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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Tuesday, November 20, 2001

Second quarter problems cost Pecos in 69-59 loss

Staff Writer
Playing at a fast pace, and playing under control at a fast pace are two very different things.

The Presidio Blue Devils did the former, and the Pecos Eagles the latter in the final four minutes of the first half Monday night, which was enough to turn a 22-all tie into a 14-point Presidio lead. The Eagles then spent the entire second half trying to climb out of that hole, only to see Presidio's Oscar Covos knock them back by knocking down a series of long-range jumpers, as the Blue Devils held on for a 68-59 win in the Eagles' 2001-2002 boys basketball home opener.

"When we play smart we're good, but when we're not we're bad," said Eagles' coach Tino Acosta, whose team gets another chance to get their first win of the season tonight, when Pecos hosts Andrews in a 7:30 p.m. start.

The Eagles definitely did not play smart in the closing minutes of the first half. After an Isaiah Armendariz rebound lay-up tie the game at 22-22, Presidio scored the final 14 points of the second period, which began with a turn-around shot by Covos and included the first of his three 3-point baskets on the night.

Meanwhile the Eagles were having problems getting some of their players off the football team into the flow of the game in the second period, as Pecos was unable to take advantage of their rare size advantage inside and threw up several low-percentage shots, leading to Presidio fast-break baskets.

"We've got to take advantage of what we have, and we never did," said Acosta.

In the second half, the Eagles tried to rally several times but never could sustain their comebacks. Alfredo Saldana scored to start the third period then stole a Blue Devils pass and fed Ezra Varela for a basket as part of a 10-2 run that cut Presidio's lead to 38-32. But a rebound lay-up by Jake Bull stopped that run, and then Covos heated up, scoring 12 of his 21 points over the next few minutes, including his other two 3-point baskets that came right after Pecos had scored four straight points.

"The kids was hot," said Acosta. "He's a good player and is averaging about 24-25 points per game, and I knew if he got hot we'd be in trouble."

His last basket, a rebound side bank shot, gave Presidio a 61-49 lead before Pecos made one last run. A lay-up by Saldana and a pair of baskets by Richard Rodriguez cut the lead to 61-55. After a Jesse Flores free throw Armendariz hit on a rebound basket with 1:03 to play cutting the margin to five, and Pecos would get the ball back on a charge against Covos 10 second later.

But with a chance to cut the lead to two or three points, Armendariz missed on a double clutch underhand lay-up attempt, and the Blue Devils rebounded. Flores hit another foul shot, and after a turnover by the Eagles Xavier Vargas hit a pair of free throws with 23 seconds left to seal the victory.

Varela led Pecos with 21 points, though he still had problems with traveling calls on a couple of fast-break attempts, and Armendariz and Saldana each added 11 for the Eagles, who are 0-3 on the season, while Presidio improved to 3-0.

"Hopefully we learned our lesson from tonight. We've got too much talent on this team to play like this," Acosta said.

Pecos did win Monday's junior varsity game, 72-27, while Presidio took the ninth grade contest, 42-22. George Aguilar had 20 points and Javier Ramirez 17 to lead the JV. Acosta said because Andrews is still missing players due to the Class 4A football playoffs, there will only be freshman and varsity games tonight, with the ninth graders playing at 6 p.m. in the old Pecos High School gym.

Eagles find shooting touch in time to beat Devils

Staff Writer
The Pecos Eagles' shooting touch came and went during the girls' home basketball opener Monday night at the Pecos High School gym. But fortunately, it came back just in time for the Eagles to pick up their first win of the season.

The Eagles were hitting their shots from both in-close and from the outside while building up a double-digit lead against the Blue Devils. Those shots stopped falling in the second half, and Presidio would rally to take the lead early in the fourth quarter, before the Eagles found the range again in the closing minutes, and were able to come away with a 58-51 victory.

"We're still a little shaky, but it's just the second game of the season," said Eagles' coach Veronica Valenzuela, who had the biggest concerns about her team's defensive play.

