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Monday, October 28, 2002

Eagles overcome Prowlers, clinch playoff spot

Staff Writer

It wasn't the prettiest of matches to watch, but for the Pecos  Eagles the end result was what they wanted _ a seventh straight trip to the  state volleyball playoffs.

The Eagles and Fort Stockton Prowlers struggled with bad serves, bad serve receptions and net and line violations in their Saturday afternoon match at the Williams Center in Fort Stockton, but in the end Pecos was able to take control of the deciding game and score a 15-11, 7-15, 15-2 win over the Prowlers, clinching a playoff berth for the Eagles.

The three-game match featured only two lead changes, as Pecos jumped out to a big early lead in Game 1 and Fort Stockton did the same in Game 2 before the Eagles recovered to take control in Game 3, scoring nine straight points after the Prowlers had taken a 1-0 lead.

"In the second game we just started playing Fort Stockton's game," said Eagles' coach Becky Granado. "Once we decided in the third game to start doing what we worked out in practice, hitting it cross court and playing defense, everything started falling into place."

The only real comeback in the match was by the Prowlers in Game 1, when they cut a 12-6 lead down to 12-11 before the Eagles were able to break serve and then got a break, when Leslie Rodriguez' saving return of a free ball just fell inside the Prowlers' back line. Fort Stockton's Ruby Garcia then hit a back line spike into the net, and Pecos ended the game off a serve by Bre'Ann Windham.

Most of the Prowlers' comeback was due to problems the Eagles had handling Fort Stockton serves, problems that got worse in Game 2 and left Pecos in a 10-2 hole. "We were just standing around out there, and we can't afford to do that," said Granado. "As the game went on I made some changes out there and we started picking it up."

Fort Stockton also started having problems getting their own serves in bounds, which gave Pecos a chance to come back. But after cutting the lead to 10-7, the Prowlers were able to finally get back on track when a dink shot by Stephanie Herrera to break serve was ruled illegal. Fort Stockton then got a kill from Erika Munoz, a back line save of their own for a point by Lyndsey Yarbrough and a block of a Rodriguez spike by Annette Hernandez to close out the game.

Game 3 started off as a repeat of Game 2 _ Fort Stockton took a 1-0 lead on a mishandled relay by Maritza Sandoval, but the Prowlers had problems getting their other serves in bounds, and the Eagles would take the lead on a bad set by Munoz and a net violation by Vanessa Lujan.

Sophomore Danielle Garcia then did get her serves in, and the Eagles ran off six points as part of their 9-0 run, with two of the points coming on spikes by Rodriguez and Windham of bad passes over the net by the Prowlers. Herrera also had a kill in the streak, and Rodriguez and Garcia and Windham would score off spikes after the Prowlers got their only other point of the match.

"Leslie finally came around, and even Danielle and Stephanie had some good cross-court hits," said Granado. "Once we started hitting cross-court it pretty much took care of our offense."

The victory was the fourth this season by Pecos over Fort Stockton and lifted the Eagles to 6-3 in District 4-3A play and 12-13 on the season, while the Prowlers fell out of the playoff race, with a 3-6 district mark and 9-18 overall. The Eagles will close out their regular season schedule at home on Tuesday night against Midland Greenwood, which is a game ahead of Pecos in the district standings after their 15-2, 15-10 win over Presidio.

A win by the Eagles over the Rangerettes would tie the teams for second place, though Granado said Saturday she didn't know if there would be a playoff game to decide second if that occurs. "I'll talk to their coach and see what she wants to do," said Granado. "I really don't want to decide it by a coin flip, I'd rather let the girls decide it on the court."

Fort Stockton did win both the junior varsity and freshman matches on Saturday. The Prowlers swept the Eagles freshman, 15-6, 15-5, and won in three games over the JV, 15-6, 9-15, 15-7.

Eagle swimmers capture Big Spring meet

The Pecos Eagles swim team may have a little more competition in some events at this year's district and regional meets than in the past few seasons, but the Eagles were still able to come out on top in the team scores on Saturday in their first meeting against several of their District 3-4A rivals, at the Big Spring Invitational.

The Eagles set several meet record in winning the boys division by a 299-244 margin over the host Steers, with Andrews in third place at 184½ points. The margin in the girls' division was even wider, with Pecos scoring 360½ points to finish over 100 points ahead of second place Odessa Permian, while Andrews and Abilene Wylie tied for third with 125 points apiece.

"Our times were pretty good, and some of our individuals had an extremely good day," said Eagles coach Terri Morse. "Some were a little off, but I thought most everybody did well."

The Eagles' biggest challenges were in the freestyle races, though on the girls' side sophomore Susan Moore was able to win the 50 yard freestyle in 26.21, just over half a second better than Andrews' Susan Wallace.

