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Friday, February 11, 2005

Morse adjusting regional swim relays

Staff Writer

Pecos Eagles swimming coach Terri Morse will be making a few changes to her relay line-ups this weekend, when the Eagles compete in the Region I-4A Swimming and Diving Championships at the Pete Ragus Aquatic Center in Lubbock.

Diving finals were held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, while the swimming preliminaries are set for 4 p.m. Friday in Lubbock. Finals will be held at the same time the following day at the aquatic center.

Pecos’ boys, who have won every regional title since the I-4A meet was created in 2000, will be shooting for their sixth straight regional title after winning their sixth straight District 3-4A championship in Abilene two weeks ago, while the girls, who have won the last four regional titles, will go in as underdogs to El Paso Chapin in their bid to repeat as regional champs.

The swimmers in the individual races were set at the district meet, though Morse said two of her freshmen boys will get to swim in Lubbock after moving up from regional alternates. But the coaches can change their swimmers in the relays, and Morse said she’ll probably shuffle a couple of her relays on both sides to improve their chances at Lubbock.

“I may go with the medley relay and the 200 free and move the other boys to the 400 free,” she said. Pecos won the 200 and 400 freestyle relays at Abilene two weeks ago, while placing fourth at district in the 200 medley. But Morse said looking at the other results from around Texas, the Eagles would have a better shot at state in the medley relay than they would in the 400 freestyle.

Monahans won the 200 medley with a 1:47.75 time at district, while Pecos finished with a 1:59.68. “If we can go a (1:)46-47 we can make state. I’m not sure in the 400 if our time can even make the Top 16,” Morse said. All race winners automatically qualify for the Class 4A finals in Austin, while the other eight state berths are decided based on best times among the regional results.

Kyle Winkles, Matthew Flores, Matthew Oglesby and Matt Elliott swam the two winning relays at Abilene, and will be moved over to the 200 medley. The district medley team of Luke Serrano, Alonzo Garcia, Dustin Windham and Florez would move over to swim the 400 freestyle race.

Pecos’ girls swam a 2:00.90 to win the 200 medley at district, and are seeded first at regionals, four seconds ahead of Chapin. But the Huskies are seeded first by four seconds in the 200 freestyle relay and by five in the 400 free.

“For the girls I’m going to super-stack the 200 medley and the 200 free. With the 400, maybe we can at least get a second and get picked up. I don’t know, but we’ll just have to see,” Morse said.

Teddie Salcido, Lindsey Shaw, Catherine Minjarez and Susan Moore set a new district record at Abilene, and will again swim the medley at regionals. The only other race for the girls where Pecos has a swimmer seeded first is the 100 freestyle, where Moore’s 58.10 time is .43 seconds better than Chapin’s Amanda Nevarez.

Defending state champion in the 50 free, Lara Jackson, has a 1.7 second advantage over Moore going into Friday’s preliminaries in that race, and a 4.7 second better time than Minjarez in the 100 yard butterfly. The other races in which Pecos swimmers are seeded second are the 200 individual medley, where Yadira Arellano has just under a seven second advantage over Shaw; and the 100-yard breaststroke, where Shaw is seeded just behind Big Spring’s Jessica Hughey, based on their district results.

Salcido is seeded third in the 500 freestyle and fourth in the 200 free, while Minjarez is seeded fifth in the 100 backstroke. Chapin swimmers are seeded first in all three of those events, and Morse said, “To beat Chapin, we know we’re going to have to win at least two of the three relays. I don’t know if we can beat Chapin, but that’s our best chance. The boys will also have a few El Paso challenges facing them at regionals, along with swimmers the defeated at the district meet.

Winkles is seeded first in both of his finals events. He’s just in front of Monahans’ Brandon Nichols in the 100 free and just ahead of the Loboes’ Zac Vaughn in the 100-yard backstroke. Elliott is seeded first by .07 second over Ogelsby in the 100-yard butterfly; Oglesby has a seven second advantage over Vaughn in the 200 individual medley.

