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PECOS, Jan. 13 -- The first week of District 4-4A play appeared to be
going from bad to worse for the Pecos Eagles midway through the third
period of Friday night's game against the San Angelo Lake View Chiefs.
But instead, the Eagles came up with their biggest comeback in two
years, and in the process, ended a district losing streak that dated
back to the end of the 1994-95 basketball season.
The Eagles, who were shut out over the final 7:45 of a foul- and
injury-plagued 17-point loss to the Andrews Mustangs Thursday night,
poured in 37 points in the final 8:33 on Friday, to wipe out a 17-point
third quarter deficit and score a 75-71 victory.
"That's my style, to be close at the half or a little behind, but I
didn't intend to be 17 points behind," said Eagles' coach Mike Sadler.
"It was a sweet win, a sweet comeback. Our intensity was a lot better
tonight, and it showed in the outcome."
The player who enjoyed the biggest turnaround was post Omar Hinojos. On
Thursday against Andrews, all the charging calls the junior had been
drawing this season were called against him, while Hinojos was tagged
for two offensive fouls himself and fouled out in the third period after
scoring just six points.
This time, the offensive fouls were whistled as blocks, and Hinojos
wound up going to the foul line 17 times, hitting 10 of those shots as
part of his game-high 25 points. Just as importantly, he took two
charging calls down the stretch on Lake View's top scorer, Lanze Velez,
fouling him out of the game with 2:08 to play and the Eagles holding
their biggest lead of the night, at 71-64.
"Omar moved his feet well and established good defensive position. When
you do that, it puts you in good position to get the charge call,"
Velez was the Chiefs' main weapon in the first half, as he scored on a
series of drives down the lane to keep Lake View close, when Pecos held
a four point lead, and put in 10 of his 22 points in the second period,
which ended with the Chiefs holding a 34-31 lead.
San Angelo scored the final seven points of the first half, then went
on a 21-7 streak in the third period, capped by a fast break basket by
Richard Luna, who was then fouled by Hinojos with 33.7 seconds left in
That gave Lake View a 55-38 lead, but in the final 20 seconds of the
quarter, the Eagles were able to knock six points off that score, as
Hinojos scored inside and was fouled by Chris Burges for a three-point
play, and Eric Abila nailed a 3-point jumper off a steal, one of his six
3-pointers on the night.
Abila finished with 22 points, while Fabien Adame also broke the 20
point barrier, hitting for 21. that included a pair of back-door lay-ups
in the opening minutes of the final period, when Pecos scored the first
eight points of the period to cut the margin to 55-52. That included two
foul shots by Hinojos after a technical foul call against Velez, who was
angry no foul had been called after a steal by Abila.
"They were trapping us in the corner, but we had an offense to contain
that, and we executed it well," Sadler said of the back door plays
against the double-teaming Chiefs defense.
Along with slowing down Velez, who was shut out in the final period,
the Eagles also did a better job blocking out junior post Jorge
Villareal and sophomore Cody Renfro. The pair had a number of put-backs
for points in the game, but only two in the final period.
One of those by Villareal ended the Eagles' 14-point streak, but the
Eagles were still able to take the lead for good, at 59-58, on another
3-pointer by Abila with 5:12 to play. Hinojos added a foul shot and a
lay-up moments later for a four point lead, and the teams then traded
baskets for the next two minutes, until Adame scored on a lay-up and
Velez was whistled for charging into Hinojos at the other end with 2:21
They then repeated the exact same script over the next 13 seconds, as
Adame scored off a Hinojos assist and Velez then ran into Hinojos on the
drive for his fifth foul.
"We were overplaying him (to the right) and he started driving the
middle, but our guys weren't stepping up. When we started doing that he
started getting the charge and we got the turnovers," Sadler said.
Even with Velez gone, Lake View did cut the seven point gap to three,
when Luna hit a 3-pointer and Alonzo Robinson hit a pair of free throws
with 1:13 left. A lay-up by Adame and two foul shots by Villareal, who
finished with 23, followed. That made it 74-71, but San Angelo was
unable to score on their final three trips downcourt, while Abila hit
one of two foul shots at the 42.4 second mark, allowing Pecos to survive
four misses from the line in the final 13 seconds.
The Eagles ended up with 12 fewer fouls than the Chiefs, and took 19
more free throws, just one night after they were whistled for 12 more
fouls than Andrews, which had a 20 shot margin at the foul line.