"Andrews had some pretty good sprinters. I was impressed with that," Morse said. "There were several individuals that looked pretty good for each team. Big Spring's boys did well, and Andrews girls surprised me, because they had some that did really well."

Pecos' boys set new Big Spring meet records in the 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay. Gary Garcia, K.W. Winkles, Will Oglesby and Max Key swam a 1:45.58 in the 200 medley, two seconds faster than the old record set three years ago by the Eagles; while Oglesby, Winkles, Key and Daniel Quintana won the 400 free in 3:30.62, which was 2½ seconds better than the mark set by Pecos in 1999.

Oglesby and Key also had two individual first place finishes on Saturday, while Winkles won the 200 individual medley and Michael Juarez took the 1-meter diving competition on Friday for the Eagles.

Oglesby won the 100-yard butterfly in 54.36 seconds and took the 100-yard backstroke in 58.61 seconds. Key won the 100-yard freestyle in 51 seconds flat and took the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:05.30. Winkles was second in that race after winning the 200 medley with a 2:11.56 time, and Juarez' 130 point score in diving was 15 points better than second place Heath Fisher of Odessa Permian.

Garcia was second to Oglesby in the backstroke and placed fourth in the 500-yard freestyle, while Quintana was second to Key in the 100 freestyle and placed third in the 200 free.

Paul Parker was eighth in that event and fifth in the 500 freestyle; Matt Elliott was sixth in the 200 medley and seventh in the 100 butterfly, Juarez was 13th and Andrew Grant 38th in the 50 free and Grant placed fifth in the 1-meter diving; the Eagles' 200 yard freestyle relay team of Garcia, Elliott, Juarez and Quintana was fourth and the 400 yard `B' relay of Elliott, Grant, Parker and Juarez placed seventh.

Moore's win in the 50 freestyle was one of two first place finishes of the meet for Pecos' girls. She, Betsy Lujan, Teddie Salcido and Jessica Minjarez was won the 400-yard freestyle with a 4:11.01 time, 15 seconds ahead of Andrews, while the Eagles earned several other medals, including a second place by Moore in the 100-yard freestyle, where Wallace edged her by .16 second.

Moore, Catherine Minjarez, Lindsey Shaw and Lauren Wein placed second to Odessa Permian in the 200 medley relay; Lujan was third in the 200 yard freestyle; Minjarez was second and Shaw third in the 200 medley and Minjarez was second in the 100 fly; Jessica Minjarez was third in the 500 freestyle; the 200 freestyle relay team of Ashley Horsburgh, Chyloe Martin, Amie Reynolds and Rebecca Reynolds was second to Permian; Shaw was second to Permian's Allie Hawkins in the 100 yard breaststoke and the Eagles' 400 yard freestyle relay `B' team of Horsburgh, Shaw, Wein and Rebecca Reynolds placed third.

Martin, both Reynolds and Ashley Carrasco took fourth as the `B' relay in the 200 medley event, while other finishes for the girls included a fifth by Jessica Minjarez and a seventh by Salcido in the 200 free; 10th by Ashley Mendoza in the 200 medley; a ninth by Horsburgh and a 12th by Martin in the 50 free; an 11th by Carrasco in the 100 fly; a fourth by Lujan a seventh by Horsburgh and a ninth by Wein in the 100 free; a sixth by Mendoza and a ninth by Camilla Alvarado in the 500 free; a fifth by Wein, seventh by Salcido and ninth by Martin in the 100 backstroke; a fourth by Rebecca Reynolds and a 14th by Carrasco in the 100 breaststroke and a sixth by Salcido, Lujan and both Minjarezes as the `B' relay in the 200 freestyle relay.

The Eagles have this week off, before hosting their own invitational meet on Nov. 8-9. Morse said Pecos' district rivals, along with schools from Midland, Odessa and Lubbock, would be entered in the meet.

Early errors sent Pecos down to 29-0 defeat

Staff Writer

There are times to hurry up, and there are times to wait.

Seeking to jump-start their struggling attack, the Pecos Eagles went with a hurry-up offense on the first three plays of Friday night's game against the Monahans Loboes.

But then, after those three plays netted only three yards, the Eagles didn't wait to get the punting team onto the field. Instead, they ran another hurry-up play on fourth down, which came up three yards short and gave Monahans the ball at the Pecos 42.

Given that early break, the Loboes capitalized, converting twice on third down and once on fourth down on the way to a touchdown, and then did it again a few minutes later, after Pecos fumbled the ball on their next offensive play at their own 44. The Eagles also allowed Monahans to score twice on two-point conversion attempts _ one intentional and one accidental on the Loboes' part _ and that sent the host team out to a 16-0 first quarter lead on the way to a 29-0 victory.