Elliott is seeded second by about 1 1/2 seconds to El Paso Burges’ Bobby Gamboa in the 200 freestyle, while in the other races, the boys will have Florez seeded eighth in the 100 free and Garcia seeded ninth in the 500 free, and will have Windham and Serrano also swimming on Friday, after two other district qualifiers dropped out. “Dustin got picked up as first alternate, and now Luke got picked up. Dustin’s in the 100 free and Luke is in the 100 back,” Morse said. Windham also will compete on Thursday in the 1-meter diving finals.

The other regional qualifiers on the girls side are Amanda Contreras, seeded ninth in the 200 free and the 100 fly; Ashley Horsburgh, seeded sixth in the 100 free and ninth in the 100 back; Amie Reynolds, seeded fifth in the 500 free and the100 breaststroke; Ashley Mendoza, seeded sixth in the 500 free and Cassandra Mata, seeded 13th in the 100 breaststroke.

Maidens’ iron defensive play sticks Eagles with loss

The Seminole Maidens have been scoring a little less in the second half of the District 4-3A basketball season than they did in the first half of district play. But their opponents have been getting even fewer points during that time then they did during the first go-round of district games.

The Pecos Eagles were the latest team to find that out on Tuesday night in Seminole. The Eagles, 73-32 losers at home last month to the Maidens, saw Seminole score 14 fewer points on their home court, but at the same time surrender 16 fewer points to the Eagles, as Pecos closed out its 2004-05 season with a 59-16 defeat.

“They’re a good team, but we got some shots we could have made, but we were just intimidated,” Eagles coach Lisa Lowery said. “Their front line is so tall, and we just couldn’t do anything.”

The Maidens, who were never challenged seriously in going 12-0 in district play this season, surrendered only 10 points to Presidio in their previous game, last Friday at Fort Stockton. This time, the Maidens outscored the Eagles 20-2 in the opening period and led 41-5 at the half, before slowing things down in the second half.

Guard Kayla Johnson was the only player for Seminole in double figures, finishing with 17 points, including a trio of 3-point shots. Meanwhile, the Maidens’ front line of Stacy Fitzhugh, Cortney Layton and Kimbre Johnson combined for 20 points, while holding Pecos’ front line players to just four points on the night.

“Their posts work so well together. When you try to stop them outside they just get in inside, and if you tighten it up inside their guard kills you,” Lowery said.

Danielle Garcia scored the Eagles’ other 12 points in her final varsity game, which also included a trio of 3-point baskets. “Danielle hit some from outside, but even she had some problems shooting,” said Lowery. “It was a bad one to end the season on.”

Seminole was the only district team to finish with an overall winning record. The Maidens are 22-8 and will draw a first round bye. They’ll face the winner of the game between the runner-up team out of District 2-3A and the third place finisher from District 1-3A.

Pecos ended their season with a 4-22 record and a 3-9 mark in district. Along with Garcia, the Eagles also graduate three other players, Jessica Carrasco, Cheryl Ortiz and Lily Valdez, off their 2004-05 squad.

PECOS (16) Carrasco 0 0-0 0; Garcia 4 1-4 12; Herrera 0 0-2 0; Ortega 0 0-0 0; Valdez 0 0-0 0; Ortiz 0 0-0 0; Mendoza 0 0-2 0; Armendariz 1 1-2 3; Mazone 0 1-4 1. Totals 5 3-14 16. SEMINOLE (73) Alvidrez 2 0-0 4; Browning 0 0-0 0; Ka. Johnson 7 0-0 17; Jameson 1 0-0 2; Garza 1 0-0 2; Wickson 3 0-0 6; Fitzhugh 4 0-0 8; Sheets 4 0-1 8; Layton 1 1-2 3; Ki. Johnson 3 3-4 9; Ortiz 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 4-7 59. Pecos 2 3 4 7 -- 16 Seminole 20 21 8 10 -- 59 Three-point goals: Pecos 3 (Garcia 3). Seminole 3 (Ka. Johnson 3), Fouled out: None. Total fouls: Pecos 8, Seminole 14.

