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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Eagles unable to score upset at Greenwood

The Pecos Eagle girls came close to pulling off the biggest upset of the season in District 4-3A basketball. But after leading the Greenwood Rangerettes on their home court at halftime and in the third period, the Eagles allowed Greenwood to rally in the final period for a 45-38 victory.

"We should have won the game. We were up 6-7 points in the second half and then we came out and tried to rush things," said Eagles' coach Veronica Valenzuela.

The Eagles were outscored by Greenwood, 16-0, in the first period of their first meeting, last month in Pecos, and while Pecos was able to cut the lead in half by the fourth quarter, they were never able to get closer in that loss to the Rangerettes. This time, the Eagles were within five points of the Rangerettes after one period, and jumped on top at halftime, 23-19 after outscoring Greenwood 15-6 in the second period.

"In the first half we came out and executed well, but in the second half we didn't do anything," Valenzuela said. Pecos took only 18 shots in the final 16 minutes of the game, and while they were able to maintain their lead despite scoring just four points in the third period, the were outscored by a 20-11 margin in the final quarter.

"Most of their points came off turnovers," Valenzuela said. "I called a time out to try and get them to slow it down, but that was the big difference in the game."

"We shouldn't have been in that position, but there were some bad calls by the refs at the end that hurt. They called a travel on Leslie when she was bringing the ball up when their girl tackled her," she added.

Rodriguez led Pecos with 16 points, while Danielle Garcia had 10 for Pecos, which had a good shooting night from the foul line, hitting 10 of 15 shots. Greenwood, meanwhile, was only 5-for-14 from the line, but Valenzuela said the Rangerettes got a lot more chances from the field.

"Defensively we did well. We played good in the 1-3-1 zone, but the problem we had was in rebounding. We gave them too many second chances," she said. Rangerettes' post Amy Hopper took advantage the most, hitting for 10 points, while Kati Howard led Greenwood with 13 points.

The loss leaves Pecos with a 1-7 record in district, 4-18 overall, going into their final regular season home game, Friday night against Presidio. Greenwood is 5-3 in district, 12-14 overall and in sole possession of third in the 4-3A standings, after Fort Stockton lost at Monahans on Tuesday.

PECOS (38)

Rodriguez 7 2-4 16; Carrasco 0 0-0 0; D. Garcia 3 4-5 10; M. Mendoza 0 0-0 0; Valdez 0 0-0 0; O. Mendoza 0 0-0 0; V. Garcia 2 0-0 4; Armendariz 2 4-4 8; Mazone 0 0-2 0. Totals 14 10-15 38.


Burgess 1 1-2 3; Etheridge 0 0-0 0; Lopez 1 0-0 2; Smith 3 0-0 6; Howard 6 1-2 13; Flowers 2 0-3 4; Presely 1 0-2 2; Johannsen 2 2-2 6; Mitchell 0 0-0 0; Hopper 2 0-4 10. Totals 20 5-14 45.

Pecos 8 15 4 11 -- 38

Greenwood 13 6 6 20 -- 45

Three-point goals: None. Fouled out: None. Total fouls: Pecos 12, Greenwood 16.

Second-ranked Greenwood routs Pecos again

The score was worse the second time around, but the score wasn't good the first time the Pecos Eagles faced the Greenwood Rangers this season, either.

"We got outrebounded and committed 28 turnovers in the ballgame," coach Joe Flores said of the 85-35 loss on Tuesday to the second-ranked Rangers in Greenwood. "We shot the ball around 30 percent, which is right around our average. Of course, a lot of that had to do with Greenwood being such a good, aggressive team."

However, despite the 50-point margin, Flores said he did have a few bright spots in the losing effort.

"The main improvement to come out of this was Victor Reyes' ability to handle the pressure," he said. "He only committed four turnovers last night."

Flores was also happy with the play on offense of sophomore Lupito Bustamantes, who led the Eagles in scoring with 12 points in his second game back from the ineligible list. "Defensively he's behind. Most of that is because he's not in game shape, but Lupito does shoot the ball well."

Greenwood, which won in Pecos last month, 70-27, outscored Pecos by 10 points in each of the first two periods, then put in 31 points in the third period to turn a 40-20 advantage into a 71-30 lead.

"We started off relatively well, but it went back and forth. We played well at times, but other times not, and when you play the No. 2 ranked team in Texas you're going to have to be pretty close to perfect," Flores said.

The Rangers held the Eagles' leading scorer, Oscar Parada, to just seven points on Tuesday. "Oscar didn't shoot as much as he has been doing," Flores said. "I was trying to tell him to shoot the ball more but last night he didn't shoot enough."

Greenwood's 6-foot-6 post Shane McNeely led the Rangers with 22 points, while Jimmy Brooks, Brian Zachary and Ky Smith also were in double figures for the Rangers, who are 20-3 on the season and 6-0 in district play.

The Eagles fell to 1-5 in district and 8-17 overall, but are still in the playoff picture. However, to stay alive, they'll have to win at least three of their last four games, starting with Friday night's contest at home against Presidio. The Blue Devils are 2-4 in district after their loss to Kermit on Tuesday night.

