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Friday, December 5, 1997

Eagles' lead holds up in Crane

Sports Editor
CRANE, Dec. 5 -- After squandering a six-point halftime lead
earlier in the day to the Iraan Braves, Pecos Eagles' coach
Brian Williams was intent -- and intense -- on not letting
the same thing happen Thursday night at the West Texas
Shootout in Crane.

Pecos built up a 15-point cushion against the host Golden
Cranes at halftime, then saw the Cranes cut six points off
that lead late in the third period. But after a couple of
time-outs, the Eagles were able get things together and
widen their lead back to 14, then survived one final Crane
comeback to post a 61-49 win and earn a berth in this
evening's basketball tournament semifinals.

Pecos will face either Fort Stockton or Monahans at 6 p.m.,
with the winner moving on to Saturday's championship game
against Seminole or Iraan. The finals are set for a 5:30
p.m. start.

"I want them to understand that we're taking it one half at
a time," Williams said. "If we go in at halftime with a lead
that means nothing. We've got to start coming out in the
third quarter with more intensity."

The Eagles never trailed in getting their second win in
seven games this season. They controlled play underneath in
the second half, and outscored Crane 12-3 in the opening
period, the widened that margin to 31-16 at the half.

"I think Penny (Armstrong) did a good job tonight sliding in
and getting on the boards," Williams said. Armstrong was
held scoreless in the first game, but did pull down a number
of rebounds inside against the Cranes, who mainly relied on
the outside shooting on Jessica Esparza in the first half.

Lori Marquez had six of her game-high 19 points in the
opening period, and unlike recent games, the Eagles were
able to stay out of foul trouble most of the way, while
taking advantage of Crane's foul problems by going 17-for-22
from the free throw line on the night.

"This is the first game in a long time where Lori hasn't
been in foul trouble, and when she's not, we're going to be
tough," said Williams, who had only seven players suited up
for the game.

Annette Marquez did end up fouling out in the final minute
of play, but before that made a key defensive play with
three minutes left, stealing the ball from Crane's Leslie
Bates to the right of the Eagles' basket, with Crane looking
to cut Pecos' 54-45 lead to seven. Valerie Lara, who
finished with 15 points, then hit a free throw, and Marisol
Arenivas banked home a lay-up moments later to help seal the

Annette Marquez was also in double figures for Pecos with
10, while Esparza had 17 to lead Crane and a former
classmate to most of the Eagles, Denisa Ward, had 14.

Monahans and Fort Stockton play today at 10:30 a.m. after
the Prowlers edged Kermit, 45-43 and Monahans downed Fort
Davis, 37-25 in their openers. Iraan, which downed Pecos on
Thursday, 53-49, Seminole, 49-44 winners over Garden City,
face each other in a 1:30 p.m. semifinal game.

Today, its the turn of Pecos' boys to play twice in one day.
The 3-2 Eagles took on El Paso Austin at 1 p.m. today in the
Odessa Hoopfest Tournament. The Eagles will then face Odessa
Permian in the other game of their pool.

Depending on the outcome of their games against the Rockets
and Panthers, the Eagles will either play for fifth, third
or first place on Saturday, with those games set for 4, 5:45
and 7:30 p.m. at the Odessa High School gym.

PECOS (49)
Arenivas 4 3-7 11; Lara 1 0-0 2; A. Marquez 2 2-2 8;
Armstrong 3 0-0 6; Orona 1 0-0 2; Marquez 6 4-4 16; Bell 2
0-0 4. Totals 19 9-13 49.

IRAAN (53)
Sigmon 0 2-2 2; Harvey 0 0-2 0; Holmes 2 0-0 4; Anderson 1
1-2 3; Copeland 6 0-1 12; Emery 0 0-0 0; Lanehart 10 6-8 27;
Warren 1 0-0 2; Villanueva 1 0-0 2. Totals 21 9-15 53.

Pecos 8 15 10 16 --49
Iraan 6 11 17 19 --53
Three-point goals: Pecos 2 (A. Marquez 2), Iraan 1
(Lanehart). Fouled out: Pecos, Armstrong. Total fouls: Pecos
18, Iraan 13.

PECOS (61)
Arenivas 2 4-4 8; Lara 5 5-6 15; A. Marquez 4 2-3 10;
Armstrong 1 5-6 7; Orona 1 0-1 2; Marquez 9 1-2 19; Bell 0
0-0 0. Totals 22 17-22 61.

CRANE (49)
McFarland 0 0-0 0; Moore 0 0-2 0; Dungan 2 0-0 4; Pettit 3
2-2 9; Marinlarena 0 0-0 0; Esparza 7 1-2 17; Heredia 0 0-0
0; Rizo 1 0-0 3; Bates 1 0-0 2; Ward 5 4-5 14. Totals 19
7-11 49.

Pecos 12 19 13 17 --61
Crane 3 13 14 19 --49
Three-point goals: Crane 3 (Esparza 2, Rizo. Fouled out:
Pecos, A. Marquez. Total fouls: Pecos 16, Crane 21.

