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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Bears run past Longhorns, 79-65

Staff Writer

For a team that's been used to regular season success, going the first three weeks of the season with a below .500 record is unusual for the Balmorhea Bears. So coach Adolfo Garcia was happy to see his team come through on Tuesday night with a 79-65 homecourt win over the Buena Vista Longhorns, which helped get the Bears back to .500 in regular season play.

"It was by far one of our best games of the year," said Garcia, whose team did place second last weekend at the Buena Vista Tournament, but were beaten by potential first round playoff rival Dell City in the finals.

Tuesday night the Bears trailed only once, at 2-0 after a Mark Williams lay-up. Urban Baeza then hit a 3-pointer to put the Bears up 3-2, and Balmorhea would close out the quarter with a 21-13 lead. The Longhorns would cut that margin to as little as five points in the second period and stayed within 10 for most of the third quarter, but each time the Bears were able to respond and hold off Buena Vista's comeback attempts.

"I've been trying out different players at different positions. I think every single game we've had a different line-up," said Garcia. "I only have two seniors, so I'm still figuring out who my starting lineup is and who is my second rotation."

The Bears got out to their lead thanks to a series of lay-ups, mostly by Urban and Keith Baeza. Levon Barragan added a pair of late baskets in the first period to give Balmorhea an eight-point lead. Buena Vista would eventually get back to within 29-24 on a Williams lay-up, but Justin Machuca followed with his own lay-up and Michael Hernandez hit two free throws to widen the margin back to nine.

Foul problems in the first half hurt both teams. The Bears' A.J. Garcia was whistled for three quick fouls in the opening period, but that was offset when Buena Vista point guard Luis Martinez went to the bench after getting his third foul later in the period, then picked up his fourth in the second quarter.

In the third period Machuca would hit a pair of 3-pointers and Barragan would also connect from 3-point range, which helped the Bears widen a 46-38 lead to 55-41. The Longhorns would cut that back down to nine as the period ended, but they were never able to get any closer during the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, after which baskets by Michael Dominguez, A.J. Garcia and Barragan made it 73-58 Bears and pretty much sealed the victory.

"We've haven't been running until tonight. We finally had a lot of easy baskets and didn't have to depend so much on our outside shots," Adolfo Garcia said. Balmorhea ended up with five players in double figures in scoring, led by Urban Baeza's 17 points.

"We don't have much size, but we do have quickness, so that's what I'm trying to get out of them. We have to use our quickness and get a lot of fast breaks," the Bears' coach added.

Williams topped all scorers with 21 points for Buena Vista, while Martinez scored 17 despite his early foul difficulties.

Balmorhea's junior varsity boys also won on Tuesday, 44-16 over Big Bend High School. The varsity's win evened their season record at 4-4 going into the opening round of the Van Horn Tournament. The Bears open up with a first round game versus Fort Hancock on Friday.


Martinez 5 6-10 17; Williams 9 2-5 21; Pereles 5 1-1 11; Carreon 0 1-2 1; Saldana 0 0-0 0; Mandujano 2 1-2 5; Saver 1 0-0 2; Tarango 4 0-4 8. Totals 26 11-24 65.


Rodriguez 5 0-0 10; Machuca 4 0-0 10; K. Baeza 5 0-2 10; Barragan 6 0-2 13; Hernandez 0 4-4 4; Mendoza 1 2-2 4; U. Baeza 7 2-3 17; Vasquez 1 0-0 2; Garcia 4 1-4 9; Tarin 0 0-0 0. Totals 33 9-17 79.

Buena Vista 13 17 16 19 65

Balmorhea 21 16 20 22 79

Three-point goals: Buena Vista 2 (Martinez, Williams), Balmorhea 4 (Machuca 2, U. Baeza, Barragan). Fouled out: None. Total fouls: Buena Vista 15, Balmorhea 21.

Eagles drop games in Alpine, Snyder

The Pecos Eagle boys weren't able to get their second win in a row over the Snyder Tigers on Tuesday night in Snyder, while Pecos' girls suffered their sixth loss in a row, but did fare a lot better than in their previous five games on Tuesday, in Alpine against the Bucks.

The boys, who defeated Snyder by five points for third place in the Gym Bice Tournament at Andrews last Saturday, were shorthanded for the rematch and the Tigers took advantage, running away from Pecos for a 58-29 victory. Meanwhile, the girls, who lost three games in Lamesa last weekend by between 35 and 50 points, were tied after three periods with Alpine on Tuesday, only to see the Bucks come away with a 42-39 win.

"I don't know if it's a mental thing or not, but the girls know they can play with Alpine and they played a lot better," said coach Veronica Valenzuela.

The Eagles still had their offensive problems, managing just nine points in the first half, but scored 16 in the third period to tie the game at 25-all before being outscored by a 17-14 margin in the final period.

"Offensively, we made a lot more shots, but we still missed a lot of easy shots under the basket," Valenzuela said. "We ran the press break better and pushed the ball upcourt and had a girl down at the end of the floor, but that's when we missed a couple of lay-ups."

She added that the Eagles weren't helped by their 8-for-22 foul shooting, though the Bucks weren't much better, going 9-for-21 from the line.

