Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, December 4, 2000
Eagles' defensive lapses help Blue Devils win
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Dec. 4, 2000 -- Two games into the 2000-2001 girls basketball season,
and it's clear defense is definitely something the Pecos Eagles need
to work on in the upcoming weeks.
The Eagles were `back-doored' to death in the first half of their game
Friday afternoon against the Presidio Blue Devils, who ran give-and-go plays
for a series of lay-ups on the way to a 13-point halftime lead. Halftime
adjustments corrected most of that problem, but caused another one, as Pecos'
defensive players failed to block out Presidio, leading to a series of rebound
baskets in a 68-62 win at the Pecos High School gym.
"We don't understand the concept of helping out," said Eagles' coach Veronica
Valenzuela. "They think `man' (defense) means staying with their girl.
"They got as many shots as it takes to put it in the basket, and we only
got one. I have to find a way to make them start blocking out," she said.
Aside from the problems staying with players cutting towards the basket
on defense, the Eagles also had problems for the second game in a row scoring
in the opening period. They managed only four points in their season-opening
loss to Monahans, and on Friday scored only four in the first six minutes
of the period and were trailing by 11 before a late run cut the margin to
16-9 at the end of the period.
But the Eagles were already in foul trouble by then, while the Blue Devils
didn't commit their first foul until 31 seconds into the second period. That
led to a series of free throws for Presidio, which the Eagles compounded
with a pair of lane violations on missed foul shots.
Combine that with problems in the first half by junior Kathy Maldonado
adjusting to the point guard position, leading to a series of turnovers,
and the Eagles found themselves in as much as a 16-point hole at one point
in the second period.
Valenzuela said she moved Maldonado to the point guard spot to give Maricela
Arenivas more chances to shoot the ball. Arenivas, the team's second-leading
scorer a year ago, had only two points in the Eagles' opening game, but put
in 27 on Friday, including a couple of 3-pointers in the second half as the
Eagles tried to come back.
But that left the Eagles' guards open to being victimized by Presidio's
Indira Franco, who led all scorers with 29 points, most on back-door plays,
steals or fast break lay-ups off missed Pecos shots.
"I thought Kathy handled herself better on Tuesday than she did today,"
said Valenzuela. "I think having that (point guard) responsibility made her
kind of nervous.
"But she needs to work there before district starts, and remember, she
didn't play last year. That's why I want her to play as much as possible,"
After a Veronica Pena lay-up gave Presidio a 40-25 lead in the third period,
the Eagles mounted a brief comeback, cutting the lead to 42-32 on baskets
by Philly Fobbs and Jessica Rodriguez and a 3-pointer by Arenivas. That's
about where the lead stayed until midway through the final period, when Pecos
cut another five points off the margin, on a rebound lay-up by Rodriguez
and another 3-pointer from Arenivas.
That made it 59-54, but on Presidio's next trip downcourt, the Eagles
allowed Karla Garcia to get inside and score on a rebound basket, then allowed
her to score on a lay-up again after coming up empty on their next two attempts
at the basket. Pecos cut it back to six at 63-57 with two minutes to play
before allowing the Blue Devils to put things away with five straight points,
on lay-ups by Maritza Carrasco and Garcia and a Pena free throw.
Carrasco, who ran the back door play with Franco over and over in the
first half, was also in double figures for Presidio with 14 points, while
Fobbs had 15 points for Pecos. The Eagles will now go on the road to try
and get their first win of the season, Tuesday at Odessa Permian and of Thursday
at the Monahans Sandhills Tournament.
Lubbock Trinity's 3-pointers bomb Pecos
PECOS, Dec. 4, 2000 -- The Pecos Eagles were bombed Friday from the outside
in the consolation finals of the Gym Bice Memorial Tournament in
Andrews, falling to Lubbock Trinity's junior varsity by a 78-63 final score.
"They hit nine 3s, six in the first half," said Eagles' coach Tino Acosta,
with most of those coming during a 27-point second period. "Every time we
tried to get back into it, they'd hit a 3."
