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Wednesday, January 12, 2000

Pineda carries Canutillo to  win over Pecos

Staff Writer
PECOS, Jan 12, 2000 -- When you're having trouble scoring points, like the Pecos Eagles have during the 1999-2000 girls basketball season, just one good half by an opposing team can be tough to overcome.

Tuesday night, it was one good player having one good half that got the Canutillo Eagles out to a lead they were able to maintain through the final two periods of play, as Canutillo defeated Pecos by a 51-41 score in the Eagles' District 2-4A home opener.

Ale Pineda scored 18 of her 26 points in the first half, when Canutillo went out to as much as a nine point lead, then hit four straight free throws midway through the final period, after Pecos had narrowed the visiting Eagles' lead down to 39-35 on a three-point play by Philonicus Fobbs. That came with 4 ½ minutes to play, but the Eagles would then go without a basket until a steal and jumper by Alexa Marquez three minutes later, by which time Canutillo had built the lead back up to 11 points.

"The girls left it out on the court tonight. That's the kind of effort we want, because even though it didn't work out in the end you can't say it was because of lack of effort," said Eagles' coach Brian Williams.

Pineda had 11 points in the opening period, when Canutillo jumped out to a 17-11 lead. Fobbs, who was assigned to guard the senior, ended up in early foul trouble, and while the Eagles did slow the senior down some in the second half, all three players who guarded Pineda _ Fobbs, Kalyn Lara and Dee Dee Molinar _ ended up fouling out of the game.

A Pineda lay-up with three minutes left in the first half gave Canutillo a 26-15 lead. But a 3-point jumper by Maricela Arenivas, who led Pecos with 16 points, and two jumpers Mireya Medrano cut the margin back down to 28-22 by halftime. Pecos got to within five early in the third period on another basket by Arenivas, but Pineda's only basket of the second half, followed by two Gracie Borjas free throws, widened the margin back to nine.

Pecos was still within six with just over three minutes left when Perla Salais hit one of two free throws, and Belinda Gonzalez then hit a 15-footer when Canutillo rebounded the missed shot. Molinar then missed two free throws and Borjas put the game away with a lay-up to make it 48-37 with just over two minutes left.

"It's like I've been telling people before. We've been playing good defense, it's just that our shooting is not where it should be," said Williams, as the 41 points was the most by Pecos since a 47-44 loss a month ago to Fabens in non-district play.

Medrano also ended up fouling out for Pecos, as Canutillo ended up going to the foul line 34 times, and hit half there shots from there, after El Paso Mountain View took 53 free throws in the Eagles' district opener last Friday. Pecos was just 8-for-18 from the line, despite 5-for-6 shooting by Arenivas and a 2-2 night from Fobbs, who also was in double figures with 10 points.

Tuesday's game started 90 minutes early because there was no freshman game. The combined freshman and junior varsity squad lost to Canutillo by a 64-32 final score. Tiana Terry had 10 points to lead Pecos.

The Eagles' next game will be a rematch against Fabens on Friday night, starting at 7 p.m. CST on the Wildcats' home court. It will be followed by the boys' district opener against Fabens, starting about 8:30 p.m.


Garcia 3 0-1 6; Borjas 1 2-4 4; Retina 1 0-3 2; Cercernes 0 0-0 0; Gonzalez 2 2-4 6; Ochoa 0 0-0 0; Mora 0 0-0 0; Acosta 0 0-2 0; Salais 1 2-6 4; Pineda 8 10-12 26; Estrada 1 1-2 3. Totals 17 17-34 51

PECOS (41)

C. Arenivas 1 0-0 2; Rodriguez 0 0-2 0; Marquez 1 0-2 2; Molinar 1 1-4 3; Quiroz 0 0-0 0; M. Arenivas 5 5-6 16; Medrano 4 0-0 8; Salgado 0 0-2 0; Lara 0 0-0 0; Fobbs 4 2-2 10. Totals 16 8-18 41.

