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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Too little offense sends Pecos to 44-38 defeat

Staff Writer

Two games in two nights may have been too much for the  Pecos Eagle girls on Tuesday, in their 44-38 loss to the Fort Stockton Prowlers.

The Eagles, who had been able to hit both their shots down the stretch and their free throws throughout Monday's win over Presidio, had problems doing either of those things on Tuesday. They allowed Fort Stockton to jump out to a double-digit lead in the third period, then missed several chances to cut the lead in the final 3½ minutes of the game after getting to within a point of the Prowlers, at 36-35.

"They were dragging. I don't know if it was because of yesterday's game or what, but out shooting and our free throw percentage was not like it was," said Eagles' coach Veronica Valenzuela.

The Eagles went with only eight players for the second game in a row with guard Kathy Maldonado out due to a knee injury, and while it didn't hurt them against Presidio, they did struggle against Fort Stockton's defense.

"We weren't executing the way we were yesterday, plus Fort Stockton was a lot more physical than Presidio was. I don't know if that threw them off, but I told them they're going to have to get tougher," Valenzuela said.

Pecos' best stretch of the night came early in the game, after Fort Stockton had grabbed a quick 5-0 lead on a 3-point jumper by Rachelle Ramos and a basket by Isela Gonzales. Christina Arenivas hit a foul shot, and then Jessica Rodriguez fed Tiana Terry, Arenivas and Stephanie Herrera for lay-ups as part of a 12-0 run that put the Eagles up by seven.

That lead lasted only about two minutes into the second period. Gonzales hit a basket to close out the first period, then sank a 3 to open the second in a 10-0 run by the Prowlers that put them ahead 15-12. A basket by Arenivas three minutes into the period stopped that streak, and the teams traded the lead for the next few minutes, before a foul shot by Criselda Sanchez gave the Panthers a 21-20 halftime lead.

Pecos hit four of their first five foul shots, after a 6-for-7 effort Monday, but the foul line shooting went downhill after that. Pecos hit only 4 of nine from the line in the second period, and never went to the line at all in the third quarter, which began with 10 straight points by the Prowlers.

The Eagles didn't even get a field goal until Jessica Martinez hit a lay-up with 1:03 left in the period, then proceeded to score twice more in the final minutes of play, and trailed 31-26 entering the final period.

Jessica Rodriguez, Leslie Rodriguez and Arenivas all picked up their fourth fouls of the game in a 35 second span at the start of the final period, but despite that problem, the Eagles got to within one with 4:23 to play on a pair of foul shots by Terry. However, Arenivas would foul out 30 seconds later while Marcela Garza hit a pair of free throws, and then fed Gonzales for a lay-up after a Pecos turnover, widening the margin back to 40-35.

Pecos would get one more basket, on a lay-up by Martinez, but missed five others from inside during the final two minutes of play, while going only 1-for-5 from the line in the last 1:53 of play. Meanwhile, Sanchez went 5-for-6 in the final minute from the line, to clinch the victory for Fort Stockton.

Gonzales led all scorers with 14 points and Ramos added 10 for Fort Stockton, which is 1-2 on the season. Terry was the only Pecos player in double figures, with 11 points, as the Eagles saw their record fall to 1-2 on the season going into the Thanksgiving holiday. The Eagles' next game will be next Tuesday night at Monahans.

Olivas 1 0-0 2; Sanchez 0 5-6 6;  Munoz 3 0-0 6; Ramos 2 5-8 10; I. Gonzales 6 1-3 14;  Acosta 1 0-2 2; Estrada 0 0-0 0; A. Gonzales 1 0-0  2; Garza 0 2-2 2; Lopez 0 1-2 1. Totals 14  14-23 44.

PECOS (38)
Arenivas 2 2-5; J. Rodriguez 1 2-5; Herrera 2 2-4 6; L. Rodriguez 0 0-0 0; Terry 4 3-5  13; Lobstein 1 1-2 3; Martinez 3 0-0 6; Wein 0 2-2 2.  Totals 13 12-23 38.

Fort Stockton       8    13    10    13   — 44
Pecos                 12      8      6     12   — 38

Three-point goals: Fort Stockton 2 (Ramos, I. Gonzales). Fouled out: Fort Stockton, Olivas, Ramos. Pecos, Arenivas. Total fouls: Fort Stockton 21, Pecos 20.

Eagles can't overcome Mustangs' hot start

Staff Writer

Eighty percent shooting from the field, and 100 percent shooting from  3-point range, is usually going to be pretty tough to beat.

Those are the numbers the Andrews Mustangs put up in the first quarter of their game Tuesday night against the Pecos Eagles, and they were enough to allow the visiting Mustangs to sprint out to a 17-point lead after one period.

But the Eagles also did their own part to contribute to a 19-2 first period, as they tried to force the ball inside several times only to have it stolen by the Mustangs. Then, after getting back to within striking distance of Andrews late in the third period, they left guard Sidney Hooper alone for his fourth and fifth 3-point baskets of the night. The Mustangs were never threatened after that, and they finished with a 59-38 win over the Eagles, who fell to 0-4 on the season.