Lubbock Trinity used their own scoring outburst in the second period,
and the Eagles' scoring drought in the third, to jump ahead by a 58-33 score
after three periods, more the enough to survive a 30-point fourth quarter
"They reminded me of (El Paso) Lydia Patterson, they'd press up and down
the floor and hit 3s," Acosta said. "We played decent half-court defense…we
didn't let them run any back door plays, but when they spotted up and shot
the 3, they were deadly."
Robert and Michael Sitton were the main players who killed the Eagles,
hitting seven of their team's nine 3-pointers. Robert led Trinity with 24
points, while Michael hit four of the 3s and finished with 17. Jay Leftvich
was the other player in double figures, with 15 points.
Acosta said aside from the 3s, turnovers were the Eagles' other main problem
on Friday. "They ran a full-court press mixed in with a half-court press
and it threw us off. We've just got to learn how to handle the ball against
the press," he said.
Pecos had 11 of their 13 players in the scoring column on Friday, but
only two made it into double figures, as Cesar Coria scored 11 points and
Alex Garcia put in 10.
The loss left the Eagles with a 1-2 mark for the tournament and a 2-5
record for the season. The Eagles have Tuesday off, and then will face the
Wall Hawks in the first round of the Monahans Sandhills Tournament on Thursday.
A.Garcia 4 1-1 10; Mora
0 0-0 0; S. Garcia 3 0-0 6; Cervantes 1 0-0 2; Rodriguez 2 0-0 5; Varlea
3 0-0 7; Torres 1 1-4 3; Salazar 3 0-1 6; Tarin 1 0-0 2; Ortega 2 1-3 5;
Ju. Mora 0 0-0 0; Vasquez 2 0-1 4; Coria 4 3-5 11. Totals
27 6-14 63.
LUBBOCK TRINITY (78)
R.Sitton 9 3-5 24; Hunt
1 3-4 5; Martin 2 0-0 5; M. Sitton 6 1-2 17; Leftvich 7 0-0 15; Hester 2
0-0 4; Gaines 2 4-4 8. Totals 29 11-15 77.
12 8 30 —63
Lub. Trinity 15
27 16 21 —78
Pecos 3 (A .Garcia, Rodriguez, Varela), Lubbock 9 (M. Sitton 4, R. Sitton
3, Martin, Leftvich).
Bears 2nd, 4th at Sanderson tourney
PECOS, Dec. 4, 2000 -- The Balmorhea Bear girls placed second and Balmorhea's
boys placed fourth over the weekend, at the Sanderson Invitational
Both Balmorhea teams opened tournament play on Thursday with wins over
the host Eagles, and in the semifinals on Saturday, the girls defeated Fort
Hancock 39-29, while the boys lost to the Mustangs by a 68-66 score. The
boys then fell to the Marfa Shorthorns in the third place game, while the
girls went up against Wink in the title game and lost by a 52-25 final score.
"It was a lot closer than the 52-25 score. The girls played real good,"
said Balmorhea coach Gary Gallego.
Wink had beaten Fort Davis and Grandfalls by 64-13 and 78-8 scores in
their first two tournament games, so Gallego was happy with the way his girls'
played overall, except for their shooting.
"We were staying with Wink. We were breaking their press on every possession,
but we just weren't making our shots," Gallego said.
Celina Rodriguez led the Bears with seven points and Teri Hernandez added
six for Balmorhea, while Julia Garlick led the Bears with 12 rebounds.
In the win over Fort Hancock, Hernandez had seven of her game-high 15
points in the second period, when the Bears outscored the Mustangs 12-2 to
take an 18-8 lead. Gallego said the Bears had to play most of the game without
guard Delilah Nunez, after she sprained her ankle in the first period.
Rodriguez added 13 points and 13 rebounds in the win, which Gallego said
"was probably our best game of the season."
No information was available on the boys' games over the weekend. The
girls are now 3-4 on the year while the boys, who began their season in the
Sanderson Tournament, are 1-2 going into games Tuesday night at Grandfalls
against the Cowboys and Cowgirls.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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