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Wednesday, December 20, 2000

Eagles edged by Loboes at finish

Staff Writer

MONAHANS, Dec. 20, 2000 -- It was a pretty bold statement, after three losses in five days.

But Pecos Eagles coach Tino Acosta said, “as hard as these kids played and has hard as these kids work, we’re going to make the playoffs,” following his team’s loss to the Monahans Loboes on Tuesday night.

That’s because while Monahans scored two more points than they did in their season-opening win over Pecos, the Eagles put in 25 more than in that 62-37 loss on Nov. 14. But it was the plays the Eagles didn’t make and the Loboes did in the final 90 seconds that allowed Monahans to rally for their 64-62 homecourt victory.

Scott Moore drove the baseline, scored and was fouled with 49.9 seconds left to break a 58-58 tie, and then Noah Miles outfought Ezra Varela for a long downcourt pass with 20 seconds to play, went in for a lay-up and was fouled by Varela, after Adrian Tarin’s jumper had cut the Loboes’ lead to 61-60.

Those plays came after Pecos squandered two chances downcourt, with Saul Garcia missing a fast-break lay-up with 1:20 to play, and then throwing a low pass to Alex Garcia that bounced off his ankle and into the backcourt for a violation, setting up Moore’s go-ahead basket. Tarin would hit another jumper with six seconds left, but Monahans was able to inbound the ball and run out the clock.

“We’ve got to learn to take advantage of the opportunities we have,” Acosta said. “But at least tonight we had the opportunities.”

Acosta went with a five-guard starting lineup on Tuesday, and told his players to look for more 3-point shots. “We had to go do something different to shake it up,” he said, following home losses to Greenwood and Kermit on Friday and Monday.

Richard Rodriguez took that message to heart, hitting six 3-pointers in the game, five in the first half to help the Eagles keep pace with the Loboes.

His first two shots gave Pecos a 6-2 lead, but the Eagles then had some problems bringing the ball upcourt, allowing Monahans to go on an 11-0 run to grab a 13-6 lead. Moore, who led all scorers with 27 points, had a lay-up off a steal, a rebound basket off another giveaway and a 3-point jumper in the run, which finally ended on a short jumper by Joey Ortega.

The Loboes’ ended the period up 17-12 when Rodriguez opened the second period with another 3-pointer, and Alex Garcia scored on a rebound lane jumper to tie the score. He than hit the first of his two 3-pointers for a 20-17 Pecos lead, and the Eagles would then go ahead by as much as seven points, at 30-23, before the turnover bug hit again at the end of the half. Monahans scored eight points in the final two minutes to regain the lead, 31-30; the last four coming on baskets by Daniel Gaddis and Ramon Porras off steals.

Rodriguez’ last 3-pointer gave Pecos another brief lead early in the third period, at 33-32, before the Loboes came back behind Moore to grab their biggest lead of the second half, at 42-37. Pecos’ outside shooting went cold at this point, but the Eagles were then able to go inside, getting lay-ups from Tarin and Cesar Coria to close out the period with a 6-0 run and take a 45-44 lead.

While his shooting cooled off, Rodriguez’ temper got hot after being knocked hard to the floor by Jorge Arroyo on a lay-up attempt early in the final period. He missed a couple of foul shots that could have put Pecos up by five, and then a minute later after being hit again and called for traveling on another drive towards the basket, was whistled for a technical foul. Daniel Gambino, who had just hit a lane jumper, then sank the two free throws to put the Loboes back in front by one.

Pecos responded with a Varela jumper and a 3-pointer by Garcia for a 52-48 lead, then came back after a three-point play by Moore to score on a rebound lay-up by Coria, who then hit two free throws after another basket by Moore. Meanwhile, foul shooting problems by Ronnie Robledo (1-for-9) hurt the Loboes’ chances, until he was replaced by Arroyo with three minutes to play. He sank two free throws after being fouled by Coria, and Miles would tie the game at 58-all with two more foul shots, after Coria’s long inbounds pass sailed off to the sideline.

Acosta wasn’t particularly happy with some of the calls down the stretch – Monahans went to the line 25 times compared to only eight trips for Pecos – and thought Coria should have gotten a few more calls inside.

“He gets mugged under there,” the Eagles’ coach said. “It’s a credit to him to play as hard as he does and not get calls under there. It’s disturbing not to get the calls just because he’s short.”

Rodriguez led Pecos with 18 points, while Alex Garcia had 12 and Coria 10 for the Eagles, who are now 3-9 on the season, while Monahans, 9-7, also had Gaddis in double digits with 11 points.

The Eagles are now off for Christmas and return to action on Dec. 29, with round-robin games at the Fort Stockton Tournament. Monahans also won Tuesday’s junior varsity game by a 55-33 score. Jaime Gomez and Ricky Plummer led Pecos with seven points apiece.

PECOS (62)
A.Garcia 5 0-0 12; S. Garcia 1 0-0 2; Rodriguez 6 0-2 18; Varela 2 0-0 4; Torres 0 0-0 0; Tarin 4 0-0 8; Ortega 2 2-2 6; Vasquez 0 0-0 0; Coria 3 4-4 10. Totals 24 6-8 62.


Miles 3 3-4 9; Porras 2 0-0 4; Ramos 2 0-0 4; Moore 10 6-6 27; Cadena 0 0-0 0; Gambino 1 2-2 4; Gaddis 4 1-2 11; Martinez 0 0-0 0; Arroyo 1 2-2 4; Robledo 0 1-9 1. Totals 23 15-25 64.

Pecos        12    18    15    17    -- 62
Monahans    17    14    13    20    -- 64
Three-point goals: Pecos 8 (Rodriguez 6, A. Garcia 2), Monahans 3 (Gaddis 2, Moore). Technical foul: Pecos, Rodriguez. Fouled out: Pecos, Torres. Total fouls: Pecos 17, Monahans 8.

Pecos girls fall to Presidio again, 62-52

PECOS, Dec. 20, 2000 -- The score was a little lower, but the game itself was pretty much the same for the Pecos Eagles and Presidio Blue Devils Tuesday night, as Presidio went out to an early lead and then held off a late Pecos comeback effort to win by a 62-52 final score Tuesday night in Presidio.

The Blue Devils had beaten the Eagles by a 68-62 score in Pecos earlier this month, and coach Veronica Valenzuela said just like in that game, the Eagles fell behind by a big margin early, then had to play catch-up the rest of the night.

“We didn’t actually start playing until the third and fourth quarters, and we didn’t do as well rebounding as we did on Friday,” Valenzuela said, referring to the Eagles’ 55-39 win over Fort Stockton.

Scorers were not available for the game, but Valenzuela said guard Indira Franco and post Maritza Carrasco again led Presidio. “It seemed like everything went in for them,” the Eagles’ coach said, adding the Eagles again allowed the Blue Devils to score several times on fast break baskets off turnovers.

“It didn’t seem like we could stop No. 14 (Franco). In the second half I decided to double-team her on the inbounds to keep her from getting the ball,” Valenzuela said. “That worked a little bit better, but then when we went down to the other end, we still turned the ball over.”

“As far as shots went, we couldn’t buy a basket. Nobody played as well as we had been doing,” she said.

The loss left Pecos with a 2-7 record going into the Christmas break. Pecos’ next games will be on Dec. 28-30, at the Midland Christian Tournament, the final ones before District 2-4A play gets underway on Jan. 5 against Clint.

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