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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Tuesday, June 20, 2000

Texas Football picks Eagles to miss playoffs

PECOS, June 20, 2000 -- The Pecos Eagles' football team was given a little pre-season motivation this week by Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine, as the Eagles were picked to miss the Class 4A playoffs for the first time in three seasons.

Texas Football picked El Paso Mountain View, San Elizario and Fabens to earn the three playoff berths for District 2-4A this time around, with Pecos, Clint and Canutillo rounding out the selections. Pecos and Clint have made the playoffs each of the past two seasons, while Canutillo advanced in 1998 as co-champions with the Eagles.

Mountain View was given the nod for the district title due in part to having the most returning starters _ eight on offense and seven on defense. Fabens returns district-leading rusher Vincente Macias and quarterback Rigo Estrada, while San Elizario graduated co-offensive MVP Mike Perez, but get back running back/cornerback Mike Tapia and tight end/defensive end Albert Jacobo.

Pecos returns half of their starters from a year ago, including defensive MVP Daniel Terrazas, when they finished 5-6 and 3-2 in district. The Eagles will be looking to improve on their offensive effort from last season, when they were blanked in their final regular season game by San Elizario and were shut out by El Paso Ysleta in the bi-district round of the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the Balmorhea Bears were picked to get back into the playoffs this season in six-man football, after missing post-season play in 1999.

The Bears are picked to finish second behind Sanderson in District 8-A six man, after finishing 5-4 last season. Balmorhea loses four of their six starters on both offense and defense, while Sanderson returns four of their six starters both ways from a year ago.

Balmorhea is expected to benefit from the realignment for the 2000 season, which shifted four-time defending district champion Grandfalls into District 7-A, where they are picked by Texas Football to win the title, and are ranked sixth overall in the magazine's pre-season six-man football poll.

In the coaches' poll, Sanderson is ranked ninth and Grandfalls 10th, while Panther Creek is picked first in both the magazine and coaches polls.

Pecos' old Class 4A district has been realigned with the move of Fort Stockton from Class 4A to 3A. In the new District 4-4A, Wolford Frenship is picked to take first, based on the transfer of Kendal Briles from defending state champion Stephenville to play for the Tigers. Briles' father, coach Art Briles, left his Stephenville job to become an assistant coach at Texas Tech during the offseason.

Frenship if ranked third in the magazine's Class 4A preseason poll. Plainview is picked second, while Big Spring is favored to beat out Andrews for third in the eight-team district, though the magazine ranks the Steers 22nd in their poll while the Bulldogs are unranked.

Fort Stockton, meanwhile, is expected to end its 22-year playoff drought with the move to Class 3A. The Panthers are picked third in District 4-3A, while Monahans is expected to beat out Crane for the district title this season, though both the Loboes and Cranes lost most of their starters from a year ago.

Lamesa is ranked second in the Class 3A state poll by the magazine, behind new 3A arrival Everman. Sweetwater, which also dropped from Class 4A to 3A this year, is ranked 22nd by the magazine.

Midland Lee's Cedric Benson is featured on the cover of this year's Texas Football magazine, the first time a high school player has been used, according to a press release sent out Monday. The Rebels are ranked seventh in the Class 5A poll, while Austin Westlake is ranked first.

O'Neal, Bryant quiet doubters as Lakers take title

AP Basketball Writer
LOS ANGELES, June 20, 2000 - Like Magic, Wilt and Kareem before them, Shaq and Kobe can now be described with just one word.


After so many years of coming up short, after hearing so much about their weaknesses and unfulfilled potential, Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant won their first NBA championship Monday night.

Taking charge in an exciting fourth quarter that ended Larry Bird's coaching career, O'Neal and Bryant led the Los Angeles Lakers to a 116-111 victory over the Indiana Pacers in Game 6 of the NBA Finals for the franchise's first title since 1988.

"I've waited eight years of my life for this to happen, and it finally happened," said O'Neal, who broke down and cried at center court after achieving the goal that had eluded him for so long.

The victory gave Lakers coach Phil Jackson his seventh title - his first without Michael Jordan - in just his first season coaching a team that had been ousted from the playoffs in each of the first three seasons since O'Neal and Bryant arrived.

O'Neal scored 41 points, marking the third time he scored 40 or more in this series. "Ugliest 41 I ever had," he said.

Bryant had 26 including four free throws that clinched it in the final 13 seconds.

"I'm numb. I'm just numb right now," the 21-year-old Bryant said. "I didn't know champagne burned this much when it gets in your eyes."

O'Neal, 28, was the unanimous choice for MVP of the series, adding to his MVP awards from the regular season and All-Star game.

O'Neal and Bryant hugged on the court after the final buzzer, and O'Neal was mobbed by his family as he tried to leave the court. With his exit blocked, he turned around and headed to midcourt to receive the championship trophy.

It was the 12th title in franchise history for the Lakers, the seventh since they moved to Los Angeles in 1960. Magic Johnson, Kareem-Abdul Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain had earned Los Angeles' previous titles, and this starstruck city had been anxiously awaiting the next one - especially since the 7-foot-1, 330-pound unstoppable force arrived from Orlando in 1996.

Even though they trailed for most of the first three quarters against a better shooting, more experienced opponent, the Lakers were the superior team down the stretch.

Indiana tied the game at 103-103 on a 3-pointer by Jalen Rose with 5:04 left, but that was the beginning of the end.

Robert Horry, who won his third career title, hit a leaner from the lane, and Ron Harper, who won his fourth, stole the ball on the Pacers' next possession.

O'Neal hit a soft 10-footer from the baseline, Rose missed on a drive and Bryant calmly sank a 20-footer, bobbing and weaving and whistling ever so slightly as he sauntered back to the bench and Indiana called timeout with 3:28 left.

The Pacers then went to the Hack-a-Shaq defensive strategy, sending O'Neal to the line four times in a span of 21 seconds. He missed three of them before Jackson took him out with 2:27 left.

When O'Neal returned with 1:56 left, the Lakers' lead was down to 110-107 and Indiana had the ball.

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Pecos Enterprise
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