JVs drop openers, freshman begin play today

PECOS, Dec. 5 -- The Pecos Eagles' junior varsity basketball
teams dropped their opening tournament games in Pecos and
Crane on Thursday, while Pecos' freshmen will begin play in
their own tournament this afternoon.

The JV girls lost at home to Alpine in the first round of
their tournament bracket, by a 60-50 final score, while the
boys dropped a 99-38 decision to Odessa Permian at the West
Texas Shootout in Crane.

Katrina Quiroz led the girls with 15 points, while
Philonicus Fobbs scored 13 in the loss. The JV will be off
today, before facing Fort Stockton in the consolation round
at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

Jacob Weidner's eight points led the boys in their loss to
Permian. Pecos was back in action at 12 noon today, against
Van Horn's varsity in the consolation semifinals.

The freshmen girls will face two games today in pool
competition in the old Pecos High School gym. They'll play
Monahans at 2:30 p.m. then take on Greenwood at 5:30 p.m.
Wink, Crane and Andrews make up the other pool, with the
first place teams drawing byes in Saturday's finals. Play
opens Saturday at 9 a.m., with the tournament finals set for
4:30 p.m.

Eagles swimming at Odessa meet

PECOS, Dec. 5 -- For the first time this season, the Pecos
Eagles swim team will have a full roster -- almost -- when
they go to Odessa for the Odessa Invitational today and

Diving will take place tonight at Permian High School, with
the swimming finals set for 10 a.m. Saturday. Along with
Pecos, District 4 rivals Monahans, Big Spring, Fort Stockton
and Abilene Wylie will be entered, as will all four
Odessa-Midland schools, San Angelo Central and teams from

Big Spring's girls have beaten out Pecos in each of their
last two swim meets, while the boys also finished ahead of
the Eagles two weeks ago at the Monahans Invitational, when
coach Terri Morse said several of her swimmers were under
the weather.

"I think the ones who were tired and sick will do better
than at Monahans," she said. "We had a bunch sick, which is
why I think we didn't do as well (as in Pecos the previous

"Everybody looked real good in practice this week. They
didn't look sluggish and out of shape after the
(Thanksgiving) break, so hopefully, we'll have a good meet."

Morse has 11 swimmers entered on both the boys and girls'
side, though she said sophomore Scott Pounds will only be
able to compete in tonight's 1-meter diving competition.
"He's got to go somewhere with his family on Saturday, but
other than that this is pretty much the first time we'll
have everybody."

The full squad will allow Pecos to field an extra team in
two of the three relays on Saturday. The Eagles have
struggled to get enough swimmers for both `A' and `B' relay
teams so far this season.

Saturday's meet is the next-to-last for Pecos before the
Christmas break. The Eagles will go to Seminole on Dec. 13.

Mavs race by Knicks for Nelson

AP Sports Writer
DALLAS, Dec. 5 -- Don Nelson just couldn't stay away.

Less than 10 months after joining the Dallas Mavericks as
their general manager and insisting he was out of coaching
for good, Nelson returned to the sidelines Thursday night
following the firing of coach Jim Cleamons.

Nelson turned loose a team that was shackled by Cleamons'
rigid triangle offense, and they responded with a shocking
105-91 victory over the New York Knicks, the team that sent
Nelson into retirement by firing him in March 1996.

``I'm not saying say it wasn't a little special, but the
emphasis is on little,'' said Nelson, the sixth Mavericks
coach in the last six seasons.

Nelson surprised his team by using a smaller lineup and
pleased them by allowing them to run freely and shoot
whenever they wanted.

The Mavs showed their appeciation by scoring their most
points this season and the most allowed by the Knicks.
Dallas enjoyed its widest margin of victory this season and
sent New York to its biggest loss.

``It just feels like we've got a monkey off our back,'' said
Erick Strickland, who scored seven points in his first start
of the season. ``Everybody can just relax and play ball. We
have the freedom to play and do our thing, with some
assistance and guidance.''

The Cleamons experiment failed primarily because he stuck by
his triangle offense, which earned him four championship
rings in seven seasons as a Chicago Bulls assistant, but
piled up 70 losses in 98 games in Dallas without the likes
of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen running it.

Mavericks players resisted his system and were angered by
pretty much everything else he did. His job was made even
tougher considering Nelson had reshaped the roster during
his short tenure to reflect his beloved up-tempo game more
than Cleamons' style.

Although Nelson loomed as a coach-in-waiting, Cleamons kept
doing his thing. Either stubborn or naive, he clung to the
fact he had a four-year, $5 million contract and the support
of owner Ross Perot Jr.

Perot turned down Nelson's suggestion to fire Cleamons in
April, but reconsidered last week. The move was going to be
made after the Knicks game, but came before a morning
shootaround after it was widely reported.

Nelson was caught by surprise. He was out of town and didn't
learn of his added duties until late in the afternoon. The
team had already announced that Charlie Parker would coach
against the Knicks, but once Nelson arrived, he decided he
might as well take over right away.

Having Nelson in charge pumped up the players from the
start. They scored a season-high 31 points in the first
quarter, looking nothing like the squad that lost 12 of its
previous 13 under Cleamons.

