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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Tuesday, February 22, 2000

Bears face Indians in playoffs

PECOS, Feb. 22, 2000 -- Outside of a couple of ranch houses around Wild Rose Pass, there really is no midway point for the Balmorhea Bears and Fort Davis Indians to stage a basketball game. So the two teams will be heading north to Pecos tonight to face each other in the bi-district round of the Class A boys basketball playoffs, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Balmorhea comes in having won a playoff to claim the District 1-A title last week, while Fort Davis lost their playoff game to Marfa for the District 2-A crown. Overall for the season, the Bears are 14-8 after their 61-37 win in Van Horn a week ago over Dell City, while the Indians stand at 19-6, following their 45-30 loss on Feb. 14 to the Shorthorns.

Balmorhea got both their running game and their outside shooting going after a slow start in last week's playoff against Dell City, allowing them to offset the Cougars' size advantage inside. Guard Manny Mendoza led the Bears with 19 points, while post Isaiah Rodriguez added 12, as Balmorhea broke the game open by outscoring Dell City 31-16 in the middle two periods.

Fort Davis did split their games against Marfa in regular season play, before losing the one-game playoff to the Shorthorns. In their 51-45 win last month, Orly Sanchez had 19 points to top the Indians, while Derrick Rhineberg and Phillip Crude also were in double figures with 11 and 10 points.

Eagle girls rally to beat Loboes, 10-7

PECOS, Feb. 22, 2000 -- The Pecos Eagles' softball team took another step towards becoming a factor in Class 4A softball in West Texas on Friday, with a victory over a Class 3A team they struggled against in their first two years of varsity competition.

The Eagles went into Monahans and came out with a 10-7 victory over the Loboes, rallying from a 6-2 deficit with seven runs in the fifth inning.

Jessica Rodriguez' bases-loaded triple highlighted the fifth inning rally, as it turned a 6-4 Loboes' lead into a 7-6 Eagles' advantage. It was part of a 5-for-5 day for Rodriguez, Eagles' coach Tammy Walls said.

While the Eagles won the District 2-4A softball title last season, they had yet to beat an established team from the Permian Basin until Friday. Monahans' softball program had a three-year head start on Pecos, and had beaten the Eagles each of the past two years.

"Playing them close was not going to do it. We were going to have to beat them this time," said Walls. "The first year we played them our kids were in shock at how good they were. Last year was a lot closer, and I told the seniors as they got off the bus this was their last chance to beat them.

"I thought we showed a lot of character coming back after getting down," Walls said. "Everybody hit the ball. I don't know of anybody who did not contribute.

Pecos held 1-0 and 2-1 leads after the first and third innings, when the Loboes scored five times in the fourth against pitcher Alexa Marquez. The Eagles then responded with their seven-run fifth, and after the Loboes cut the gap to 9-7 in the bottom of the inning, Marquez shut out the Loboes in the final two innings. Meanwhile, Pecos scored an insurance run on a wild pitch in the top of the seventh inning.

"Alexa did a really good job. She had her pitches down and was controlling the plate. She made them pop up a bunch," Walls said.

Rodriguez' 5-for-5 also included two doubles to go along with the fifth inning triple, though she was thrown out at home plate trying for an inside-the-park grand slam. "That was my fault, but with the bases loaded, I wanted her to score," Walls said.

Senior Katrina Quiroz was 3-for-4 with two singles and a double, and Pecos' other senior starter, Valerie Gonzales went 2-for-4 with a triple. Catcher Rebecca Wein also was 2-for-4 with a triple and Maricela Arenivas had the other triple on the day for Pecos, which improved to 2-0 on the season.

Monahans, which lost their season opener last Tuesday at Big Spring, fell to 0-2 with the loss.

The Eagles' next game will be in the Tall City Softball Tournament at Midland on Friday, Pecos drew a first round bye and will face either Fort Stockton or the Midland Lee junior varsity in their 10:30 a.m. opener.

PHS rally set for swim team tonight

PECOS, Feb. 22, 2000 -- Pecos High School will be holding a pep rally tonight for the Pecos Eagles' swimming team, which will be sending nine swimmers to the Class 4A State Finals in Austin this weekend.

The pep rally will begin at 7 p.m. in the old Pecos High School gym, and is open to the public.

This is the first year schools from Class 4A and below have had their own regional and state meets. Pecos' boys had won eight of the previous 10 district titles, but had never gotten a swimmer past the Class 5A schools at regional. This year, the Eagles ran away with the Region I-4A title and qualified swimmers Kevin Bates, Tye Edwards, Randall Reynolds, Patrick McChesney, Jason Lopez, Grant Holland, Cortney Freeman and Scott Pounds to Austin.

On the girls' side, JoAnn Wein qualified for state by winning the 200 and 500 yard freestyle races at regionals.

The preliminaries will begin at 10:30

NASCAR eye changes after `boring' Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Feb. 22, 2000 (AP) - The Great American Race was more like The Great American Snooze for all but a few, crucial laps at the end.

After hearing complaints from drivers and enduring a relatively dull Daytona 500, NASCAR officials decided Monday that some tinkering with their rules might be in order.

NASCAR will take cars back to the wind tunnel for testing, trying to even out the edge the Fords clearly gained in the offseason. A complete redesign of the Chevrolets, combined with a new set of shock and spring rules, produced just four on-track lead changes Sunday.

Just as telling - Ford Tauruses swept the top five spots, with Dale Jarrett driving the best Ford of all.

Even Jarrett, still beaming from his third win in the stock-car racing's biggest event, saw the problem NASCAR was facing.

"From a driver's standpoint, it's a lot easier racing because we're not threewide, side-by-side all the time," Jarrett said. "But we understand that these fans pay to see that kind of racing. We've got this sport to the highest level right now, and we don't need to take away from that."

To show just how serious they are, NASCAR officials will even test Jarrett's winning car, temporarily pulling it from its display at Daytona USA, where the vehicle traditionally goes on display for a year.

It's a car that has known little but success, winning at Talladega in 1998, at Daytona last July and finishing second in both Talladega races last year.

"I know you can build more cars," said Todd Parrott, Jarrett's crew chief. "But it's hard to come up with race cars that drive like that one does."

Still, it seems a good bet that Jarrett's team will adjust.

He has been the most consistent and dominating driver for exactly a year now. Since crashing early in the 1999 Daytona 500, Jarrett has finished outside the top 10 in just three races. He's the defending Winston Cup champion, but any thoughts of complacency seem far removed.

"Having won the championship, you don't want to settle for anything less," Jarrett said. "I understand how Dale Earnhardt and those other guys have won all those championships. Because once you get it, that's all you want."

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Pecos Enterprise
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