4-7 6; Armendariz 5 0-4 10; Mazone 7 0-3 14. Totals 20 19-39 59. Presidio 12 10 13 4 -- 39 Pecos 8 19 12 20 -- 59 Three-point goals: Pecos 2 (Garcia 2). Fouled out: Presidio, Carrasco. Total fouls: Presidio 26, Pecos 13.

Eagles run out of rallies in loss to Blue Devils

Staff Writer

The Pecos Eagles were able to dig themselves out of one double-digit hole last Friday to get their first District 4-3A win of the 2005 basketball season in Monahans. But digging their way out of three holes on Tuesday night on their home court was a bit too much.

The Eagles dug themselves a 13-point hole five minutes into their game against the Presidio Blue Devils, cut that to seven early in the second period, then fell behind by 17 points late in the second period. One quarter later, Pecos had narrowed that gap to just three points, which is where the game stood early in the final period, when Presidio went on another run, turning a 53-50 lead into a 65-50 advantage with under five minutes remaining.

The Eagles then spent the next four minutes chipping away at that lead, getting it down to four with 38 seconds remaining. Pecos then stole a sideline pass and Ricardo Morales was fouled. He made one of two shots to get the margin back to three with 33 seconds to play, before Jacob Ramirez sank one of two foul shots for the Blue Devils, and Hector Rodriguez hit two more with 20 seconds to play after a pass from Morales to Josh Anchondo was stolen by Ramirez, and Presidio was able to escape with a 74-70 victory. “I'm proud of the guys, the way they kept fighting,” said Eagles' coach Art Welborn. “When 15 (Ramirez) hit those 3s and it went from three to 11 points, and then we got that intentional foul, we just dug ourselves too deep a hole.”

Ramirez wound up with 22 points, with his biggest being the two three-pointers early in the final period. They followed a shorter jumper and two foul shots that started the quarter and stopped Pecos' third period run, that had cut the margin to 49-46 on a Nathan Guajardo bank shot in the final seconds of the quarter.

Rodriguez's two foul shots in the closing seconds came despite a bad night from the foul line, and helped him preserve and overall dominating night from the field. The senior post hit for 18 points in the first half and had 27 for the game, despite going just 5-for-14 from the free throw line.

“He played a great game. He's a good ball player and 15 is another good ballplayer,” Welborn said.

In contrast to Presidio, which relied on their two big scorers, the Eagles had all five of their starters score in double figures for the first time this season. Anchondo and Luis Licon helped keep the Eagles close in the first half, after Presidio jumped ahead by a 15-2 score. Anchondo hit a pair of 3-pointers as part of his 13 point night, while Licon had a 3 and a shorter jumper to start the second period, and get the Eagles back to within 22-15. The outside shots were about the only thing the Eagles were hitting early in the game. Pecos hit just two of their first 13 shots from inside, while Presidio scored several times after pushing the ball down court, something Pecos would finally start to do in the second half.

“I told them at halftime that Presidio was just jogging back upcourt with their backs turned, and we've got to push the ball down and get every easy shot we can,” Welborn said.

Morales, Lupito Bustamantes and Saul Pina led the two comebacks in the second half. Morales and Bustamantes had six points apiece in the third period, while a basket by Pina finished off a 17-5 run that cut a 42-27 deficit to 47-44.

Israel Natividad was Presidio's other scorer in double digits with 12, that included a steal and lay-up during the fourth quarter run, a side jumper and in-between, a lay-up that was whistled by one official as an offensive foul, but then changed by a trailing official to a foul on Morales.

Natividad missed the free throw, but the Blue Devils got the rebound and Natividad ended up hitting the jumper that made it a 65-50 game.

“That was a killer right there because they get the basket instead of the charge, and then they get the rebound and score again,” Welborn said.

Baskets by Bustamantes and Pina started the Eagles' final comeback. Morales hit two foul shots in between a free throw and basket by Jesus Martinez, and then Anchondo hit two free throws, scored on a rebound lay-up following a steal. Morales then hit a rebound jumper, after Bustamantes hit one of two foul shots with 1:42 remaining and the lead was 69-63.

Natividad and Martinez then hit 1-of-2 foul shots around a missed shot by Morales, but Pina cut it to 71-67 on a lay-up and a rebound off his own miss after Bustamantes stole a full-court pass meant for Natividad. Welborn called time out after the basket, and the Eagles would get another steal after surrounding Natividad, setting up Morales foul shots with 34.1 seconds to play.

Morales ended up with 15 points to lead the Eagles, while Bustmanates and Anchondo had 13, Pina 12 and Licon 11 in the loss. The win improved Presidio to 3-4 in District 4-3A play and ---, while Pecos slipped to 1-6 and 3-19 going into their bye date this Friday. The Eagles' next varsity game is this coming Tuesday at Midland Greenwood, but the Eagles' freshmen and junior varsity teams will be entered in district tournaments this weekend in Seminole and Fort Stockton. Pecos' JV will actually play a non-district foe in the district tournament, opening up with a 5:30 p.m. game on Friday against Denver City. The JV lost their game on Tuesday to Presidio, 54-39. Javier Mendoza had 10 points to lead Pecos.

