Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, February 8, 2002
Eagles miss late chances, free throws in 39-34 loss
By JON FULBRIGHT
It's been a while since the Pecos Eagles were in a position to steal
a victory. But that's where Pecos was with 30 seconds left in Thursday
night's game against the San Elizario Eagles, except that the host
Eagles didn't know how to finish off the job.
Pecos, which had been outscored in the first quarter of their last two
home games, 48-8, held San Elizario scoreless for the first 7½ minutes
of their final regular season game on Thursday. But the Eagles weren't scoring
too many points themselves, and fell behind by seven points in the second
quarter, and trailed by 11 once, late in the third period and were down by
nine with only 1:13 to play.
But Pecos then outscored the visiting Eagles 6-0 over the next 39 seconds,
capped by a basket by Natalia Ornelas than resulted in San Eli guard Nicole
Aruajo fouling out with 34.6 seconds to play.
That left the visitors up 37-34 and with only four players available when
Ornelas went to the foul line. But the sophomore missed her free throw _
the 23rd miss of the night for Pecos in 27 foul shot attempts
_ and the Eagles were unable to either steal the ball or foul despite a 5-on-4
advantage, allowing a Crystal Martinez lay-up in the closing seconds, as
San Eli escaped with a 39-34 victory to force a playoff for third place with
El Paso Mountain View tonight.
"They didn't know how to react," said coach Veronica Valenzuela. "We were
supposed to have one girl following the ball all over the court, but that
"I think they thought it was pretty much over when they were down by nine,
and when we got back into it they were shocked," said Valenzuela, whose team
had gone 0-9 in District 2-4A play going into Thursday night's game, with
no game closer than 11 points.
While the Eagles still had problems on offense, managing just four points
in the first period and 10 in the first half, they did avoid most of the
turnovers against the full court press that had left them trailing Canutillo
by 21 points and Mountain View by 19 after one period of their last two home
"It wasn't as bad as it had been, but they could have played like that
all year long," said Valenzuela.
San Eli did get a couple of steals during their 11-0 run that began in
the final 30 seconds of the first period and continued for the first five
minutes of the second period, until Tiana Terry hit two of Pecos' four made
free throws on the night. Pecos was 2-for-5 from the line in the first half,
which they ended down 14-10, but were 2-for-22 in the final two periods,
when Araujo, Jessie Rivera and Eloysa Rodriguez all fouled out for San Eli.
Valerie Soto led all scorers with 18 points, despite her own problems
from the line (2-for-8). She helped San Eli build a 23-12 lead in the third
period, then hit a lay-up midway through the final period, after Pecos had
cut the lead to 26-24 and missed two chances to tie the game.
Her lay-up with 1:36 left made it 35-26 with 1:36 left, and Pecos was
still down 37-28 when Jessica Martinez scored off a short jumper at the 1:10
mark and Danielle Garcia scored on a corner jumper after San Eli was called
for a five second violation. Ornelas then hit her lay-up following a steal
by Christina Arenivas, but Soto was able to get the ball upcourt quickly
after the missed foul shot, and Pecos then let San Eli run out the clock.
Terry led Pecos with 14 points and Ornelas had 10 for the Eagles, who
finish the season with a 2-20 mark. San Eli improved to 6-4 in district and
plays at Mountain View tonight, for the right to take on El Paso Riverside
in the bi-district round of the Class 4A playoffs. Canutillo, the 2-4A runner-up,
will play El Paso Ysleta in the bi-district round while district champion
Clint draws a first-round bye.
Pecos to scrimmage Fort Stockton, OHS squads
The Pecos Eagles baseball team will get in their first scrimmage of the
2002 season today, then turn around and play their second Saturday afternoon,
as the Eagles travel to Fort Stockton and then take on the Odessa High Bronchos.
The Eagles will take on the Panthers in Fort Stockton today at 4:30 p.m.,
in a game that was rained out on Tuesday. On Saturday, Pecos was scheduled
to host Odessa Permian at 2 p.m., but instead will play a 2 p.m. scrimmage
at Odessa High.
Pecos won the District 2-4A title last season, but were eliminated by
Canyon in the area round of the Class 4A playoffs, the second year in a row
the Eagles were ousted in the area round after advancing to the Region I-4A
semifinals in 1999. This year, Eagles' coach Bubba Williams has most of his
starters back from the 19-8 team of 2001 and said, "Right now the kids are
looking very good. They're way ahead of where I thought they would be.
"They're hitting the ball good, and their attitude is good. I hope they
can keep that up through the season, and I think they will this year," he
said. "They think they can go further than they did last season, and all
that comes from having a good attitude."
Pecos will be without four players from last year's team, Joey Ortega,
Richard Rodriguez, Matthew Levario and Oscar Parada, who will be with the
Eagles' basketball team in Fabens tonight. But Williams still have several
other starters available, and will take a look at most of his pitchers this
afternoon and Saturday.
"We'll take a look at all of them. Every pitcher we've got," said Williams.
That group includes junior Barney Rodriguez, who went 8-1 last season, Capi
Magana and Rigo Estrada, who both started and relieved for the Eagles last
season. "All the pitchers will go a couple of innings, so we can save them
Saturday's scrimmage will be against Odessa High's junior varsity, and
assistant coach Elias Payan said the varsity would play a little, but the
freshman and junior varsity players would see most of the action. The Eagles
are scheduled to face OHS' varsity next Saturday, after hosting Presidio
in a scrimmage on Tuesday.
Pecos' varsity softball team also had their first scheduled scrimmage
games rained out this past Tuesday, but will try again on Saturday when they
go to Kermit to face the Yellowjackets and Sweetwater Mustangs.
Coach Tammy Walls' team will be seeking their fourth straight District
2-4A title, and will be at full strength in practice today for the first
time, with the end of the Eagles' girls basketball season. However, Walls
said Pecos' scheduled season opener next Tuesday at Alpine has been cancelled.
"They said they can't play because they made the (Class 3A basketball)
playoffs," Walls said. The Eagles' season opener will now be next Thursday,
in the opening round of the Andrews Invitational Tournament.
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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Copyright 2002 by Pecos Enterprise