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Monday, February 7, 2000

Eagle cagers are outfought by Clint

PECOS, Feb. 7, 2000 -- The Pecos Eagle boys fought from behind all night, but couldn't catch up to the Clint Lions at the finish. Pecos' girls, meanwhile, just fought, and ended up suffering though a rough night on offense in Clint on Friday.

The girls couldn't build on their first win of the season last Tuesday, and lost to the first-place Lions by a 55-19 final score. Pecos' boys had a lot better night, but saw Clint pull away in the closing minutes of their game to score a 72-59 victory.

"We had turnovers at the end," said coach Tino Acosta. Clint jumped out to an eight point lead after one period and were up by 14 going into the final period when the Eagles made a run to cut the lead back to single digits. But the Lions were able to turn things around in the closing minutes to get the win and hold onto third place in the District 2-4A standings.

"We played hard again, but we just made some mistakes at the end that hurt us," Acosta said. "Until we learn to not make mistakes at the end we're going to have a hard time winning ballgames.

Hector Rodriguez led all scorers with a season-high 28 points, while David Chavez was the only other Pecos player in double figures with 10. "They could not stop him (Rodriguez). He got hot in the second and third quarters and we just fed him the ball," Acosta said.

D.J. Check led Clint with 20, and the Lions had three other players in double figures. Pecos' girls didn't have anyone score more than Kalyn Lara's four points, while Clint got 13 points from Polly Wagner and 12 from Collanne Bramblett. The Lions also got into the Eagles' heads early, coach Brian Williams said.

"They got into our heads in the first two minutes and we were out of the game," he said. "We didn't adjust to what they were trying to do. Their game at home is physical and the officials let things go.

"Instead of playing physical with them our players were trying to push them down," he said. "We seem to think physical basketball is retaliation."

Pecos managed to shoot just 7 for 44 from the field, and had 32 turnovers and just three offensive rebounds. "I know we didn't shoot well, but it's hard when you're getting hacked," Williams said. "But we're going to be in this district two more years, so our girls have got to learn how to be physical without going to extremes."

The girls will close out their 1999-2000 season on Tuesday night at home against San Elizario. The boys will also play San Elizario to end their home schedule, but will close their season with two more road games, at El Paso Mountain View and Canutillo.

Lay-up problems cost Balmorhea

Staff Writer
BALMORHEA, Feb. 7, 2000 -- Lay-ups were a problem for the Balmorhea Bears' basketball teams Friday night. The girls couldn't shoot enough of them and gave up too many, while the boys couldn't hit the ones they did get against the Dell City Cougars.

Balmorhea's girls spotted Dell City a 12-0 lead to start the game, then used a series of 3-point shots to tie the score at 33-all before the Cougar's Kelli Stahl got inside for a series of baskets in the closing minutes to give her team a 43-35 lead and the District 1-A basketball title.

The boys just had a bad night shooting inside, as they missed a series of lay-ups, while allowing Dell City's Josh Baker to get inside for a game-high 27 points, as the Cougars tied the Bears for first place in the district standings with a 61-54 victory.

Terri Hernandez and Cathy Garcia led the Bears' comeback from a 33-21 deficit early in the fourth quarter. Garcia had a trio of 3-pointers while Hernandez did get a couple of lay-ups off fast break steals. Hernandez was then fouled trying with 4:26 to play, and her missed foul shot was rebounded and put in by Luz Quinones to give the Bears their first tie of the night.

But other than the fast breaks, the Bears had problems getting shots in-close during the game, and went cold from outside over the final three minutes, while Stahl scored the Cougars' final 10 points of the game, and finished with 20 overall.

"We caught up at 33-33, but we spent all our time trying to get there," said coach Ennis Erickson. "The big problem in the first half was we weren't getting many baskets because we weren't rebounding. Plenty of times we would get one shot and that was it."

Dell City suffered a loss when forward Crystal Mendoza suffered a knee injury late in the third period. Mendoza had 10 points before then, six in the opening period when the Cougars jumped out to their 12-0 lead. Balmorhea finally got on the scoreboard on a 3-pointer by Hernandez with 3:16 left in the opening period, and came out of the first period down 14-5.

"We tried to move around a little more to get her (Hernandez) open. Some times it works, some time it doesn't," said Erickson. Hernandez led the Bears with 15 points, while Garcia put in 14 for Balmorhea, which is 2-3 in district and tied with Sierra Blanca for the second District 2-4A playoff berth.

The boys head beaten Dell City on the road last month, but led only once on Friday, at 22-21 after a three-point play by Manny Mendoza with 4:46 left in the half. But that lead lasted only three seconds, as Baker was fouled and hit one free throw to tie the game, and post Mason Templeton then scored and was fouled for a three-point playoff of his own to give the Cougars a 25-22 lead.

The Bears only got to within two points once more, at 28-26 on a Kevin Rodriguez lay-up. Dell City closed out the half with a 9-4 run for a 37-30 lead, and the Bears had climbed back to within 41-38 midway through the third period, the Cougars ran off 12 straight points to take a 53-38 lead before Billy Lozano scored on a rebound just before the period was over.

"We missed a lot of lay-ups, a lot of easy shots," said coach Adolfo Garcia. "We couldn't out-rebound that tall kid, No. 24 (Templeton). They out-rebounded us 53-41."