"I thought we'd try and change the tempo of the offense, but on fourth down the kids got caught up in the moment," said a dejected coach Fred Carter following the game. "We were calling `Punt! Punt!' on the sidelines, but I guess they didn't realize it."

Instead, the Eagles ran the fourth scripted play on the drive, a handoff to Oscar Parada that only netted four of the seven yards needed for the first down. Monahans took over and drove 42 yards for their first score, with the key plays coming through the air against the Eagle defense.

Quarterback Joey Aguilar found tight end Keith Baldarez for an 11-yard gain on 3rd-and-4 at the 36, and then on 4th-and-8 from the 23, Aguilar rolled right and found an uncovered Dimas Porras downfield for a 19-yard gain down to the Pecos 5. Three plays later Porras would find an opening on the left side of the line to score from two yards out, and Monahans then worked a flanker screen to Joey Juarez for the two-point conversion.

A few seconds later, the Loboes had the ball back after quarterback Freddy Torres was hit and fumbled on Pecos' next play from scrimmage. Grayson Hiers fell on the ball at the 43, and after a penalty set Monahans back to the 48, Hires would then take a pitch from Aguilar and complete a 28-yard fullback option pass to Andrew Galvan down to the 20-yard-line.

Victor Reyes would drop Adrian Dominguez for a four-yard loss on the next play, but Aguilar would then run for 12 yards on a 3rd-and-9 play, and after Reyes dropped Dominguez for another four-yard loss after that, Monahans still got into the end zone, on a five yard pass from Aguilar to Galvan, a run by the Loboes' quarterback down to the 1 and Porras' second TD of the night, on fourth down. The extra point snap was botched, but Derek Jordan was able to pick up the ball and throw a pass to Baldarez for the two-point conversion.

Monahans threatened one more time in the first half, but were stopped in the second quarter at the Pecos 19 when Matthew Levario knocked away a fourth down pass from Aguilar to Baldarez. Meanwhile, the Eagles wouldn't get their first first down of the night until 9:28 was left in the half, on a 13-yard pass from Torres to Parada. That drive would get to midfield before being killed after a motion penalty, and Pecos would get down to the Loboes' 25 on a couple of passes from Torres to Ruvel Carrasco as the half ended, as the Loboes' defensive backs allowed Pecos short completions to prevent any long scoring plays.

The only long scoring drive of the night came at the start of the third period. Monahans would drive 90 yards in only six plays, getting out of a 2nd-and-16 hole on a 44 yard run by Aguilar, and scoring on a 30 yard run by Dominguez. Both times, arm tackling by the Eagles' defense allowed the Loboes runners to break free for big gains.

Torres would suffer a slight leg cramp on the first play of the fourth quarter, and was replaced by Jose Reyes at quarterback. He found John Parent on three straight passes for gains of 31 yards and two first downs, but his fourth pass to Parent went just over the receiver's head and into the arms of Galvan, who raced 47 yards the other way for the final touchdown of the night.

The win moved Monahans to 1-2 in district and 4-4 on the season, while Pecos fell to 1-2 in district and 2-6 overall. However, despite their similar records, the Loboes' playoff hopes are in far better shape, since they will get a forfeit win over Presidio on Nov. 8, but will need to win this coming Friday at Kermit.

Pecos will have to win both of their final two games, at home this week against Fort Stockton and on Nov. 8 at unbeaten Midland Greenwood, and then would need help from Kermit against the Loboes next week and Fort Stockton in their final regular season game. Fort Stockton and Kermit are tied for second right now, after the Yellowjackets' 2-0 forfeit win over Presidio and Fort Stockton's 21-7 loss at Greenwood this past Friday night.

At Monahans
Pecos         0          0     0       0     —   0
Monahans 16          0     7       6     — 29

First Quarter
Mon. _ Porras 2 run (Juarez pass from Aguilar), 4:31.
Mon. _ Porras 1 run (Balderaz pass from  Jordan), 8:37.

Third Quarter
Mon _ Dominguez 30 run (G. Arroyo kick), 2:55.

Fourth Quarter
Mon _ Galvan 47 interception return (kick failed), 2:34.

                   Pec                       Mon
First Downs                     8                  13
Rushes-Yds.             28-64           33-161
Passing Yds                 116                125
Passes                     10-19-1            12-23-1
Punts-Avg.            6-26.3                 4-35.8
Fumbles-lost                 2-1                 1-0
Penalties-Yds     4-45               7-55

RUSHING _ Pecos, Levario 8-30, Parada 4-20,  Armstrong 1-13, Torres 10-12, Barreno 4-1, Terry 1-(-2).  Monahans, Aguilar 6-59, Dominguez 7-58, Porras 10-42,  Hernandez 5-5, Sanchez 1-(-1), Jordan 1-(-5).

