Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, February 3, 2003
Bears survive fouls, injury to surprise Cougars
By JON FULBRIGHT
BALMORHEA, Feb. 3, 2002 - Wounded Bears are more dangerous, as it turns out.
Well, maybe not "wounded" _ Balmorhea's Amber Briceno was
merely suffering from a severely sprained ankle at the end of Friday's
game against the Dell City Cougars. She injured it in the third quarter of the
game, and spent the next 1½ quarters on the bench, until Savanna Matta picked
up her fifth foul with the score tied and 14 seconds to play.
That forced Bears' coach Melinda Flores to put Briceno back into
the game, since Balmorhea had started the night with only six players suited
up and spent the previous 1:06 with only four players on the floor, after
Vanessa Baeza fouled out with 1:20 to play.
"That's when I told her to go out on the court and just stay there,"
Flores said, as Briceno was at the Dell City end of the court while Tamra
Macero was hitting the second of her two foul shots, giving the Cougars a 38-37 lead.
The Bears then inbounded the ball against a Dell City press, and were
able to throw upcourt to Briceno, guarded by only one Cougar player eight
feet from the basket. She took one step, turned and banked the ball home
for her only basket of the night with six seconds to play, and Dell City
was unable to get a shot off before the final buzzer, giving the Bears a 39-38
victory and a half-game lead over the Cougars for the second playoff berth out
of District 9-A with one game to play.
"It can't get better than that, when you have a hurt girl come in and
make the last shot" said Flores, whose team needed a win on Friday to stay in
the playoff race.
Balmorhea already was in danger of playing shorthanded in the first
half, when both Briceno and Matta picked up their fourth foul in the
second period. Briceno had three before the game was a few
minutes old, and Dell City, led by Shayra Dean and
Rocio Hernandez, went out to a 10-2 lead after one period. But then both Dean
and Hernandez got into foul trouble, forcing coach Shelly Akers to juggle her
line-up, and the Bears began their comeback.
Matta hit a lay-up to open the second period, and baskets by
Larisa Rodriguez and Julia Garlick got Balmorhea to within 10-8.
Rodriguez then put the Bears ahead 11-10 with a basket and free throw, that also
gave Hernandez her third foul, and two baskets and two foul shots by
Garlick would eventually put the Bears ahead by a 17-11 score.
"In the first quarter we started slow and had a couple of turnovers
and started forcing some shots," Flores said. "Amber also had three fouls
in the first quarter, so we had to slack off a little on defense. But we picked it
up after that."
In the third period Dell City regained control, outscoring Balmorhea 19-9
in the quarter to take a 32-26 lead. Three baskets by Dean early in the
period allowed the Cougars to re-tie the game at 22-all, and after a three-pointer
by Trina Jurado, Macero answered with a 3 of her own and Brandy Nikota
then hit two foul shots on the play that sent Briceno to the bench with her
Jurado would keep the Bears in the game at the end of the third period
and the start of the fourth, hitting two more 3-pointers to keep Balmorhea close.
The Bears then got a break when Dean fouled out with 5:11 left in the
game, and Hernandez picked up her fifth foul with 42 seconds left and the
Cougars up by two.
Garlick missed both free throws after that foul, but 18 seconds later after
a steal by Jurado she would hit a rebound jumper to tie the score at 37-all and
set up the final 14 seconds.
"They have two key players, No 10, Shayla and Rocio, No. 15. I knew
when they got into foul trouble they wouldn't be as aggressive, and when we got
one of them out of the lineup, that helped us," Flores said.
Jurado had 11 points and Garlick 10 for the Bears, who are 5-2 in
district going into their final regular season game on Tuesday against Fort
Davis. The Maidens already have clinched the 9-A title, but a win by the Bears
would give them second place over Dell City, which completed its district
schedule on Friday. A loss would force a playoff for second place between the
two teams, probably in Van Horn.