Their 45-41 halftime lead was just the second time this year
the Knicks trailed at the break. They ended up allowing 100
points for the first time, while Dallas hit triple digits
for the second time, the first time in a victory.

``After hearing the coach talk before the game, we were all
excited because it was the style we wanted to play all
along,'' said point guard Khalid Reeves, one of the team's
most vocal critics of the triangle.

Reeves had 24 points and eight rebounds, answering Nelson's
calls for his backcourt to hit the boards.

Michael Finley scored 27 points, and Hubert Davis, an
ex-Knick, had 20 points while hitting five of six
3-pointers. A.C. Green had 14 points and 11 rebounds and
Dennis Scott had 12 points.

New York, which has lost three of four, got 20 points and 11
rebounds from Patrick Ewing and 17 points from Allan
Houston. Chris Childs scored 16 points and John Starks 15.
Buck Williams had 13 rebounds.

``We're down,'' said Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy, who
succeeded Nelson. ``The bottom line is we got beat by a team
that played a lot better than we did. They shot it better,
they handled it better, they were quicker to everything that

Nelson was pleased with his new start.

``We have to head in the right direction and we have to move
forward,'' he said. ``We have to have a product that our
fans enjoy and have a product that our players enjoy.

``We have to have a situation in which good players want to
come here and play an exciting style of basketball.
Hopefully I can bring that to the organization.''

Horns seek turnaround from Brown

AP Sports Writer
AUSTIN, Dec. 5 -- Texas officials want Mack Brown to do what
David McWilliams and John Mackovic couldn't -- unite a
fractured Longhorns following and reclaim national
prominence for the football program.

``We need to put our alumni constituencies back together,''
Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds said Thursday after
Brown accepted the offer to become the Longhorns' 28th head

``They need to pull for the University of Texas during good
times and in bad times. They need to understand how
important it is that we all be together behind the football
coach and team because that means something to us in
recruiting and to the players on the field.

``I think Mack can bring those things to Texas, and we need

Brown, offered the Texas job on Wednesday, announced his
resignation from North Carolina in Chapel Hill after meeting
with Tar Heels players.

He said it was time to ``step away and help somebody else
get to this point.''

The Texas program has fallen on hard times since Fred Akers
was fired in 1986.

Akers, who barely missed out on national championships in
1977 and 1983 and was the last coach to take Texas to the
No. 1 ranking, was succeeded by McWilliams, who had three
losing seasons in five years.

Texas then hired Mackovic, who produced one 10-win season in
1995, but otherwise averaged five losses per year. Mackovic
was fired after his sixth season ended at 4-7 and the team
allowed more points than any Texas team in history.

``Mack Brown is just mesmerizing,'' Dodds said. ``He has a
way of immediately knowing people's names, he looks at
people when he talks to them. He has a philosophy about
things that is very sound, whether it be football, academics
or alums. He's very convincing.

``He will absolutely fit well in Austin, Texas, and that was
some of the decision.''

Brown, whose No. 7 Tar Heels are a candidate for an alliance
bowl, was to meet with Longhorns players Thursday night and
be introduced in Austin today.

Dodds said it would be Brown's choice whether to coach North
Carolina in its bowl game or come directly to Texas to begin

``I didn't want to ask him a question that gave him any
chance to think about some reason he should not come to
Texas,'' Dodds said. ``When he told me he was coming, I
said, `Let's get going.'''

Dodds said Brown received a five-year contract with rollover
clauses that essentially makes it a seven-year deal worth
$750,000 per year.

Incentives tied to graduation rates and victories leading to
a national championship could increase that amount to $1
million per year, Dodds said. The salary would include TV,
radio and shoe endorsement income.

Brown's base salary at North Carolina was about $165,000,
which didn't include TV, radio and shoe deals.

Brown said North Carolina athletic director Dick Baddour and
chancellor Michael Hooker ``did more than they should have
done to try to get me to stay,'' but to no avail.

``The hardest thing is to leave the kids,'' Brown said. ``I
do love those kids. You probably spend more time with the
football players than your own family.''

Brown indicated to Texas officials after being offered the
job on Wednesday that he was interested, but he waited to
announce his decision until after talking to players and
Baddour on Thursday.

``I felt it would be unfair to wait any longer for everybody
involved,'' Brown said.

Brown built a 69-46-1 record in his 10 years at North
Carolina. The Tar Heels went 10-2 last year and made it to
the Gator Bowl. They are 10-1 this season.

The decision came together very quickly, he said. It was a
tough one because his teams have done well and Chapel Hill
is such a desirable place to live.

``We've had a good run. We've had a good stay,'' Brown said.
``There's not any reason for me to leave here. I think it's
the challenge of starting over. ... I never thought I'd
leave here.''

Baddour compared the emotional discussions leading to
Brown's decision to the death of a relative or friend.

``I don't have a better friend than Mack Brown,'' he said.
``He has served this university with class. ... From day
one, Mack Brown was a perfect fit.''

Texas sought Brown because he's very personable, has proven
he can win at a school with strong academics and is an
offensive coach who has also fielded strong defenses.

The Tar Heels are second to top-ranked Michigan in total
defense, giving up just 209.3 yards per game.

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