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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Monday, January 12, 2004

Eagles grab early lead, hold on to beat Cranes

Staff Writer

The Pecos Eagles had the formula for beating the Crane Golden Cranes Friday night, they just didn't have the ability to use it all that often.

Playing their final home game before the start of the District 4-3A boys basketball season, the Eagles used a full-court press to create a series of turnovers in the opening period and go out to a 14-7 lead, then used the press again in the second period, to widen that margin to as much as 15 points midway through the quarter.

But with only eight players on the squad, coach Joe Flores could only use the press for a limited amount of time before the Eagles began to tire out and the Cranes began to come back. Shane McManus led a second-half rally that cut Pecos' margin to as little as two points midway through the final period, but the Eagles were able to generate just enough offense - and hit just enough free throws - to escape with a 56-52 win, snapping a four-game losing streak.

"The kids love to press, but we don't have enough artillery," said Flores. "Tonight I kind of decided to test how many artillery shells were in our pocket, and it worked for most of the game, except for the late third quarter when we started getting tired, and our jump shots started getting short and out of control."

Oscar Parada and Victor Reyes each had 16 points to lead Pecos. Reyes got most of his points and a couple of steals, during the Eagles' two runs in the first half off the full-court press, but also hit a jumper late midway through the fourth quarter, after David Heredia's 3-pointer cut Pecos' lead to 46-44.

Parada followed with a basket and two foul shots to get Pecos' lead back up to six, while Reyes sealed the victory by hitting two free throws off an intentional foul by Crane's Denton Dodd with 3.8 seconds to play. Reyes was hit with a technical for taunting after being thrown to the floor by Dodd, and while McManus hit two free throws after Reyes' two and Crane got the ball, the Eagles remained up by four.

"Tick (Reyes) is improving every game and that's a good thing for us," said Flores. "When your point guard can be improving every game that helps, especially going into district. He's been really working hard penetrating and in his decision making, and it's been paying off."

Heredia and Jose Reyes traded 3-pointers in the early going, with Reyes' shot wiping out Crane's only lead of the night, at 3-2. Victor Reyes would have two lane jumpers and a 3-pointer and Parada added a basket off a steal as part of a 12-2 run that put the Eagles ahead by nine late in the opening period.

Crane would cut that margin back to three early in the second quarter before Pecos went back to the press and went on a 14-2 run, which gave them a 30-15 lead. Ricardo Morales had two lay-ups off steals and Victor Reyes also had a lay-up after a Crane turnover, while Parada capped the run with a 3-point shot.

The Cranes cut six points off that lead before the half was over, and while Victor Reyes opened the third period with a basket, McManus would score 10 points in the period, which ended with the Eagles ahead by only a 38-35 score.

Pecos would make one more run early in the fourth period, scoring six straight points to open the quarter. But the Eagles could have gotten more except for a poor night of foul shooting. Pecos was only 12-for-28 from the line, while Crane shot 91 percent from the line on Friday, going 10-for-11.

McManus led all scorers with 18 points, while Jose Reyes also was in double figures for the Eagles with 11. The win improved Pecos to 7-11 on the season going into their final pre-district game, on Tuesday night at Jal, N.M. District play starts for the Eagles at home on Friday against Greenwood, currently ranked No. 3 in the state Class 3A poll.

Crane did pull out a four-point win in Friday's junior varsity game, 60-56.

CRANE (52)

Galindo 1 0-0 2; McManus 7 4-4 18; Dodd 0 2-2 2; Heredia 2 0-0 6; Henderson 0 0-0 0; Eylar 2 0-0 4; Snow 2 0-0 4; Browning 3 2-2 8; Seabourne 3 2-3 8. Totals 20 10-11 52.

PECOS (56)

Parada 6 3-5 16; Morales 3 0-3 6; Pina 0 1-2 1; J. Reyes 3 3-6 11; Licon 0 0-0 0; Lara 2 2-8 6; V. Reyes 6 3-4 16. Totals 20 12-28 56.