The inside scoring by Templeton (18 points) and Baker meant the Cougars didn't have to rely on much shooting from the outside, but Balmorhea could manage just one 3-pointer on the night, by Kevin Rodriguez.

"Our 3-pointers weren't going in at all today, and I had two of my leading scorers (Manny Mendoza and Isaiah Rodriguez) in foul trouble," Garcia said.

Rodriguez led the Bears with 16 points, but fouled out midway through the final period. Baker, meanwhile, picked up his fourth foul with 5:50 left in the third period, but made it through the rest of the game untouched, as the Cougars maintained a double-digit lead until the final 19 seconds of the game.

Both teams are 4-1 in district play going into their final regular season games, Balmorhea against Valentine and Dell City versus Sierra Blanca. Garcia said a first place playoff game, if necessary, would probably be held in Van Horn on Feb. 15.

Pecos girls fifth in opening  tourney

PECOS, Feb. 7, 2000 -- The Pecos Eagle girls golf team began their 2000 season over the weekend with a fifth place finish at the San Angelo Girls Golf Classic.

The Eagles knocked 43 strokes off their first day's score and had the fourth-best round of the day on Saturday with a 350 total and finished at 743 for 36 holes.

"The weather was real bad the first day. It was real windy and it is a harder course," Eagles' coach Tina Hendrick said about the Quicksand Golf Course, which Pecos played on Friday. The Eagles and the rest of the Blue Division played Riverside Golf Course on Saturday.

Amanda Stickels had the Eagles' low score, a 93-86-179 while Candace Hillard had the biggest drop, going from a 112 on Friday to an 86 Saturday for a 198 total. Cassie Foster shot a 96-89-185, Salem Mitchell shot a 100-89-189 and Lauren Martinez shot a 109-98-202.

Hendrick said Hillard "just blew up the first day. Her and Salem both had a real rough first day.

"They were in their middle game better on Saturday. We did real well and I'm proud of them. They kept right on going," she added.

Snyder continued its string of success at San Angelo, taking the Blue Division title with a 349-321-670 score, 28 strokes ahead of Andrews, which shot a 365-333-698. Fort Stockton was third with a 365-342-707, Pampa was fourth with a 382-353-735, and eight shots up on Pecos, while Monahans and Lake View were sixth and seventh in the 15-team field, with 788 and 818 scores.

The Eagles will face most of those same teams this coming Friday and Saturday at the Big Spring Invitational, which will also be the season-opening tournament for Pecos' boys golf team.

Moss gathers in passes, NFC rolls, 51-31

HONOLULU, Feb. 7, 2000  (AP) - The AFC didn't have an answer for Randy Moss.

The Minnesota Vikings second-year receiver was the star of the Pro Bowl, catching nine passes for a record 212 yards, scoring a touchdown and setting up four other scores as the NFC routed the AFC 51-31 Sunday.

"If I'm not into the game, if I'm bored, that's the only way I think I can be stopped," said the 6-foot-4 Moss, who used his height advantage to outleap the AFC defensive backs, particularly 5-11 Sam Madison of Miami and 6-foot James Hasty of Kansas City.

Moss' catches set up two of Tampa Bay fullback Mike Alstott's three touchdowns. He also had key catches on drives that led to two of three field goals by Jason Hanson of the Detroit Lions.

"We had a lot of fun," Moss said. "With Alstott rumbling through there, we did some good things. I'm not really into individual awards and things like that, but I guess I'll take them when they come."

St. Louis Cardinals cornerback Aeneas Williams and Tampa Bay linebacker Derrick Brooks returned interceptions for touchdowns for the NFC, while Jimmy Smith of Jacksonville had three touchdown passes for the AFC.

The game's 82 points broke the mark of 64 points set in 1980. The NFC's 51 points also set a record.

The NFC was smart to use a game plan that took advantage of Moss' height, Madison said.

"He's one of the best," Madison said. "They put him in a situation to make plays, and that's what he did."

Moss' last catch was a 25-yard TD reception from Carolina's Steve Beuerlein with 1:05 to play that closed the scoring.

The score seemed to bring out some bad feelings between the two teams, who accused each other of breaking Pro Bowl rules that prevent blitzing and rushing the kicker.

"They were breaking a whole lot of rules out there," Beuerlein said. "I think it was a statement from our coaching staff, kind of like, `Look at the scoreboard, and here's another touchdown to think about."'

AFC coach Tom Coughlin took exception to Beuerlein's comments.

"Steve Beuerlein is out of control in that respect," Coughlin said. "We didn't coach anything other than what the rules are. Before they speak about what we were doing, they probably ought to look at themselves."

Alstott, the Tampa Bay fullback, scored on runs of 1, 3 and 1 yards. He finished with 13 carries for 67 yards.

Brooks picked off a pass from Jacksonville's Mark Brunell and raced untouched 20 yards for a touchdown to make it 44-24 with 11:12 left.

"I couldn't believe no one was around, so I just took my time getting to the end zone," Brooks said.

Smith finished with eight catches for 119 yards, while Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning was 17-of-23 for 270 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions, including the one to Williams. Warner finished 8-of-11 for 123 yards, including some big plays to Moss. "It's great to be able to toss it up there and watch him go up and get it," Warner said. "He does a great job of that."

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