"The kids showed a lot tonight. They never gave up, even when they were
down 17 points," said Sadler, whose team played without starting forward
Jason Abila, who injured his leg in Thursday's loss. Sadler said Abila
would have a light workout Saturday, and should be able to play this
Pecos' first district win since the final regular season game of 1995
tied them for second place with Andrews, 85-76 losers Friday to Big
Spring, who'll host Pecos on Tuesday night, in the first of two road
games this week for the Eagles. They'll go to Fort Stockton on Friday.
The Steers also are 1-1, as is Fort Stockton, which lost at Sweetwater
on Friday then won at San Angelo on Saturday, 80-69. Lake View did win
Friday's junior varsity game over Pecos, by a 54-40 final score. There
was no freshman game played Friday.
SAN ANGELO (71)
Robinson 1 2-2 5; Allen 0 0-0 0; Velez 11 0-0 22; Stubblefield 1 1-2 4;
Adkins 0 0-0 0; Burgess 0 0-0 0; Luna 4 0-1 9; Henry 0 0-0 0; Williams 0
0-0 0; Villareal 10 3-3 23; Renfro 4 0-0 8. Totals 31 6-9 71.
E. Abila 7 2-4 22; Luna 0 0-0 0; Martinez 0 0-0 0; Hinojos 7 10-17 25;
Adame 10 1-3 21; Navarrete 1 0-0 2; Chavez 1 0-0 2; Garcia 1 1-4 3.
Totals 27 14-28 75.
San Angelo 17 17 21 16 --71
Pecos 14 17 13 31 --44
Three-point goals: San Angelo 3 (Robinson, Stubblefield, Luna), Pecos 7
(E. Abila 6, Hinojos). Technical foul: San Angelo, Velez. Fouled out:
San Angelo, Velez. Total fouls: San Angelo 23, Pecos 11.
PECOS, Jan. 13 -- The Pecos Eagles hit some outside shots Friday night
against the San Angelo Lake View Maidens. Just not far enough outside.
And they got some baskets off steals. Just not enough down the stretch.
For the second straight night, 3-point shots were a major factor in
sending Pecos down to a homecourt defeat, as the Maidens' Bridgete
Leifeste and Cory Ensmiger came up with some key 3-point shots to cut
Pecos rallies short.
The Eagles' lone 3-pointer by Lori Marquez -- Pecos' first in three
games -- came too late to save the Eagles, as Lake View came away with a
San Angelo had just a trio of 3s in the game, but the two Lake View hit
in the third period stopped an Eagle streak that saw Pecos cut an
10-point deficit to two, and allowed San Angelo to maintain a four-point
lead going into the final period.
Pecos would cut San Angelo's lead to a single point twice, off steals by
Marquez and Penny Armstrong, and the Eagles had three chances to take
the lead. But Marquez missed an inside shot once, and the Eagles turned
the ball over two other times before San Angelo used some back-door
lay-ups to pull away.
"We didn't play with as much energy as we played last night," Eagles'
coach Patty Hall said, referring in the team's 56-49 loss on Thursday to
Andrews. "We've never had to play back-to-back games like that except in
tournaments, and we've usually fallen off a little on the second day. We
rushed our shots and didn't block out the way we should."
The Eagles spent all of the game trying to come back, after Lake View
took leads of 8-2 and 15-6 in the first period, and 20-9 in the second
quarter. Hillary Lee, who finished with 20 points, did much of the early
damage, scoring 12 of San Angelo's first 23 points.
Pecos rallied from their 20-9 hole, cutting the margin to 23-20 off a
series of lay-ups and a pair of free throws by Annette Marquez. A late
basket by Stacy Bartz allowed San Angelo to go in at halftime up 27-22,
and a steal and lay-up by Lee opened the second half scoring, after both
teams missed on their first two trips downcourt.
San Angelo raised the lead to 33-23 on a Lee Ann Roach basket when
Marquez got hot, scoring six points over the next three minutes,
including a rebound lay-up after Ensmiger's 3-pointer ended Pecos' run.
Shirhonda Bell followed with a lay-up, but Lee then hit a short side
jumper and Leifeste followed by nailing her 3-pointer, raising the
margin back to 41-35.
They got the margin back up to seven before baskets by Armstrong, Erica
Orona and Marquez cut it to one point twice off the steals. But the
Eagles couldn't get any more easy baskets off turnovers, and the Maidens
were able to handle Pecos' man-to-man defense down the stretch.
"Lori and Penny didn't have a break (Thursday) night. They played the
entire 32 minutes and it showed. They were both kind of slow today,"
said Hall, although Marquez finished with 22 points and Armstrong added
"We took a few steps back. We looked so good (Thursday) night. I don't
know if we just lost our focus, or what," said Hall, who gave her seven
varsity players Saturday off after the back-to-back games.