Crane 7 14 14 17 52

Pecos 14 16 8 18 56

Three-point goals: Crane 2 (Heredia 2), Pecos 4 (J. Reyes 2, V. Reyes, Parada). Technical foul: Pecos, V. Reyes. Fouled out: Crane Dodd. Total fouls: Crane 23, Pecos 11.

Monahans roughs up Pecos in girls' district opener

The first four minutes of Friday night's District 4-3A opener for the Pecos Eagles went the way coach Veronica Valenzuela had hoped. But after that, there wasn't too much for Valenzuela to be happy about.

A lay-up by Chantel Mazone and a jumper by Leslie Rodriguez gave Pecos a quick 4-0 lead over the Monahans Loboes, and after another Rodriguez basket the Eagles still had a 6-3 lead midway through the opening quarter. But from there on, Pecos had problems handling Monahans press or getting any rebounds and were outscored 13-2 the rest of the period, on the way to a 67-33 loss to the Loboes at the Pecos High School gym.

"I told them before the game if we didn't panic we'd be OK," Valenzuela said. "We worked on the press break for about an hour, because I knew they were going to press us full-court and half-court, just like they did last year, but we weren't ready mentally. We weren't focused before the game, and until we start doing that, nothing is going to work."

Several times the Eagle guards attempted to throw long passes to teammates guarded by taller Monahans players, only to have them intercepted. At the same time, Monahans' senior post Laura Crumrine began both getting open inside and getting rebounds for second-chance baskets after the opening minutes of play.

Crumrine survived a poor-shooting first half from the foul line to finish with 21 points, while Amber Sotelo got open for a couple of 3-point baskets late in the opening quarter to help Monahans go from a 6-3 deficit to a 16-8 lead. She would hit another 3 early in the second period, as part of her 15 points on the night, as Monahans widened their margin to 14 points, at 25-11, and kept it in that area through the rest of the half.

The Loboes would score the first eight points of the second half, four coming directly off steals, and after two baskets by Rodriguez would go on a 13-0 run, widening their lead to 50-19 just before the end of the period. Crumrine's final points of the night, a lay-up and foul shot on a three-point play, gave Monahans its biggest lead, at 56-20 33 seconds into the final period, before the teams traded points the rest of the way.

Rodriguez had 13 points to lead Pecos, which fell to 3-13 on the season. Monahans improved to 11-7 with their victory. The Eagles will be on the road Tuesday for a game at Fort Stockton against the Prowlers, who defeated Presidio in their District 4-3A opener on Friday.


Garcia 1 0-0 2; Cypher 4 0-0 8; Merrick 1 0-0 2; Beauchamp 0 1-4 1; Williams 0 0-3 0; Speed 1 0-0 2; Wright 0 0-0 0; Fann 4 2-4 10; Sotelo 5 2-3 15; Crumrine 7 7-14 21; Walker 2 0-0 4; Cutbreath 0 0-0 0. Totals 25 12-28 67.

PECOS (33)

Rodriguez 6 1-4 13; Carrasco 1 3-4 5; D. Garcia 0 3-4 3; M. Mendoza 0 0-2 0; Valdez 0 0-0 0; O. Mendoza 0 0-0 0; V. Garcia 0 1-2 1; Armendariz 2 2-4 6; Mazone 2 0-0 4. Totals 11 11-20 33.

Monahans 16 13 1 21 17 67

Pecos 8 7 5 13 33

Three-point goals: Monahans 3 (Sotelo 3. Fouled out: Pecos, Mazone, D. Garcia. Total fouls: Monahans 18, Pecos 21.

Boys place second, girls fifth at Lubbock meet

Swimming against larger schools from both Texas and New Mexico, the Pecos Eagles weren't able to add on to their meet win streak on Saturday at the Lubbock Invitational. But both the boys and girls squads still placed in the Top 5 in their final meet before District 4-4A competition.

The boys placed second to Lubbock High, finishing with 320 points to 362 for the Westerners. The girls, who were shorthanded for the meet, still managed to come in fifth with 150 points, behind Fort Bend (Sugar Land) Elkins, Lubbock High, Lubbock Coronado and Carlsbad.