"We need to be a little more aggressive as far as blocking out and rebounding. We're still letting them push us around under the basket," she said.

Leslie Rodriguez hit a jumper to break a 47-all tie and then scored on a rebound lay-up to give the Eagles a four-point lead midway through the final period. Stephanie Herrera and Christina Arenivas would also add baskets in the closing minutes, while a pair of 3-point attempts by Presidio's Veronica Pena came up short as the Blue Devils tried to cut into Pecos' lead.

Valenzuela said that going to more of a full court man-to-man defense in the second half helped the Eagles, after the Blue Devils had turned a 33-22 Pecos lead late in the third period into a 43-41 Presidio advantage early in the fourth quarter. "I didn't want to start with a man (defense) because I didn't want us to get into foul trouble like we did in Crane, but that seemed to help," she said.

The Eagles did get some baskets off turnovers earlier in the game, including a steal and lay-up by Arenivas that started a 15-3 run by the Eagles after a Azucena Garcia lay-up had given Presidio a 16-15 lead. Arnevias scored again on another lay-up and was fouled, and after she missed her free throw the Eagles were able to get the ball back and score on a Jessica Rodriguez jumper.

Herrera would score off a steal after that to give Pecos a seven-point lead, and she, Jessica Martinez and Arenivas would hit jumpers after that to help the Eagles grab a 30-21 lead.

Presidio had tried to work the ball inside in the first half with some success, mainly on passes off inbounds plays. "They did that same play the whole night, but our girls would never adjust," said Valenzuela. "One would be switching on defense and the other would decide to stay on her girl and leave the other one open. We were never on the same page."

That play would benefit Presidio's Karla Garcia the most. She finished with 15 points before fouling out in the final minutes, most of those on lay-ups, including three straight to start the second half. Combined with the Eagles' colder shooting in the third period, they allowed Presidio to cut the gap to 39-38 before an Arenivas steal and lay-up as the period ended.

The Blue Devils would finally take the lead on a 3-point jumper by Azucena Garcia about 90 seconds into the final period, but the Eagles would answer back with lay-ups by Leslie Rodriguez, Tiana Terry and Herrera for a 47-43 lead. Pena and Garcia would tie the game one last time on a lay-up and a jumper off a steal before Rodriguez hit her two shots to put the Eagles ahead for good.

Foul shooting also helped out Pecos on Monday. The Eagles shot 86 percent (6-for-7) from the foul line, while the Blue Devils only hit 14 percent (1-for-7) of their free throws.

Arenivas had 14 points, Herrera 13 and Leslie Rodriguez 10 for Pecos, while Brenda Ramirez had 14 points and Azuceina Garcia 11 for Presidio. The win evened the Eagles' season record at 1-1 going into tonight's 6 p.m. game at home against Fort Stockton. The Prowlers are 0-2 on the season after opening with losses to Midland Greenwood and Reagan County last week.

Pecos also won Monday's junior varsity game from Presidio, 31-22. Veronica Garcia scored nine points to lead Pecos. Today, both the Eagles' freshmen and junior varsity teams are scheduled to face Fort Stockton, beginning at 4:30 p.m.


Arias 0 0-0 0; Ramirez 7 0-0 14; Pena 3 0-0 7; Chirinos 1 0-0 2; K. Garcia 7 1-6 15; A. Garcia 5 0-1 11; Quinones 1 0-0 2. Totals 24 1-7 51.

PECOS (58)

Arenivas 7 0-1 14; J. Rodriguez 2 0-0 4; Lobstein 1 0-0 2; Herrera 6 1-1 13; Martinez 3 0-0 6; Wein 0 0-0 0; L. Rodriguez 4 2-2 10; Terry 3 3-3 9. Totals 26 6-7 58.

Presidio 10 14 14 13 - 51

Pecos 12 21 8 17 - 58

Three-point goals: Presidio 2 (Pena, A. Garcia). Fouled out: Presidio, K. Garcia. Total fouls: Presidio 15, Pecos 8.

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Pecos Enterprise
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