"I told them to go home and sleep most of the weekend, because I need
them fresh for Big Spring," she said. The Eagles close out the first
half of District 4-4A play with a 6 p.m. game against the Steers on
The loss dropped Pecos to 1-3 in district, 6-11 on the season, while San
Angelo followed up their win with a 48-45 victory on Saturday over Fort
Stockton. Lake View is 2-2 in district, 8=13 overall, while Big Spring
is in first place, at 4-0 and 12-9, after Friday's 50-42 win at Andrews.
SAN ANGELO (54)
Leifeste 5 2-4 13; Bullock 0 1-2 1; Lee 10 0-0 20; Ensmiger 2 0-0 6;
Bartz 2 0-0 4; Harper 0 0-0 0; Rodriguez 0 0-0 0; Hogesta 0 0-0 0;
Simpson 0 0-0 0; Keel 0 0-0 0; Roach 5 0-0 10. Totals 24 3-6 54.
Carrasco 0 0-0 0; A. Marquez 2 3-4 7; Armstrong 5 1-2 11; Orona 1 1-2 3;
L. Marquez 10 1-3 22; Bell 1 0-0 2; Thorp 2 0-0 4. Totals 21 6-11 49.
San Angelo 15 12 14 13 --54
Pecos 6 16 15 12 --49
Three-point goals: San Angelo 3 (Ensminger 2, Leifeste), Pecos 1 (L.
Marquez). Fouled out: Pecos, Orona. Total fouls: San Angelo 12, Pecos
"We had a pretty good meet overall," said Eagles' coach Terri Morse of
the two-day event, which featured 32 teams, including most of those
Pecos will see back in Lubbock next month at regional competition.
San Angelo Central and Lubbock High were well ahead of the rest of the
field on the boys' side. The Bobcats won by a 356-309 margin, with the
Eagles next at 193 points. Carlsbad was fourth with 166, followed by
Amarillo High with 155, Abilene High with 135 and Abilene Cooper and
Pampa with 109½ points apiece. Fort Stockton was the next highest
District 4 member, placing ninth with 98½ points.
Monahans had the best finish among the Eagles' district rivals, scoring
177 points and placing fourth, behind Lubbock High (310), Central (264)
and Amarillo (224). New Mexico Military Institute was next with 144
points, while the Eagles' 135 total was 11 points up on Carlsbad.
Abilene High (106) and Cooper (90) held the eighth and ninth spots.
No Eagle took home a first place medal on Saturday, but both the boys
and girls did pick up second place medals in relay events. The boys' 200
medley relay team of Kevin Bates, Al Tillman, Kenneth Friar and Dennis
Harris were runners up in the first event of the day, the 200 medley
relay, while Randi Key, Dionnie Munoz, Megan Freeman and Liz Parent did
the same in the final event, the 400 freestyle.
Seth Whitworth had Pecos' other medal on the day, finishing third in the
100 yard breaststroke, and Morse said he also would have gotten third in
the 200 individual medley, but was disqualified. "He dropped his
shoulder on the breaststroke (leg), but he still swam a 2:09, which was
his best time of the year," the Eagles' coach said.
Whitworth, Friar, Bates and William Kiefer took fourth in the 400 free
relay, and Whitworth, Kiefer, Matt Ivy and Harris were fifth in the 200
Friar also took fourth in the 500 freestyle and fifth in the 200 medley;
Harris was 11th in the 200 medley and 16th in the 50 free; Bates was
sixth in the 100 backstroke and 10th in the 100 butterfly; Tillman was
sixth in the 100 breaststroke add 14th in the 100 fly; Kiefer was 12th
in the 100 freestyle and Ivy was 14th in the 200 free.
On the girls' side, along with the 400 free relay's finish, the 200
medley relay team of Key, Freeman, Parent and Jamie Corson was 10th,
while Munoz, Corson, Whitworth and Kellee Bagley were 16th in the 200
Parent picked up a sixth in the 200 medley and a seventh in the 100
freestyle; Munoz was 10th and Whitworth 11th in the 200 free, and
Whitworth was ninth in the 500 free; Freeman was sixth in the 100
butterfly and 11th in the 100 breaststroke; Key was ninth in the 100 fly
and Corson was 12th in the 200 medley.
"Some of the kids wanted to swim in different races, so what they swam
may not be what they'll swim in district," said Morse, who'll send out
her entries for the District 4 meet this week. District competition will
be on Jan. 25 in Fort Stockton.
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