Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, December 23, 2005
Pecos gets ‘no-pressure’ win over Presidio
Holding onto narrow late leads hasn’t been a major problem for the Pecos Eagle boys basketball team for the past decade or so, because the leads have been few and far between.
So when Luis Licon went down and scored off a steal with 1:02 left in Monday afternoon’s game against the Presidio Blue Devils to put Pecos ahead 52-51, it figured to be a battle for the Eagles to maintain their lead the rest of the way in the District 3-3A opener for both teams.
Instead, the Eagles had a surprisingly easy time keeping the ball away from Presidio, after Jesus Martinez missed a chance to tie the game from the foul line with 47.4 seconds to play. The Blue Devils had committed just three fouls in the second half at that point, and would either need a steal or would have to commit four quick fouls to get into the penalty situation, and then hope Pecos missed their chances from the foul line.
But after being whistled for one foul with 38 seconds to play, Presidio never fouled again, and never came close to stealing the ball after surrounding Bosh Richardson, which led to a quick time-out by coach Art Wellborn. Pecos would run out the clock after the inbounds, and escape with a one-point win in their only district game until after the New Year’s holiday.
“I still can’t believe they let us run off that last 20 seconds off at the buzzer,” said Wellborn. “Especially if they had started with 38 seconds left, they could have given four fouls.”
While the last 38 seconds may not have been as hard-fought as Wellborn expected, the Eagles did have to come back twice against Presidio, rallying from an 11-point deficit in the second period to tie the game at halftime, then coming from behind at the finish, after the Blue Devils took a 49-41 lead with 3:25 to play.
“It was a good win for our kids, and the kind we needed, especially after that Wink thing,” Wellborn said, referring to last Friday’s 65-43 loss to the Wildcats, when the Eagles shot 16 percent from the field in the first half, and couldn’t find the range from outside until the final period.
Licon nailed a 3-point jumper on Pecos’ first possession on Monday, but for the next several minutes the Eagles’ shooting went back to Friday’s levels. They missed their next seven shots, all from 3-point range, while Presidio scored 10 points in a row to grab a seven-point lead.
“That’s why I called a time-out. We hadn’t shot anything but 3-pointers,” said Wellborn. “I told them they had to start getting the ball inside.”
Two foul shots by Lupito Bustamantes and a lay-up by Licon got the Eagles back into the game, though a late 3-pointer by Kevin Tavarez left Pecos trailing 17-11 at the end of the first period. That lead would grow to 26-15 midway through the second quarter, on a basket and free throw by Martinez, and the score was 28-17 a few moments later when the Eagles began an 11-0 run to close out the half.
Josh Anchondo hit a 3-pointer to start the streak, and Richardson and Bustamantes followed with lay-ups to make it 28-24. Richardson then scored on a rebound lay-up and was fouled by Martinez with 43 seconds left. He missed his foul shot, but Bustamantes got the rebound and scored to tie the game.
The Eagles would lead by as many as five points in the third period, at 35-30 after a Licon 3-pointer, but baskets by Jaime Ortega, Martinez and Tavarez to close out the period gave Presidio a 40-39 lead. In the final period, after the teams traded opening baskets, Tavarez would get inside for a pair of lay-ups and the Blue Devils would add three foul shots, two by Ortega at the 3:25 mark, to take an eight-point lead.
But Bustamantes then scored on a rebound basket, Anchondo hit a lay-up the next trip downcourt and Richardson would nail a 3-pointer to get the Eagles back to within one. Two foul shots by Tavarez with 1:41 to play made it 51-48, but Richardson then hit two from the line with 1:24 left, and Licon would then score off a steal by Anchondo to give the Eagles the lead.
“I’m glad we finally beat Presidio. It’s only the second district team I’ve beaten,” said Wellborn, whose team got both their 3-3A victories last season over Monahans, in his first year as Eagles’ head coach.
Bustmantes led Pecos with 18 points, while Licon had 10, and Presidio was led by Martinez with 16 points and Tavarez with 13. The win was only Pecos’ second of the season, to go along with 10 losses, but allows them to start district at 1-0, with their next district game not until Jan. 6, when they go to Greenwood.
The Eagles were scheduled to play in a tournament over the holiday break in Fort Stockton, but it has been cancelled. Pecos’ next game is on Jan. 3, when they travel to Andrews to face the Mustangs.
Pecos also won Monday’s junior varsity and freshman games over Presidio. The ninth graders defeated the Blue Devils, 59-44, while the JV won, 47-31. Timo Reyes led the freshmen with 15 points, and Francisco Ornelas’ 13 topped the JV in scoring.
Guards’ scoring lifts Eagles to win
The Pecos Eagles haven’t been scoring many points during the current girls basketball season, but when they have most have come from their front line players.
But on Monday afternoon against the Presidio Blue Devils, the Eagle guards accounted for the bulk of the points, as Pecos got its first District 3-3A win of the season by beating Presidio, 46-35.
The Eagles already owned a one-point win in Presidio, in non-district play last month, but went into Monday’s home game without leading scorer Adriana Armendariz, who injured her ankle in Pecos’ 47-37 loss at Monahans on Dec. 16, and got just eight points on the day from their second-leading scorer, Chantell Mazone.
Instead, guards Vanessa Valeriano, Olga Mendoza and Amalie Herrera combined for 31 of Pecos’ 46 points. Valeriano had 16 points, Herrera had eight, and Mendoza seven, all from the foul line, thanks to the aggressive play of the Blue Devils, who committed 22 fouls to just nine for the Eagles.
“I think as a team we did a good job. I think everybody played a role in it,” said Eagles’ coach Lisa Lowery. “I think our guards did a better job handling the ball and looking to shoot.”
Pecos trailed only once in the game, at 2-0 following a basket by Yubia Zubia, who tied Valeriano for high-point honors with 16. The Eagles would take the lead for good at 6-4 on a pair of free throws by Mazone, and led 11-6 at the end of the period, after a pair of lay-ups by Valeriano and a foul shot by Gaby Garcia.
The margin would stay there until late in the second period, when free throws by Herrera and Jasmine Rayos gave the Eagles a 20-15 halftime lead. Pecos would get its first double-digit lead at 26-15 when Valeriano scored off a missed foul shot by Mazone, after she hit a lay-up and was fouled by Zubia.
The Blue Devils’ forward would keep her team in the game during the second half with a series of corner jump shots, the last of which got Presidio back to within 31-25 early in the final period. But Valeriano then connected on the only 3-point shot of the game and scored on a lay-up the next time downcourt to get the lead back up to 11, and the Blue Devils would be unable to narrow the margin to less than nine points the rest of the way.
“We handled time management a little bit better, but not great,” Lowery said. “We still cannot get it into our heads we’re not behind, we’re ahead and we have to take care of the ball. But I think we’re closer to getting there for the full game.”
The win allowed the Eagles to go into the Christmas break with a 1-2 record in district and 4-11 overall, while Presidio is now 0-2 in district play. With their scheduled holiday week tournament in Fort Stockton cancelled and with the district bye date up first for Pecos in 2006, their next game won’t be until Jan. 2, when they travel to Greenwood to face the Rangerettes, who also are 1-2 in district play.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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