"I was really impressed with the guys being able to pull it out on Saturday and come up and improve on their results from Friday to get the points to beat Sugar Land Elkins," said Eagles' coach Terri Morse, whose boys and girls teams had swept their last four meets before the Christmas holiday. Elkins placed third in the boys' division with 296 points.

Pecos had a pair of firsts on the day, by sophomore Matt Elliott in the 100-yard butterfly and senior Max Key in the 100-yard breaststroke. Elliott had a 58.26 time to take first in his race, while Key swam a 1:03.82 time to beat out teammate K.W. Winkles by just under two seconds.

"I was excited about Max and K.W.'s times in the backstroke, and Will (Oglesby) had a good swim in the backstroke and did OK in the 500, but we haven't been working on that yet," Morse said. "Matt's time in the fly I was definitely excited about. Winning it was nice, but what impressed me is he had never gone that fast before."

Oglesby had two of the Eagles five other second place finishes at the meet, with two more coming from the relay teams. Oglesby, Winkles, Elliott and Key finished second to Lubbock High in the 200 medley relay while Key, Winkles, Daniel Quintana and Kyle Winkles were edged by Elkins for first in the 400 freestyle and edged San Angelo Central for second place, finishing with a 3:31.73 time.

The other second place effort was by Michael Juarez in the 3-meter diving competition, the first time he's competed in that event this year. Juarez later placed fifth in the 1-meter diving. "He did a good job on both, he just didn't do as well in the 1-meter as he can do. He was just a little flat on Saturday," Morse said.

Key placed third in his other event, the 50-yard freestyle, while Elliott was 11th in the 200-yard freestyle. Quintana finished eighth in that race, and was 11th in the 100 freestyle, and K.W. Winkles took fourth in the 200 individual medley. Kyle Winkles had Pecos' other medal, taking third in the 100-yard backstroke.

He was also ninth in the 100 freestyle, while the others who qualified for Saturday's finals included Matt Oglesby, who was seventh in the 200 medley and 12th in the 100 fly, the 200-yard freestyle relay team of Quintana, Elliott, Juarez and Will Oglesby, which placed eighth, and the 'B' 200 medley relay of Kyle Winkles, Alonzo Garcia, Matt Oglesby and Juarez, which placed 11th.

The girls swam without Susan Moore and Amanda Contreras and as a result, didn't place as high as in previous meets in their relay events. The 200-yard freestyle team of Betsy Lujan, Ashley Horsburgh, Amie Reynolds and Catherine Minjarez placed sixth, as did the 400 freestyle team of Lujan, Horsburgh, Minjarez and Teddie Salcido. In the 200 medley relay, Salcido, Reynolds, Lindsey Shaw and Jessica Minjarez finished 14th, while the only 'B' relay of the meet for Pecos, in the 400 free, finished 20th on Friday and did not qualify for Saturday's finals or consolation event.

"The medley relay was the one I sacrificed. I was hoping we could do a little better; I was hoping Lindsey could do close to what Catherine does in the fly, but I thought the 200 and 400 (freestyle) relays did well," Morse said.

The best overall finish for the girls came from Salcido, who placed fourth in the 500-yard freestyle, and Catherine Minjarez, fourth in the 100-yard butterfly. Salcido also took sixth place in the 200 free, while Minjarez was ninth in the 200 individual medley.

Others to qualify in the Top 16 to swim on Saturday included Shaw, 11th in the 100 yard breaststroke and 15th in the 200 individual medley; Jessica Minjarez, seventh in the 500 freestyle and 13th in the 200 free; Horsburgh, 13th in the 100 free; Ashley Mendoza, 14th in the 500 free; and Reynolds, who placed 12th in the 100 yard breaststroke.

The Eagles will be off this week, before going to Fort Stockton for District 4-4A competition on Jan. 23-24. Regional competition will be back at the Pete Ragus Aquatic Center in Lubbock two weeks later.

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