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Friday, November 21, 1997

Eagles hosting Cranes, Buffs in home openers

PECOS, Nov. 21 -- The Pecos Eagles will have to wait three more days before playing their first home doubleheader of the season, but they will get in their varsity basketball home openers tonight and Saturday.

Pecos' boys will take on the Crane Golden Cranes tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the Pecos High School gym, while the girls will face the Stanton Buffaloes at about 5:30 p.m., following the Eagles' junior varsity home opener against the Buffs.

Both were supposed to host Stanton tonight, but that was changed by the Buffs' football playoff game tonight. Instead of facing Stanton, ranked fourth in the Texas High School Coaches Association preseason Class 2A poll, they'll take on the Crane, which is ranked 19th in the THSCA Class 3A preseason poll.

The Eagles scrimmaged Crane on Nov. 10, and will hope for the same success tonight they had against their other scrimmage opponent, Monahans, in their season opener on Tuesday. Pecos hit seven 3-pointers in the second half and outscored the Loboes from behind the 3-point line 24-0 in a 58-52 victory.

The outside shooting, mostly by Jacob Chavez, who finished with 22 points, offset the Loboes' height advantage inside. Tonight, the Eagles will be trying to contain Crane's 6-4 post Jamin Phipps, who led the Cranes last year with a 14½ points-per-game average.

The girls will be trying to bounce back from their season-opening 69-30 loss at Odessa High when they face Stanton Saturday afternoon. Like the Eagles, the Buffs dropped their season opener on Tuesday, losing at home to Sundown, 63-50.

Eagles' coach Brian Williams said his team shot the ball only nine times in the first 16 minutes of play, passing up open opportunities on several occasions, as OHS built a big first half lead. Penny Armstrong led Pecos with 13 points, all in the second half.

Stanton saw Sundown break open their game with a 22-11 advantage in the final period. The Buffs were led by Brandi Simer with 17 points, including a 3-pointer, while Rannie Hull had one 3-pointer and tied Laci Chandler for next-highest scorer with eight.

Saturday's game will be the first of three in four days for the Eagles. Both the girls and boys will be at home again on Monday to face Alpine, and on Tuesday the girls varsity and freshman teams will go to Iraan while the boys travel to Kermit. The Eagles' JV teams will face Balmorhea's varsity squads Tuesday on the Bears' home court.

Cowboys look to add to streak over Packers

AP Football Writer

NEW YORK, Nov. 21 -- The Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets can do themselves a lot of good -- or harm -- in their division races Sunday. They also can do the same to the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings.

Dallas makes its first trip to Green Bay since 1989 on Sunday, bringing an eight-game winning streak against Pack. Even rarer is Minnesota's trip to New York. The Vikings have not played on the road against the Jets since 1979.

For Dallas (6-5) to stay a game out of the NFC lead (at worst), it has to hand the Packers (8-3) their first home loss in 25 games. The defending champion Packers also are primed to finally get the Cowboys at Lambeau Field.

``We always said it would be different if we got them at Lambeau Field,'' Packers receiver Antonio Freeman said. ``This Sunday, they'll be here.''

The Jets (7-4) are on top of the AFC East, along with Miami, which visits New England (6-5). The NFL's worst team the last two seasons, the Jets' turnaround would be further validated if they knock off the Vikings (8-3), who are tied with Green Bay and Tampa Bay atop the NFC Central.

``I don't think there are many people who think we can win,'' Jets coach Bill Parcells said. ``When you have been coaching a team that is in contention, you get a lot of calls from people that you can beat this team or that team. Nobody mentioned the Vikings to me; they don't think we can beat them.''

The Cowboys go to Lambeau Field for just the second time since Bart Starr's sneak beat them in the fabled ``Ice Bowl'' 30 years ago, and for the first time in the 1990s, which they've so dominated. It is a trip coach Barry Switzer actually doesn't dread.

``I've seen games on television through the years and I know the tradition,'' Switzer said. ``The worst situation I've ever gone into was Lincoln, Neb. We played the Cornhuskers up there in cold weather in December. Never liked that.

``But I look forward to it, because it's something I've never experienced, and life holds very few moments like that.''

Should Dallas win and Washington beats the Giants, all three NFC East rivals would be 7-5. Should the Jets and Miami lose and New England win, all three AFC East teams would be 7-5.

``There is a lot of interaction and cross games between the divisions,'' Parcells noted. ``I wouldn't mind having a couple of ties in there with some of those teams, if you can manage that for me.''

Green sets mark, Warriors end loss streak

DALLAS, Nov. 21 (AP) -- A.C. Green took home some nice souvenirs from his record-setting 907th consecutive NBA game, everything from a rocking chair to a snazzy leather jacket with the word ``Ironman'' emblazoned on a sleeve.

But the gift he really wanted, and the one his Dallas Mavericks teammates badly wanted to give him, was left behind as Golden State picked up its first win of the season with a 101-97 overtime victory Thursday night.

``We got together without A.C. knowing and said, `Guys, if you're hurt, get extra treatment,''' said Dennis Scott, whose long 3-pointer with 5.9 seconds left forced the extra period. ``We did all of those little things because we wanted this game for him. To come this close, I feel bad for him.''

Green was disappointed, too, but he'll get over it. He took away enough memories from the night to easily forget the eighth straight defeat in what's quickly becoming another lost season for the NBA's worst team of the 1990s.

The night began with the record falling at tipoff. Michael Finley caught the ball and presented it to Green, then NBA vice president Rod Thorn and Mavericks owner Ross Perot Jr. made a more formal presentation.

Timeouts throughout the game were punctuated by videotaped tributes from a variety of well-wishers. James Worthy recalled the time his former teammate was asked to entertain everyone on a bus and sang ``Amazing Grace,'' while Magic Johnson joked about Green's old-fashioned hairdo.

The big festivities came during a 23-minute halftime celebration that featured Green's parents, A.C. Sr. and Leola Green, previous record-holder Randy Smith and baseball Ironman Cal Ripken Jr.

Although Ripken had never met Green before, the Baltimore Orioles third baseman still felt as if he knew his kindred spirit in durability.

``With a little bit of information, combined with a certain insight about what it takes to play every single game, day in and day out, I bet you I could come up with a profile of him,'' Ripken said.

``I know that in the 10 or 11 years during which this streak has existed, there had to be many nights where the body said `No,' but somewhere down deep inside, he had to go down there and dig it out and say I'm going to do it, I'm going to go out and play.' That's spirit; that's heart.''

Ripken gave Green one of his Orioles jerseys with the inscription: ``A.C., Congratulations on a great accomplishment. Cal Ripken Jr.'' Green seemed appreciative as he showed it off to a star-studded crowd that was 4,000 short of a sellout.

Then Green took the microphone and spoke for about five minutes, his trademark grin never leaving his face.

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