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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Friday, December 6, 2002

Tigers outlast Eagles in tourney opener

Staff Writer

For two teams that hadn't played each other in a dozen years, the  Pecos Eagles and Snyder Tigers went after it Thursday like longtime  district rivals in the opening round of the Gym Bice Memorial Tournament  in Andrews.

In a very rough game the Eagles led though almost the entire first half, and held a 30-22 early in the third period. But foul problems and some breakdowns inside on defense allowed the Tigers to rally for a 58-48 victory in the opening round game.

The loss knocked Pecos into a 5:30 p.m. consolation round match-up against District 4-3A rival Presidio today.

Josh Mendoza, who picked up three personal fouls plus a technical in the first half, led Snyder's second half comeback and led all scorers with 17 points while managing not to foul out _ something the Eagles' front line was unable to do in the second half. John Parent, Joey Ortega, Isaiah Armendariz and Bino Barreno all ended up fouling out in the game, which was the first meeting between the teams since 1990, when Pecos won a playoff over Snyder to claim the District 4-4A basketball title.

"It was a very physical ballgame. I just wish the refs had called it both ways," said Eagles' coach Joe Flores, who was unhappy with the foul calling, especially in the third period when Parent fouled out and Ortega and Armendariz both went to the bench with four fouls.

"It was very lopsided calling, but I'm not taking anything away from Snyder. They put a lot of pressure on us, and kind of got us off-balance. We had problems getting our shots off, but the refs didn't help," he said.

Flores came close to getting tagged with a technical foul in the third period, when Snyder's Logan Hill jumped up to try and block a Jayson Hinojoz side jumper and landed on the Eagle forward. Both players ended up on the floor, but Hinojoz was called for an offensive foul for ducking his head. By then, Snyder had taken a 33-30 lead thanks to an 11-0 run that began following a rebound lay-up by Hinojoz.

Mendoza hit a lay-up and was fouled by Ortega with 4:51 left in the period. He missed his free throw, but the next time down court Armendariz fouled Hill as he made a 15-foot jumper. He also missed his foul shot, but Cory Williams was allowed to get inside for a rebound basket, and Hill and Mendoza then were able to find opening underneath for lay-ups to put the Tigers ahead to stay.

"That might have been my fault. I may have left them in too long to try and string them out," said Florez of his front line, which was without starter Oscar Parada due to the flu for the second straight game. "Fatigue makes cowards out of you, but we just didn't block out."

Pecos' other problem was unforced turnovers by their guards. The Eagles were called for traveling and palming violations several times during the game, but in the first half, Snyder was unable to take advantage, missing both from inside and from the foul line, while the Eagles were the ones finding openings inside.

Ortega hit Armendariz with a pass for a lay-up moments into the game, and Jason Sanchez followed with a driving lay-up for a quick 4-0 Pecos lead. Later rebound baskets by Hinojoz and Barreno would give the Eagles an 11-5 lead, and while Snyder would eventually battle back to tie the game at 17-all in the second period, Pecos would close out the half with a 7-3 run, helped by Mendoza's technical foul following a pushing foul against Armendariz.

Mendoza would have 10 of his 17 points in the final period, as the 6-2 post ended up matched up inside on the smaller Hinojoz due to Pecos' foul problems. He had three lay-ups and two free throws to help the Tigers widen their 36-33 lead to 48-37 with four minutes to play, and Pecos was unable to get closer than seven points the rest of the way.

Despite the loss, which left Pecos with a 2-3 season record, Flores was happy overall with the Eagles' defensive effort Thursday, which led to several blocks and four offensive foul calls in the first half. "We're putting great pressure on the basketball. Our defensive pressure has been superb, but we just need to start putting down some shots," he said.

Armendariz and Sanchez both finished with 13 points for the Eagles, who will get another shot at Snyder on Tuesday, when the Tigers come to Pecos for a 7:30 p.m. game. Before then, the Eagles will have their game this evening with Presidio, with a win sending them into the tournament's consolation finals at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, while a loss would put Pecos in the eighth place game, set for 2 p.m.

McGralia 0 0-2 0; Hill 4 1-3 9; Jones 1 1-3 3; Clifton 2  0-2 4; Villarreal 0 4-6 4; Williams 2 0-2 4; Scott 5 3-6 15;  Mendoza 7 2-4 17; Early 1 0-1 2. Totals 22 11-29 58.

PECOS (48)
Sanchez 4 5-6 13; Armendariz 5 3-3 13; Mendoza 0 3-4  3; Reyes 1 0-0 2; Barreno 1 1-2 3; Hinojoz 2 2-3 6; Lara 0  0-0 0; Parent 2 1-2 6; Ortega 0 2-5 2. Totals 15 17-25 48.

Snyder         8     12     16     22     _ 58
Pecos         13     11       7     17     _ 48
Three-point goals: Snyder 3 (Scott 2, Mendoza), Pecos  1 (Parent). Technical foul: Snyder, Mendoza. Fouled  out: Snyder, Hill; Pecos, Parent, Ortega, Armendariz,  Barreno. Total fouls: Snyder 22, Pecos 28.

Pecos to see El Paso teams at swim meet

The Pecos Eagles' swim team returns to action after a two week break today and Saturday in Fort Stockton at the Coker Invitational, with coach Terri Morse's team getting their first look of the season at some of their future regional rivals from the El Paso area.

Morse said diving will begin an hour earlier than usual today, at 5 p.m., and swimming an hour later than normal on Saturday, at 12 noon at the Fort Stockton High School pool. The meet will feature all six of the Eagles' District 3-4A rivals, plus Odessa High, Midland Christian, Pampa and four El Paso schools, three out of Districts 1-4A and 2-4A.

"El Paso Chapin will be there with that Lara Jackson, that real fast swimmer who's going to be there," Morse said. Jackson swam for Class 5A El Paso Eastwood last year as a freshman and finished third the state finals of the 50-yard freestyle.

El Paso Del Valle and El Paso Parkland are the other two 4A schools who'll be in Fort Stockton, along with Class 5A El Paso Bel Air.

Pecos' girls have won their last three meets after placing second at the season-opening Ector County Invitational, while the boys finished second to San Angelo at the Monahans Invitational just before Thanksgiving, after winning meets in Pecos and Big Spring.

For Saturday, Morse said she would have most of her swimmers in the same events they were entered in at Monahans. "The only change I'll make it I want to put Will in the 500 (freestyle) again, to see if what he did in Fort Stockton was not a fluke," she said of the Eagles' Nov. 21 dual meet with the Panthers. "I don't know if he'll go 5:05 again, but I want to see."

The Fort Stockton meet is one of only two for Pecos between Thanksgiving and Christmas. They'll go to Seminole next week, though Morse said she'll be without several swimmers due to band competition and testing.

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Pecos Enterprise
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