DELL CITY (38)
Dean 5 0-1 10; Nilsen 0 0-0 0; Hernandez 5 2-5 12;
Macero 2 3-10 8; Nickota, 2 2-4 6; Wright 0 0-0 0; Ropes 1 0-0
2. Totals 15 7-20 38.
Baeza 1 0-3 2; Jurado 4 0-2 11; Matta 2 3-9 7; Briceno 1
0-0 2; Garlick 4 2-5 10; Rodriguez 3 1-3 7. Totals 15 6-22 39.
Dell City 10 3 19 6 _ 38
Balmorhea 2 15 9 13 _ 39
Three-point goals: Dell City 1 (Macero), Balmorhea
3 (Juardo 3). Fouled out: Dell City, Dean,
Hernandez. Balmorhea, Baeza, Matta. Total fouls: Dell Cit
20, Balmorhea 21.
Turnover woes extend Eagles' loss streaks
PRESIDIO, Feb. 3, 2003 - Pecos Eagles basketball coaches Veronica Valenzuela
and Joe Flores had similar complaints following their losses Friday
night to the Presidio Blue Devils, and turnovers were at the center
Pecos' girls jumped out to an 8-2 lead on Presidio, then saw
the Blue Devils come back to score 12 straight points before the end
of the first quarter. The Eagles eventually were able to re-tie
the game, but giveaways allowed the Blue Devils to come away with
their first District 4-3A win of the season, 42-35 over the Eagles.
Pecos' boys were tied with Presidio at 13-13 after one
period, but saw their ongoing scoring problems combine with a series
of turnovers in the middle periods to allow the host Blue Devils
to outscore the Eagles 34-10 on the way to a 60-41 victory.
"We couldn't shoot the ball against Presidio and we didn't
take care of the ball," Flores said. "We actually played good
halfcourt defense. The kids really understand what they're doing on defense,
but they got a lot of their points off turnovers. We probably had
more turnovers against Presidio than in any other game this year."
Jacob Ramirez was the Eagles' main problem again on Friday.
The Blue Devils' guard, who rallied his team to a 58-55 win in Pecos on
Jan. 14, scored 19 points on Friday to lead all scorers, while three
other Presidio players ended up in double figures.
Pecos got points from almost every one of their players, but
only Isiah Armendariz managed to get into double figures. The senior
post scored 12 points, though Flores said he was "blanketed" by
the Blue Devils' defense.
"Whenever teams find out what you do best they adjust to it,
and we've got to adjust to the teams that have scouted us, but
we haven't done that," said Flores, whose team falls to 0-7 in
district play, while Presidio improved to 3-4.
Pecos' girls had beaten Presidio by six points in pre-district
play and by 26 points at home in district earlier in January, but
Valenzuela said, "It was the same as last
year. We beat them two times and then didn't think we'd have to
play down there.
"We made lots of mental mistakes, and we couldn't run
the press break. We'd break the press and go down on the fast break
and couldn't even catch the ball," she said.
"Number 40 (post Karla Garcia) got a couple of blocks against
us, and then it seemed like we were intimidated after that. We
didn't want to take the ball inside and get it blocked, but we'd
end up throwing it away," Valenzuela said.
"As far as defense goes, Mari Mendoza did a good job She
was all over the floor, but she didn't get a lot of help.
Both Pecos and Presidio are now 1-8 in district, going into the
final day of regular season play on Tuesday. The Eagles will close
out their season with a 6 p.m. game against Kermit, followed by
the boys' game against the Yellowjackets, at about 7:30 p.m.
Sanchez 1 0-0 3; Parada 1 1-2 3; Armendariz 4 3-4
12; Mendoza 0 0-0 0; Barreno 1 1-2 3; Hinojoz 3 2-2 8;
Lara 1 0-0 2; Parent 2 0-0 4; Ortega 3 0-0 6. Totals 16
Flores 2 4-4 9; Lopez 0 0-0 0; Carrasco 0 0-0 0;
Ramirez 9 0-0 19; Rodriguez 4 2-4 10; Dominguez 4 1-2
10; Covos 1 0-0 2; Bull 4 2-2 10. Totals 24 9-12 60.