PASSING _ Pecos, Torres 7-15-0-85, J. Reyes 3-4-1-31. Monahans, Aguilar 10-19-1-87; Hires 1-1-0-28, Jordan 1-2-0-10, Porras 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING _ Pecos, Carrasco 3-51, Parent 4-39, Parada 1-13, Levario 1-9, Ortega 1-4. Monahans, Porras 3-48, Galvan 2-33, R. Arroyo 1-13, Baldarez 1-11, Miles 1-11, Pedroza 1-10, Hires 2-4, Sanchez 1-(-6).


Bears get past Longhorns to remain tied for second

It was a good night Friday for the Balmorhea Bears Friday night, as they traveled to Imperial to play the Buena Vista Longhorns.

"We were a lot more consistent and certainly did not make as many mistakes," Coach Ennis Erickson said after the final buzzer, and that consistency added up to a 54-24 victory over the Longhorns.

After struggling at home the previous week before pulling away from Dell City, Balmorhea's offense, which has alternated between explosive and fizzling this year, turned in a solid performance both on the ground and in the air.

The combination was too much for the Longhorns who went into the game with four wins and three losses overall with two wins and two losses in district play.

Balmorhea improved their record to 6-2 overall and are now 4-1 in District 6-A Six Man play. The win kept their tied for second place with Fort Davis, who'll they'll meet to close out the regular season on Nov. 8, with the winner earning the second place playoff berth out of District 6-A behind Sanderson, which clinched a playoff berth on Friday night.

The Bears did not waste any time and were leading 28-6 when they kicked off to the Longhorns with 1:29 left to play in the first half.

The Longhorns managed a steady drive as the clock ticked away and converted on fourth down and six to keep the drive alive.

The Longhorns got as close as the Balmorhea 17-yard line before the Bear defense shut the door as time ran out in the first half.

After receiving the opening kickoff of the second half the Bears and 'Horns traded the ball a couple of times before the Longhorns mounted an impressive drive that started on their own 14 yard line.

The Longhorns drove down the field into a first down and goal situation from the Balmorhea six with quick running plays between the tackles.

After being denied three times the Longhorns managed to find the end zone on fourth and goal. With the missed extra points attempt the score was 26-12.

Balmorhea answered that touchdown on their next possession with a short drive that was capped by a long pass to Jourmain Matta who out jumped the defensive back for the ball.

Both teams managed to score twice more before the final gun but the Bear's were not giving up the lead they had built up in the first half.

Balmorhea added one last touchdown in the final minute to ice the game.

Coach Erickson said that his Bears were preparing for this week's contest with Sierra Blanca and hoped that his team could display the same steady consistency they did against Buena Vista.

Balmorhea played Sierra Blanca back on Aug. 30 to open their 2002 season and defeated the Vaqueros, 62-12. Sierra Blanca is currently 0-5 in district and 1-6 on the season after a 57-12 loss to Fort Davis on Friday.

Pecos golfers 7th in rain-shortened Abilene tourney

The Pecos Eagles girls' golf team had a rain-shortened opening to their 2002-2003 season over the weekend in Abilene, and ended up placing seventh in Division I of the Abilene Invitational.

The Eagles shot a 340 on Friday at the Diamondback Golf Course in Abilene, which turned out to be the only day of play for all of the teams. "It was a good experience for us, even if it was a little cold and rainy," said coach Tina Hendrick. "It rained all night, and it was still a little drizzly Saturday morning, and the golf course was still full of water, so they called it."

Pecos placed fourth at the Region I-4A Tournament this past April, and the positions of the teams from that tournament didn't change any on Friday as the new season began _ Andrews took first place, Snyder was third and Granbury was just behind Pecos in eighth place, while Class 5A teams held the other top spots. But with Pecos dropping down to Class 3A this year, the Eagles only have Snyder to worry in regional competition among the schools that were in Abilene this past weekend.

"We saw Snyder's two teams and they're pretty stout. I think they have five seniors returning," Hendrick said. Andrews won with a 308 score, while Amarillo Tascosa shot a 310, Snyder had a 318, Midland Lee had a 329, Abilene Cooper shot a 332 and Amarillo High shot a 336. Granbury, which moved from 4A to 5A this year, was three shots behind Pecos at 343.

"Some of our players had a difficult time on the course," said Hendrick. "Lauren (Martinez) played real well and held her game together, but the others had two or three bad holes that hurt their scores.

Martinez shot a 76 and was followed by Brandi North at 87, Sarah McKinney with an 88, Shelly Martinez at 89 and Dena Dutchover with a 94.

The Abilene tournament was the only one for Pecos' varsity girls until February, though Hendrick said she'd be taking her junior varsity team to a tournament in Midland next week. Pecos' varsity boys have played one tournament already this fall in El Paso, and are scheduled to go back there this coming Friday and Saturday for their final tourney before the spring season.

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