Wednesday, January 7, 1998
Eagles open district by snaring Prowlers
By JON FULBRIGHT
The Eagles defeated Fort Stockton for the third time this season, and for the second time in four days on the Prowlers' court, by a 51-32 final score. However, unlike their 58-29 win last Saturday, when Pecos held a 31-13 lead at the half, Fort Stockton was down by only six midway through the third period before the Eagles got things going.
"We still only scored six points less than Saturday and allowed only two points more," said Eagles' coach Brian Williams. "I was just concerned about our rebounding. We didn't do a good job in the first half."
"When you play on the road, you've got to come out and play like you're 10 points down. We came out tonight and didn't play like that," Williams said.
Early foul problems by senior post Lorie Marquez and guard Marisol Arenivas didn't help any, and the Prowlers' Elisa Espino took advantage in the first period, scoring all five of Fort Stockton's points.
Marquez had the Eagles' first four points off a pair of side jumpers, and after she sat down, Penny Armstrong provided the Eagles with much of their offense, scoring 10 of her 15 points in the opening periods.
Baskets by Armstrong, Shey Lara and Erica Orona early in the second period gave the Eagles a 17-9 lead, but the Prowlers would cut that to as little as five, and went in at the half down just 22-16 after another Espino lay-up. Fort Stockton was still within six three minutes into the third period, thanks to a pair of 3-pointers by DeeDee Salmon, before the Eagles scored the final eight points of the period to grab a 36-22 lead.
Lara had a pair of baskets during that run, while Marquez found openings inside during the fourth quarter, when the Eagles widened their margin to the final 21-point difference.
Marquez wound up with 18 points for the Eagles, who improved to 11-7 on the season with their seventh straight victory, while Espino's 11 led the Prowlers, who fell to 2-14 overall.
The Eagles will take their 1-0 district mark into Friday's game against Sweetwater, the first home game for Pecos since a Nov. 24 victory over Alpine. Sweetwater opened 4-4A play with a 43-29 homecourt loss to Andrews.
"It will be interesting to see how we shoot in our own gym, since it's been so long since we played there," said Williams. Friday's game will be a 6 p.m. start, as will all of the other varsity girls games in district.
Pecos also won Tuesday's junior varsity game, by a 41-39 score. Maricela Arenivas led the Eagles with 16 points.
FORT STOCKTON (31)
Pecos 11 11 14 16 --52
Big third quarter gets Pecos by Alpine
PECOS, Jan. 7 -- After scoring only three points in the second period of their game Tuesday night, the Pecos Eagles turned the tables on the Alpine Bucks in the third quarter and came up with their third victory of the season over the Bucks.
Playing in Alpine, the Eagles saw a 19-16 first quarter lead turn into a 28-22 halftime deficit, before they came out in the third quarter and outscored the Bucks 14-1, on the way to a 46-41 victory.
"We had an excellent third quarter. It was one of the best defensive quarters we've had," said Eagles' coach Mike Sadler. "We only allowed them to score one point, and in all my coaching career that's happened only one other time."
However, Sadler wasn't happy with the quarter that came before or the one that followed, when the Bucks cut into Pecos' seven-point lead.
"When we're good, we're good, and when we're bad, we're ball. We played good in the first and third quarters, and in the second and fourth we were just bad."
Omar Hinojos and Cougar McBride were the only ones doing much scoring for either team. Hinojos put in 17 points, while McBride led Alpine with 16.
But Sadler yanked Hinojos and the other Eagle starters in the second period, when Alpine took the lead.
"We were getting outhustled with our first team. With about four minutes left I pulled the first te and put the second team in. They only scored a couple of points, but they kept Alpine from scoring.
Jacob Chavez was cold from the outside, although all his nine points came from 3-point range. Oscar Luna put in seven, going 5-for-8 from the line, but overall, foul shooting hampered the Eagles, as they were just 11-for-21 on the night, and 2-for-6 in the final period. "That's going to kill us if we don't get better," Sadler said.
The win lifts Pecos to 12-7 on the season going into their final pre-district game, at home Friday against Greenwood. The teams will play at 7:30 p.m., following the girls' home district opener against Sweetwater.
Pecos also won Tuesday's junior varsity game, 59-48. Cesar Coria had 14 points and Julian Orona 13 for Pecos.
Pecos 19 3 14 10 --46
Signs point to dismissal of Switzer
IRVING, Texas, Jan. 7 (AP) -- Is Barry Switzer in or out? His boss isn't saying, but signs are pointing to an end to Switzer's tenure as coach after four years with the Dallas Cowboys.
Switzer, in apparent limbo after the team's worst season since 1989, was notably absent from Tuesday's news conference to announce a six-year deal for franchise offensive lineman Larry Allen.
The contract, reportedly worth $4 million per year, makes Allen the NFL's highest-paid offensive lineman.
Owner Jerry Jones offered no explanation for Switzer's no-show, and appeared somewhat irritated by the question.
``I don't know what you can read into it that hasn't already been read into it,'' Jones said.
``I don't have anything to say about coaching. I'm the master of ceremonies for this. I didn't need anybody else up here.''
Jones said it will be after the Super Bowl -- or even later -- before he addresses the coaching situation.
``I may not have a decision on a change or a non-change until around the end of February,'' he said.
Allen, who moved to left tackle from right guard late in the season, was paid tackle money.
``He's the highest-paid lineman in the history of the football,'' Jones said before refusing to divulge Allen's salary. Marvin Demoff, Allen's agent, was traveling and couldn't be reached for comment, his office said.
Allen was believed to be asking for $4 million annually because of his move to left tackle, which protects quarterback Troy Aikman's blind side. The Cowboys called his bonus, believed to be around $6 million, ``significant.'' No other offensive lineman in the NFL is making more than $3.5 million per season.
Allen, a Pro Bowl selection in three of his four years since he was drafted in the second round out of Sonoma State, said, ``I thought I did a good job. You are what you are. You should get paid what you are worth.''
Allen's signing likely means 15-year veteran Mark Tuinei won't return.
``Logic tells us we are concerned over him physically,'' Jones said. ``It doesn't mean he isn't in our plans. What we know now is that (Troy) can quit worrying about what's coming from the left side.''
Jones called the signing of Allen, ``the No. 1 on-field priority for us this season.''
``Larry is the cornerstone to our future,'' Jones said. ``He wanted to stay in Dallas and we know what he means to our team.''
The 6-foot-3, 326-pound Allen said he will spend the offseason learning more about his new position.
``And I've got to lose some weight,'' Allen said.
The Cowboys found Allen by hard scouting at NFL combines, events that won't be attended by Dallas coaches anymore.
In a policy decision that emerged a week ago, Jones ordered his coaching staff to stay home.
``We'd rather the coaches spend time evaluating the other teams and what they have success with,'' Jones said.
Some observers say the new policy is more proof that coaching changes are in the offing.
Jones refused to say which assistant coaches have a future with the team.
``That's a sensitive area,'' he said.
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