Eagles struggle with new lineup in scrimmages

With a few more key players in basketball this season than a year ago, the first scrimmage of the 2005 season didn’t go so well for the Pecos Eagles’ softball team Tuesday afternoon against the Alpine Bucks and Kermit Yellowjackets. But the Eagles should have almost all their players available by Saturday, when they’ll host the Crane Golden Cranes and Marfa Shorthorns in their second scrimmage before the start of regular season play.

Eagles’ coach Tammy Walls was minus five players on Tuesday who were in Seminole, as Pecos wrapped up its 2004-05 girls basketball season. And both Pecos and Kermit struggled in the opener, which the Eagles ended up on top of by a 4-3 margin. But against an Alpine team that was also minus several of its players, but more experienced at a couple of infield positions, the Eagles were held to only two hits while making a series of mistakes on defense that helped the Bucks score a 9-0 victory.

“We made a lot of mistakes, throwing to the wrong base and making base running mistakes,” Walls said about the win over Kermit, while against Alpine, “We definitely lack some experience at some positions.”

Hillery Hinojos pitched both games for Pecos, and Walls said she had some control problems against Kermit that helped the Jackets score their runs, while against Alpine she allowed five hits, while being hurt by several throwing errors that gave the Bucks unearned runs in the second, third and fourth innings.

On the positive side, Walls said, “I was pleased with Jessica Flores’ hitting, and I was pleased with Bianca Baeza in centerfield. We made some good plays at times, but we have some girls who just haven’t been out there much before.

“Once we get people into positions where they’re comfortable, we’ll make much better decisions on the field and create more depth on the bench,” she added.

Saturday’s scrimmages will begin at 1 p.m. with the Eagles facing Crane first, and then taking on Marfa after the Shorthorns and Cranes play each other. Regular season play for the Eagles opens next week.

Eagle boys done in again by third quarter problems

The third quarter continued to be a minefield for the Pecos Eagles on the road Tuesday night in Seminole.

The Eagles, who saw Greenwood bomb away from 3-point range last Thursday in a 29-point third period, watched the host Indians rack up 24 points on Tuesday night, turning what had been a competitive game up until that point into a blowout. Seminole went from a 36-24 halftime lead to a 60-32 advantage after three periods, and then went on to defeat Pecos by a 78-42 final score.

“We’ve got to where we play good in the first half, but when we come out in the third quarter things just happen,” said Eagles’ coach Art Welborn, whose team will try to get their first road district win on Friday at Fort Stockton, in a 7:30 p.m. start.

Although Seminole put in 24 points in the third period, Welborn said Pecos’ biggest problem in the quarter was their own offense. “Last night we couldn’t buy a basket. We missed at least five shots in the paint, where if we had made them we could have stopped the bleeding and had a chance to come back.”

The game was closer for a half than last month’s 83-46 win by Seminole in Pecos, in which the Indians were already up by 18 points after one period. This time, the Eagles stayed within seven points of Seminole for most of the first half, until a late run by the Indians gave them a 12-point advantage going in at halftime.

Seminole’s front line of Micah Clay and Matt Castleberry did much of the damage. Clay had a game-high 21 points, including 7-for-7 from the line, while Castleberry finished with 13. Guard Louis Sheets also had 11 points for Seminole.

“They killed us on the boards,” Welborn said. “Lupito (Bustamantes) is doing a better job blocking off on the play side, but on the back side, we just don’t have anybody who can match up against their big guys, and they just killed us with offensive rebounds.”

Pecos did have five 3-pointers in the game, but no one hit more than one from outside. The only starter not to hit from behind the 3-point line, Ricardo Morales, ended up doing in the most scoring for the Eagles, finishing with 15 points. No other Pecos player was in double figures.

Combined with Lamesa’s overtime victory over Greenwood, Seminole’s win left them alone in first place in the district standings with a 9-1 mark, though the Indians are just 13-14 overall. Pecos saw their record slip to 1-9 and 4-22 going into their final road game of the season, on Friday in Fort Stockton. The Panthers are 3-7 in district after a four-point loss at home on Tuesday to Presidio, and beat Pecos on the Eagles’ home court last month. Pecos’ season ends next Tuesday with a home game against Monahans, who the Eagles picked up their only 3-3A win against in late January.

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