"In the beginning we were forcing it, and at the end we started getting a little more patient, but a lot of our frustration was from shooting 30 percent," said Eagles' coach Tino Acosta.

Andrews, 2-0, ended up shooting only 42 percent on the night, but that was due mainly to a cold-shooting start to the second half, when Pecos cut a 37-16 lead to 39-28, and at the end, when the Mustangs' reserves went into the game.

The starters shot a lot better, led by Hooper, who opened the game with a 3-pointer and finished with 27 points. He then followed up the Eagles' only basket of the first period, a short jumper by Isaiah Armendariz with his second 3-pointer of the night, while his third 3 was the most frustrating of all to Acosta, as he hit from the corner as the halftime buzzer sounded, after Pecos had blocked two Mustang lay-up attempts as the clock wound down.

"We've got to realize where their best shooter is," said Acosta, whose team was burned by leaving Presidio's Oscar Covos unguarded for a pair of 3s in the second half of Monday night's loss. "(Richard) Rodriguez did a good job on him at the start of the second half, but then he got picked off and we didn't talk."

The Eagles will play Andrews again next week on the Mustangs' home court, but other than improving on their basic defense, Acosta said he didn't plan to do anything special to guard Hooper.

"We'll start with man (defense) and try and get help, because 21 (Kelvin Roberts) will light it up if you leave him alone," he said. "I don't want to run any gimmicks this early in the season. I want us to learn our basic defense."

Acosta is also hoping to see some continued improvement in the Eagles' offense. After jumping out to their big lead, the Mustangs slowed the game down and waited for an open shot, while the Eagles didn't start making good decisions on their passes until the second half.

"We ran it better than we ran it last night (Monday). We were a little more patient, but we still need to be even more patient," he said.

Jose Saldana got Pecos' second basket of the night 10 seconds into the second period, but Andrews' lead would climb to as much as 21 points in the quarter, and finished there, at 37-16, after Hooper's buzzer basket. Saldana opened the second period with a pair of baskets and a foul shot, and Armendariz would then hit from 3-point range after a basket by Homer Valles.

Rodriguez then scored off a steal and Ezra Varela then followed up with a side jumper to narrow the gap to 11. But Varela was then whistled for a pushing foul inside as Hooper sank his 3-pointer, and on the inbounds play, Hooper was left alone again in the corner and sank another from outside, turning an 11-point lead into a 17-point advantage in the span of three seconds.

Roberts put the final nail in the Eagles' coffin as the fourth quarter began, hitting back-to-back 3s to give Andrews its biggest lead of the night, at 54-28, before Pecos outscored the Mustangs 10-5 the rest of the way.

Roberts had three 3-pointers overall and finished with 14 points, while Rodriguez had two from 3-point range for Pecos and led the Eagles with 13. Saldana was the only other Pecos play in double figures with 12.

In between last night's game with Andrews and their game on Nov. 29 against the Mustangs, the Eagles are scheduled to face Alpine next Tuesday, though Acosta said that would depend on the outcome of the Bucks' Class 3A playoff game against Shallowater this weekend. The dates for the Andrews Tournament could also be affected by the results of the Mustangs' playoff game on Saturday against El Paso Riverside.

Hooper 8 6-8 27;  McCracken 0 0-0 0; Haygood 0 2-6  2; Hearne 0 0-3 0; Willis 1 2-2 4; Roberts 4 3-4 14; Valles  4 0-1 8; Fisher 0 2-2 2; Stephens 1 0-0 2. Totals 18 15-26 59.

PECOS (38)
Barreno 0 0-0 0; Armendariz 2 0-0 3; Gomez 0 0-0  0; Rodriguez 4 3-5 13; Varela 1 0-2 2; Parent 0 0-0 0;   Sanchez 0 0-0 0; Ortega 1 1-1 3; Saldana 5 2-3 12; Evans 1 1-1  1. Totals 14 7-12 38.

Andrews                     19    18    11    11    — 59
Pecos                              2    14    12    10    — 38

Three-point goals: Andrews 8 (Hooper 5, Roberts 3), Pecos 3 (Rodriguez 2, Armendariz). Fouled out: Andrews, Roberts. Pecos, Varela. Total fouls: Andrews 24, Pecos 14.

Bears use big early leads to post victories in Marfa

The change from basketball to football wasn't much of a problem for the Balmorhea Bears boys basketball team Tuesday night in Marfa, as they opened their 2001-2002 season with a 95-35 win over the Marfa Shorthorns.

Meanwhile, Balmorhea's girls evened their season record at 1-1 with a 46-31 win over the Shorthorns in Marfa.

Isaiah Rodriguez scored 26 points, Jourmain Matta put in 18 and Jerry Mendoza added 16 for the Bears, who started their season this week after being eliminated from the six-man football playoffs last Friday by Sands. The Bears took a 19-8 lead after one period, then rolled up 34 points in the second quarter to go in at halftime ahead 53-15.

Balmorhea's girls didn't build up quite as big a lead at the half, but they did outscore Marfa 12-1 in the opening period and led by a 25-7 score at halftime.

Trena Jurado hit four 3-point baskets and finished with a  game-high 20 points, while Vanessa Baeza added nine points for the  Bears.

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Pecos Enterprise
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