PRESIDIO (74) Dominguez 2 5-7 9; A. Tavarez 0 0-0 0; Ramirez 7 5-6 22; Leyva 0 0-0 0; Natividad 5 2-4 12; K. Tavarez 0 0-0 0; Rodriguez 11 5-14 27; Izquiedo 0 0-0 0; Martinez 2 2-4 6; Neri 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 19-35 74.

PECOS (70) Morales 6 3-4 15; Pina 6 0-0 12; Guajardo 1 2-2 4; Licon 5 0-0 11; Anchondo 5 1-2 13; Estrada 1 0-0 2; Bustamantes 6 1-2 13; Macha 0 0-0 0. Totals 30 7-10 70. Presidio 22 16 11 25 -- 74 Pecos 10 13 23 24 -- 70 Three-point goals: Presidio 3 (Ramirez 3), Pecos 3 (Anchondo 2, Licon). Fouled out: Pecos, Morales. Total fouls: Presidio 13, Pecos 23.

Girls prepare for district, eye regional challenge

Staff Writer

Even though the District 3-4A swim meet isn’t until this Friday, it’s hard for several Pecos Eagle senior girls not to look again to the second week of February, when the Region I-4A Swimming and Diving Championships will take place at the Pete Ragus Aquatic Center in Lubbock.

Through their first three years as members of the Eagles’ swim team, seniors Susan Moore, Teddie Salcido, Amie Reynolds, Catherine Minjarez and Ashley Horsburgh have been on teams that have easily won their district and regional titles, and have made a number of trips each to the Class 4A state finals in Austin.

This year, the Eagles are expected to dominate the district competition again, when the six teams out of 3-4A swim on Friday and Saturday in Abilene. But regionals should be the toughest for Pecos in five years, as El Paso Chapin tries to end the girls’ four-year string of I-4A championships.

“At district girls we’re pretty well off unless we just bomb out, but at regionals we have to worry about El Paso Chapin,” Reynolds said.

Chapin returned had their own senior, Lara Jackson, returning from last year’s team. She took the Class 4A state title in the 50-yard freestyle as a junior, and this year has been joined by several other swimmers who helped the Huskies score a 100-point win over a shorthanded Eagles squad back in November at the Monahans Invitational.

While all six qualifiers to the finals this weekend will advance to the Region I-4A meet, only the winner of each event at the regionals earns an automatic berth to the Class 4A meet in Austin. Any other regional qualifiers have to advanced based on having one of the Top 8 at-large times among the swimmers at the eight regional meets, so any Pecos swimmer who fails to finish first in the Feb. 12 regional finals will have to have fast enough times to earn an at-large berth.

“We’re going to have to work on our hands, that’s for sure. It will be whoever wants it the most,” said Moore, who is seeded first at district in he 50 and who will go up against Jackson again at the regional meet.

“I’m ready for it. I know it’s going to be hard, but I’m ready, as long as I’m backed by the girls here,” said Moore, who’ll also swim in the 100-yard freestyle at district. Last season, Moore swam in the 50 and 500 freestyle races, finishing second to Jackson but failing to earn an at-large spot in Austin. She won the 500 and placed 15th at state.

Moore and the other four seniors were the key swimmers for the Eagle girls a year ago, when they ended up finishing 21st overall at state. Their best overall finish was by Salcido, Moore, Minjarez and junior Lindsey Shaw in the 200 medley relay, where Pecos placed 12th.

“I think it’s going to be a little harder this year than in the past years, but we did it before“ said Minjarez, who came out late for the 2004-05 season.

“I regret doing that, but I’m trying to do the best for the team, said Minjarez, who is seeded first at district in the 100-yard butterfly and the 100 backstroke. She was 14th at state last year in the 100 fly and also swam in the 200 medley, where she placed 16th. At Monahans back in November, Moore was edged by Chapin’s Amanda Nevarez in the 100 freestyle, while Minjarez lost in the 100 fly to Mary Tooke and Salcido was beaten in the 500 free by Ali Walker. Tooke and Walker also placed first and second in the 100 backstroke and those three plus Jackson defeated the Eagles in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle races. Going into this weekend’s district meet, coach Terri Morse has those two races stacked looking towards the regional meet. Pecos’ time in the 200 medley is 10 seconds faster than any other district team going into Abilene, while their 400 freestyle relay team has the best time going into district by seven seconds over any other team.

“I hope things work out the best for us. We’ll see how badly we want it,” said Salcido, who’ll swim in the 200 and 500-yard freestyle races at district. There the same two races she swam last year, when she placed 16th at district.

“But we’re capable of pulling it off,” Reynolds added. “This year, what we’ve had that haven’t had is team unity. In the past we’ve had people looking at what their individual results are, not whether the team is doing a good job. This year we’re staying together, and that’s what’s going to pull us through.”

She said that some of the girls have been moved around a little by Morse, in an attempt to line up the Eagles best for scoring points at regionals. “I think a few people had to make sacrifices and swim in races they didn’t want to swim, but it’s where we can score the most points,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds and Horsburgh didn’t qualify for state in any individual events as juniors, but both swam at the state meet in relays. Both were members of the 200 freestyle relay team along with Minjarez and Moore that finished 14th at state, while Horsburgh also was a member of the 400 yard freestyle relay team that placed 15th in Austin.

This being the final year of high school for the five “definitely makes it special,” Reynolds said. “To finish up going to state we’re going to have the toughest races of our lives.”

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