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Monday, January 17, 2000

Cats down Eagles in 5 OTs, 95-90

PECOS, Jan. 17, 2000 -- The Pecos Eagles and Fabens Wildcats were pretty closely matched when they met in Monahans a month ago. But that was just a warm-up for their game Friday night in Fabens.

The Eagles and Wildcats went five overtimes and ended the game with just two players on the court for each side, with Fabens' duo outscoring Pecos 11-6 in the fifth OT period to come away with a 95-90 victory.

The game was the first of a very late-night doubleheader for the Eagles and Wildcats. In the second game, Pecos' boys opened up District 2-4A play with an 88-65 loss to Fabens. The losses dropped both teams to 0-16 on the season.

Fabens had beaten Pecos in Monahans last month by a 47-44 final score. This time, the Wildcats led for almost all of regulation, and were up 39-30 going into the fourth quarter when the Eagles came up with their biggest offensive output of the season, scoring 22 points in the fourth quarter to tie the score at 52-all.

"We had a chance to win it in regulation. Maricela (Arenivas) had two free throws with four seconds left, and she hit the first to tie the game, but missed the second to win it," said Eagles' coach Brian Williams, who said the officials hurt his team in the first overtime.

"With 10 seconds left Jessica Rodriguez missed a lay-up, but we stole the ball and called a time out with four seconds left," he said. "We got the ball into Alexa (Marquez) when she was at the top of the key. She made a move and they called traveling on her, but it wasn't. I looked at the tape yesterday and she was still dribbling the ball, so I don't know how they could call a walk on her."

Attrition started to set in by the third overtime, as both teams started to run out of players to put on the court. Williams said Pecos was able to rally from a five-point deficit in the third overtime to tie the score at 78-78, but missed several free throw chances and then couldn't take advantage of a 3-on-2 situation in the fourth OT.

By the fifth OT, Williams said, "We only had two out there. Kalyn (Lara) and Christina Arenivas were the last two on the floor. They finished the game up 2-on-2 which was the darndest thing I've every seen"

"We went 3-for-11 in that last period. Kalyn was so tired by the last time she went to the foul line she couldn't even get the ball over her head, and her legs were shaking," Williams said.

If nothing else, the game was a major turnaround on offense for the Eagles, who hadn't scored more than 41 points in any of their games since losing to Fabens. Maricela Arenivas got that by herself Friday, finishing with five 3-pointers and 14-for-20 shooting from the foul line.

Williams said 24 of her 41 points came in the overtime periods, while Fabens' Paula Portillo finished with 38 points, most of that coming in the first half and in overtime.

"We had to go to a box-and-one on her, and she only scored three points in the second half," said Williams. "I had Mireya (Medrano) run after her, and when she got tired I sent Kalyn in, and when she got tired I put Maricela on her."

Portillo had six of Fabens' seven 3-pointers, while the Eagles had eight overall, though Williams said after looking at the video, Marquez should have been credited with a second 3-point shots Marquez during regulation, that the officials credited only as a 2-pointer.

Suzie Ramirez had 20 points for Fabens, which is 1-2 in district, while the Eagles had just one other player in double figures despite scoring 90 points, as Philly Fobbs finished with 14.

The boys ran into the same problem against Fabens they've had several times this season _ a lack of height inside, and some good 3-point shooting by the Wildcats.

Manny Solis had 15 of his game-high 29 points from outside the 3-point stripe, while Alonzo Fabela and Luis Loya each had 10 points from the inside. Fabens took a nine-point lead after one period, widened that to 48-29 at the half, and then outscored Pecos 35-17 in the third period.

"What hurt us was giving up 29 points to No. 12 (Solis)," coach Tino Acosta said. As for the other problem," I'm not going to worry about height anymore, because we're always going to be the shortest team."

Hector Rodriguez had another good night scoring inside for Pecos, finishing with 25 points. "He got a little hot in the third period," Acosta said. "He's our most consistent offensive player and Adrian Rayos is turning into our consistently best defensive player."

Fabens also won Friday's junior varsity game, 49-38. Both Eagle teams will be at home on Tuesday to face the Clint Lions. The girls' game will start at 6 p.m., followed by the boys varsity match-up at 7:30 p.m.

Jimmy gone, Miami awaits Marino's fate

AP Sports Writer
DAVIE, Fla, Jan. 17, 2000. - TV cameras clustered at the exit from the Miami Dolphins' parking lot, hoping to record reaction to Jimmy Johnson's departure as coach.

Some players stopped and rolled down their windows to be interviewed. Dan Marino left without answering questions, his destination unknown.

Following perhaps the most tumultuous weekend in team history, it's still unclear whether Marino is headed for retirement.

Johnson called it quits Sunday and was replaced by Dave Wannstedt, but the coaching change did little to clarify the quarterback situation. Wannstedt stammered when asked if Marino, 39 next season, can still win in the NFL.

"Ah, you know what, I ... yeah, I mean, Dan had a tough year because of some injuries and so forth," Wannstedt said. "Dan and I will talk. What his plans are for the future I don't know. We'll hold off on the Dan thing."

Later, Wannstedt declined to say whether he wants Marino back.

"It's a very sensitive issue," Wannstedt said. "We're going to do the right thing."

The Dolphins are hesitant partly because Marino's salary cap figure will be about $7.5 million in 2000. But after Saturday's 62-7 playoff loss at Jacksonville, the future Hall of Famer sounded like he wanted to play another season.

"I still feel like I can win games in this league," Marino said. "I've proven that and will continue to do that. So we'll see."

The coaching change slightly increases the likelihood that Marino will return, because Johnson wasn't expected to want him back. The transition was surprising only because it happened so fast - less than 24 hours after the worst defeat in franchise history ended Johnson's fourth season at Miami.

Johnson, 56, will remain with the team as a consultant on personnel matters, but his involvement will be limited, owner Wayne Huizenga said.

"He does not want to be under contract. He does not want a job. He does not want any day-to-day position," Huizenga said. "He wants to fish."

Wannstedt, 47, signed a three-year contract as the fourth coach in Dolphins history. He went 40-56 in six seasons with the Chicago Bears before being fired in 1998, then joined the Dolphins' staff as assistant head coach.

Wannstedt was also an assistant to Johnson with the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Hurricanes.

"People are going to find out how great a coach he is," Johnson said. "He's a better coach than I am."

Johnson was frustrated in Miami by his disagreements with Marino, his feuds with the media and his failure to deliver a championship. Late-season collapses were a perennial problem, and this season the Dolphins stumbled to a 3-7 finish after a 7-1 start.

Johnson told Huizenga of his plan to quit late in the regular season. Unlike a year ago, when Johnson briefly considered retirement, Huizenga didn't try to dissuade him.

"This time it's final and forever," Johnson said.

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Pecos Enterprise
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