Canutillo    17   11   7   16 - 51
Pecos          11   11   6   13 - 41

Three-point goals: Pecos 1 (M. Arenivas) Fouled out: Canutillo Estrada, Pecos Fobbs, Lara, Molinar, Medrano. Total fouls: Canutillo 19, Pecos 27.

Pecos powerlifters place sixth at Stockton

PECOS, Jan. 12, 2000 -- With football over and track season still a month away, some of the Pecos Eagles were helping their own off-season programs this past weekend by competing in a powerlifting competition held at Fort Stockton High School.

A total of 16 teams and 200 competitors were entered in the meet, coach Steve Cross said, and the Eagles place sixth overall. Individually, they collected one first place finish, by Gito Crawford in the 275-pound weight class.

"This was the first meet ever for all lifters from Pecos except Chris Lara, Orlando Lara, and Gito Crawford," Cross said, adding that the team overall "made an excellent showing."

Orlando Lara placed third in the 181-pound weight class, while Chris Lara was fifth in his division, at 148 pounds. Behind Lara at 181 pounds for Pecos were Gilbert Rodriguez in seventh place and Robert Natividad in 13th place overall.

Patrick Sparkman had the next-best finish for Pecos behind Crawford and Lara, getting fourth in the 132-pound class. The largest weight class for Pecos was at 165 pounds, where Martin Guzman was 13th, Chris Orona 14th, Mason Hounshell 15th and Hugo Rodriguez 18th. Gabriel Huertas was sixth in the Super Heavyweight Division, while Joel Matta was 12th at 198 pounds and Adam Salgado was 11th at 220 pounds for the Eagles.

Cross said the next powerlifting meet would be this coming Saturday, when the Eagles go to Monahans.

Nutt says he's not headed to Cowboys

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark, Jan. 12, 2000. (AP) - Arkansas gave football coach Houston Nutt a raise to almost $1 million annually as his name surfaced as a possible replacement for Dallas Cowboys coach Chan Gailey, who was fired Tuesday.

Arkansas Athletic Director Frank Broyles said it was coincidence that he raised Nutt's salary to $950,000 amid talk that the coach might leave. Nutt has taken the Razorbacks to two consecutive Jan. 1 bowl games.

Nutt was mentioned on a Dallas radio talk show as a possible replacement for Gailey, and Fox Sports News said Jones had contacted the Arkansas coach. Nutt's team practiced at Texas Stadium, the Cowboys' home field, as the Razorbacks prepared for the Cotton Bowl two weeks ago. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, a former Razorback player, also addressed the team.

Nutt said he had not been "officially contacted" about the job and said the talk already had hurt recruiting.

"I tell you, I just don't want to hurt ourselves in recruiting right now," Nutt said Tuesday. "I've already gotten two calls from Dallas prospects and it's just killing me. They heard it down there."

Broyles said Tuesday night that Jones had not been in touch.

"That is false. I talked to Houston. Nobody has contacted me or Houston," Broyles said.

Broyles said he could understand that Nutt would be a desirable candidate but said he did not believe Jones would raid his own alma mater for a coach.

"That is a false, damaging and erroneous report," Broyles said.

Most college coaches work with five-year contracts, but Arkansas officials have been trying to make final a 10-year contract for Nutt. Nutt worked through last year without a signed contract, but was paid about $650,000 according to a verbal agreement with the university. When he was hired Dec. 10, 1997, he received a six-year contract worth about $500,000 a year.

"I want the job to be comparable with the other schools in the top of the SEC," Broyles said. "We will have him over $1 million as soon as we can."

He said it would be another year or so before Nutt's compensation could be raised again.

Kevin Scanlon, Nutt's agent, said parts of the new contract have been completed, but the entire deal had not been executed. "I'm excited to hear coach Broyles talking about $950,000," Scanlon said. "It's a good start. In the past, the university has said that Houston should be the highest-paid coach in the SEC West." Nick Saban, hired last year as the new coach at LSU, will make $1.2 million annually. Broyles said Nutt had never asked what he's making and had never asked for a raise.

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