Texas' top FB recruits heading to Oklahoma

By KRISTIE RIEKEN Associated Press Writer DALLAS - The Lone Star State can claim the nation's top high school recruit as well as its top quarterback. Unfortunately for Texas schools, they're both headed to Oklahoma. Palestine running back Adrian Peterson and Grand Prairie quarterback Rhett Bomar are both expected to sign with Oklahoma on Wednesday, the first day high school seniors can sign binding letters of intent. Texas lost out on both players, but the Longhorns gained a late commitment from the state's top defender Tuesday night. Lake Highlands defensive lineman Franklin Okam, the nation's second best defensive tackle, announced his decision to attend Texas on Fox Sports Southwest's Southwest Sports Report. The 6-foot-5, 300-pound lineman was the state's highest ranked recruit that hadn't orally committed. "He makes your class more complete from a number of different areas," said Jeremy Crabtree, national recruiting analyst with "He's a great kid that everyone will rally around." "To win in big time football you have to have someone who can stuff the run and stop the passer. He can do it all." Texas also snagged the nation's top defensive back with Houston Lamar's Andrew Kelson and also got Cedric Dockery, the No. 2 offensive guard in the nation. Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione has more than 20 verbal commitments to go along with early signee, Burnet quarterback Stephen McGee. The Aggies are expected to sign Silsbee's William Morrissey, ranked as the third best defensive tackle in the country. "One of the surprising classes in the country is Texas A&M," Crabtree said. "It's not just good high school players. They've got very good junior college linebackers coming." Texas Tech has verbal commitments from 24 players including Ennis quarterback Graham Harrell, who should fit well into Mike Leach's pass-happy offense. Harrell set high school records for state career passing yards and career touchdown passes. This looks to be Tech's first top 25 recruiting class since the Spike Dykes era. "Texas Tech has done an amazing job," Crabtree said. "With Harrell and highly touted junior college signee Robert Johnson, the Red Raiders won't have any trouble at quarterback for a while." Baylor's recruiting class is expected to include Southlake Carroll linebacker Ben Hixon and Class 2A speedster Jacoby Jones, who gained more than 2,000 yards rushing in 2003. UTEP's recruiting haul won't be impressive this year since new coach Mike Price came on late. But Crabtree said Price and his new staff will be a force in Texas recruiting battles in the future. Houston has 16 oral commitments and analysts said the Cougars' first return to a bowl since 1996 is a reason their recruiting stock is rising. Despite being one of only two Division I-A teams that went through 2003 without a win, Southern Methodist has managed to garner 11 commitments, including top 50 recruit Irving tight end Vincent Chase.

Eagles open baseball practice with rookie squad

Staff Writer

There aren't a whole lot of players back for the Pecos Eagles' baseball team in 2004, and the ones that are back actually won't be back for a while for head coach Elias Payan.

However, Payan said the first day of workouts on Monday with a team made up almost entirely of freshman and sub-varsity players from a year ago went well.

"I'm pleased with the overall practice we had," said Payan. "It's the first time in six years I've been here the first day of practice has been really good."

Pecos overcame problems in the first half of District 4-3A play last season to make the playoffs and advance to the area round before falling to Lubbock Cooper in Payan's first season as head coach. This year he's got two full-time and two part-time starters back from a year ago, but all four - Oscar Parada, Jose Reyes, Josh Anchondo and Victor Reyes - will still be with the Eagles' basketball team for at least the next two weeks.

"Eddie (Vela) and Edward (Valencia) were up a little bit last year, but they were mostly on the bench," Payan said of the players he does have out right now. "Eddie in the outfield looked really good and Edward looked good hitting the fungo to him at shortstop."

The two are among several sophomores, including Anchondo, who figure to see playing time this season for the Eagles, who'll be fielding their youngest team in several years.

"We have some kids who were out last year as freshman and sophomores who I've seen some big improvement in," Payan said. "I think our off-season program lifting weights has benefited us, and it's showing."

"Jonathan Garcia started out a lot better compared to last year. He was kind of weak throwing the ball, but looks a lot stronger now," he added.

Reyes, Parada and Anchondo all spent time at third base last year. Parada also plated outfield, while Anchondo pitched and Reyes pitched and played some shortstop. Victor Reyes played in the outfield when Parada was on the infield.

Aside from Vela, Valencia and Garcia, Payan will be looking at a number of players over the nest two weeks, as he tries to fill openings on the right side of the infield and at catcher before the four returning players and the others come out from basketball.

"I expect about 17 kids to come out from basketball," he said. "I'm not sure how many of them I'll have (on the varsity). There are still some kids on the bubble right now whether or not they'll be varsity or JV baseball players.

The Eagles have scrimmages each of the next two Tuesdays, here against Crane and at Odessa High the following week. Both will come before the end of basketball season, so Payan will be looking at a number of new players in those games, including on the pitcher's mound.

"Right now we can put two or three guys on there who can pitch," Payan said. "There may be some others who decide they want to try and pitch, and we'll give them the opportunity."

Regular season play for Pecos starts at home in three weeks against Odessa High, while the District 4-3A portion of their schedule will begin a month later, at home against Kermit.

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