Pecos 13 8 2 1 8 _ 41
Presidio 13 18 16 13 _ 60
Three-point goals: Pecos 2 (Sanchez,
Armendariz), Presidio 3 (Flores, Ramirez, Dominguez). Fouled
out: None. Total fouls: Pecos 15, Presidio 10.
Balmorhea clinches district despite off night
By JON FULBRIGHT
The Balmorhea Bears missed a lot of lay-ups Friday night, in their
game against Dell City. But they took more than enough over the final 12
minutes of the first half against the Cougars to offset their shooting problems,
as the Bears rolled to a 72-49 home court victory and clinched the District
"That was one of our worst games," said Bears' coach
Adolfo Garcia. "The first time we played them at their place we beat them by
18 points. This time we beat them by more, but it was a lot uglier."
The missed shots in the early going allowed Dell City to grab an
8-5 lead behind the scoring of Eloy Perez, who had six of his 15 points
in the run. But the Bears then began coming up with a series of
turnovers, and while they failed to convert several into baskets, they
made enough by the end of the period to take a 16-11 lead, and continued
that into the second quarter to grab a 31-17 halftime lead.
Balmorhea post Jourmain Matta had a 3-point jumper and a trio
of rebound lay-ups to start the rally, but guard Ivan Rodriguez led the run
for the Bears, and ended up leading all scorers with 21 points. "He had
to take over, because our other kids weren't playing today," said
Garcia. "I told him nobody else is being aggressive on offense, so you
have to do it."
Rodriguez had the Bears' first eight points in the period, before
Urban Baeza hit a 3-pointer and Michael Rodriguez hit a jumper to
give Balmorhea a 29-15 lead. Dell City would cut that lead to nine early
in the third period, after a 3-pointer by Perez, but Baeza answered
with another 3, and after a Perez lay-up, Sammy Dominguez and
Ivan Rodriguez scored on back-to-back three-point plays, which increased
the lead to 40-24.
Balmorhea never led by fewer than 14 points in the final period, and
got their first 20-point lead at 65-45 on a basket by Matta, who finished
with 18 points.
The victory gave Balmorhea a 7-0 district record and an 18-2 mark
for the season, going into their final 9-A contest against Fort Davis
on Tuesday. After that, Garcia said the Bears would play a practice
game against Iraan in Fort Stockton on Friday, while waiting to find out
who they'll face out of District 10-A in the bi-district round of the Class
A-Division II playoffs.
Currently, the Bears are ranked 14th in the Class A-Division II
rankings. Balmorhea advanced to the Division II state semifinals last season
before losing to Utopia.
Balmorhea's junior varsity team also came away with a big win
over Dell City on Friday, downing the Cougars by a 69-37 final score.
DELL CITY (49)
Munda 0 0-0 0; Gomez 0 0-0 0; Garcia 3 0-0 9; Perez 7
0-0 15; Slaughter 6 3-4 15; Utley 1 0-1 2; Archunde 3 0-0
6; Hill 0 0-0 0; Mack 0 0-0 0; Parra 1 0-0 2. Totals 21 3-5 49.
M. Rodriguez 4 0-0 9; K. Baeza 1 0-0 2; Dominguez 3
1-1 7; Barrgan 2 1-1 5; Is. Rodriguez 1 0-0 2; U. Baeza 2
1-2 7; Matta 8 0-2 18; Iv. Rodriguez 8 5-7 21. Totals 29
Dell City 11 6 17 15 _ 49
Balmorhea 16 15 17 24 _ 72
Three-point goals: Dell City 4 (Garcia 3, Perez),
Balmorhea 6 (U. Baeza 2, Matta 2, Dominguez, K. Baeza). Fouled
out: None. Total fouls: Dell Cit 13, Balmorhea 12.
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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