"As far as rebounding goes, we're not where we need to be, but we looked a lot better. Adriana (Armendariz) did a good job rebounding for us last night," Valenzuela said.

Danielle Garcia led Pecos with 16 points, and Leslie Rodriguez added 11. Monica Salmon topped Alpine with 16 points. The loss gives Pecos a 1-6 record going into the opening round of the Hooptown Classic in Stanton on Thursday. They'll face the host Buffaloes in a 5:30 p.m. match-up.

Flores said the boys' loss in Snyder, "wasn't even close from the start of the game. We moved much slower than they did. Basically we looked like we were in slow motion out there."

He said that Josh Anchondo and Bino Barreno didn't make the trip to Snyder, and both Justin Lara and Oscar Parada were suffering from the flu. "Justin was really bad. He just went up and down the court a couple of times before I took him out," Flores said. "Oscar was suffering from the flu and Tick (Victor Reyes) was coughing up all through the game, so he wasn't 100 percent."

Scoring totals weren't available, but Flores said Reyes led the Eagles with eight points.

"We never even put up a fight. From the beginning of the first quarter we were gasping for air," Flores said.

The loss drops Pecos' record to 3-4 on the season going into the second of their three regular season tournaments. The Eagles will open play in the Sandhills Tournament at Monahans with a 2:30 p.m. game against Amarillo Caprock on Thursday.

Numbers come out right for Balmorhea girls

Staff Writer

The Balmorhea Bears proved there's strength in numbers Tuesday night against the Buena Vista Longhorns, in their non-district girls basketball game at the Balmorhea High School gym.

The Bears jumped out to an eight-point lead after one quarter of their game against the Longhorns, only to see Buena Vista chip away at that margin and finally pass Balmorhea late in the third quarter. But the Longhorns suited up only five players for the game, and after Crystal Gonzales hit two baskets to give her team a 39-36 lead, she fouled out of the game with four seconds left in the third quarter.

The Longhorns were still able to keep things close for the first half of the final period, and trailed by just two points with four minutes to play. But after Hanna Hanks followed Gonzales to the bench with her fifth four at the 3:49 mark, the Bears pulled away, scoring 14 of the final 18 points to win by a 59-47 final score.

"We played a very good first quarter, but then we slowed down and didn't play defense and didn't move the ball on offense," said Bears' coach Abel Garcia. "We were a little careless and a little lazy."

Larissa Rodriguez had seven of her 16 points in the opening period, which ended with Balmorhea holding a 17-9 lead, and the Bears were still up by a 26-18 score just before halftime when Gonzales hit a lay-up and followed with a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to cut the margin to three going into the third period.

Balmorhea would jump ahead by six points midway through the third quarter, at 36-30 on a steal and lay-up by Savannah Matta, but Gonzales would follow with three baskets, and teammate Bradley Duckett would add a rebound lay-up and free throw as part of a 9-0 run that put the Longhorns ahead by three.

Free throws by Trina Jurado and Amber Briceno would tie the game as the final period began, but even playing with a one-player advantage the Bears were unable to shake the Longhorns. Buena Vista took its last lead at 43-41 on a pair of foul shots by Duckett, as Briceno fouled out of the game, before Balmorhea went ahead for good on lay-ups by Juarez and Rodriguez.

Even after Hanks fouled out, a lay-up by Duckett made it 48-45 with two minutes to play. But the 5-on-3 disadvantage was too much for Buena Vista, as Balmorhea scored on a series of lay-ups over the next minute to put the game away. Duckett would foul out with 1:05 left and Balmorhea ahead by 11, and by then Garcia had kept his extra players on the court out of the action, and the Bears played the final minute of the game as basically a 2-on-2 match-up.

"It started getting out of hand when we had them outnumbered, so I kept them out," Garcia said.

Jurado finished with 15 points and Matta had 14 for the Bears, who improved to 6-3 on the season. Buena Vista was led by Gonzales' 17 points and 14 by Duckett.

The Bears' next game will be in the opening round of the Van Horn Tournament, against the host Eagles on Friday. Garcia said it's the second meeting between the two games, with Van Horn winning the opener by 11 points. Balmorhea placed third this past weekend in tournament play at Buena Vista.


Huertas 3 2-5 8; Gonzaales 7 2-5 17; Duckett 5 4-7 14; Hanks 3 0-2 8; Graham 0 0-0 0, Totals 18 8-19 47.


Jurado 6 1-4 15; C. Briceno 0 0-0 0; Sanchez 0 0-0 0; Lopez 0 0-0 0; Matta 5 4-15 14; Cook 4 1-2 9; A. Briceno 1 3-6 5; Orosco 0 0-0 0; Rodriguez 7 2-5 16; Carrasco 1 0-0 0. Totals 23 11-32 59.

Buena Vista 7 16 16 8 47

Balmorhea 17 9 11 22 59

Three-point goals: Buena Vista 3 (Hanks 2, Rodriguez), Balmorhea 2 (Jurado 2). Technical foul: Buena Vista, Coach Hanks. Fouled out: Buena Vista, Gonzales, Hanks, Duckett. Balmorhea, A. Briceno, Rodriguez. Total fouls: Buena Vista 21, Balmorhea 20.

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