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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide for Reeves County, Trans-Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas


Friday, February 20, 1998

`Cautious' Bears net victory over Indians

Staff Writer
BALMORHEA, Feb. 20 -- Balmorhea Bears' coach Adolfo Garcia
kept his cards close to his vest Thursday night, in the
Bears' playoff practice game against the Fort Davis Indians.

With coaches from Balmorhea's bi-district basketball
opponent, Rankin, and a potential area round foe, Valentine,
in the stands, the Bears' coach took his team out of their
normal offense and defense against Fort Davis at the
Balmorhea High School gym. But even with the changes,
Balmorhea was still able to lead virtually all the way,
though it took a couple of last-second steals to assure the
Bears of a 54-46 victory.

"That's not out style of game, playing man-to-man
(defense), but I just did it so the other teams looking at
us wouldn't get to see what we run," Garcia said. "I also
played a lot of kids today. Usually, I play just six or
seven kids but today everybody played."

For a while in the second half, the Bears needed the extra
players, as four of their five starters were in some foul
trouble going into the final period. Reserve forward Billy
Lozano had a couple of lay-ups late in the third period, and
Debiasie Mendoza gave Balmorhea a 14-point lead on a jumper
early in the fourth quarter.

But Fort Davis' Joey Williams and Ty Moreland then led an
11-1 run that cut that margin to four with 2½ minutes left.
The Indians' momentum was briefly stopped by a charging
foul, which sent Phillip Probe to the bench and resulted in
Moreland being slapped with a technical for arguing the
call. Kevin Castillo hit two foul shots to widen the lead to
six, but Williams answered with a lay-up and two free throws
of his own to make it 48-46 with a minute to play.

The Bears then gave the Indians a chance to tie it, off the
last of a number of missed lay-ups on the night. Williams
was then fouled going towards the basket with 45 seconds
left, but this time, he missed his foul shots, and Mendoza
found an opening at the other end for a lay-up with 33
seconds to play. The senior then picked off a Fort Davis
pass and scored with 14 seconds left, and Travis Woodruff
did the same for the final basket of the night as the buzzer

"That's the way we usually play games," Garcia said. "When
the first team is in there we usually average about 25
points a quarter playing like that."

For most of the night, the Bears played a baseline and
perimeter game on offense. They didn't take many 3-point
shots, but Garcia said they also didn't work the ball inside
they way they normally do.

The Bears did find openings for a series of driving
lay-ups, but had problems hitting in the first half. That
allowed Fort Davis to take their only lead of the night, at
8-7 on a Ervay Hernandez lay-up late in the first quarter.
But the period closed with two foul shots and a short jumper
by Mendoza, and Castillo then hit one of his two 3-pointers
on the night early in the second period, giving the Bears a
14-8 lead.

Baskets by Zane Rhyne and Arturo Miranda widened the gap to
nine, at 26-17, by halftime, and the Indians would get no
close than eight in the third period, even when fouls began
to plague the Bears.

"This is the first game we've gotten into foul trouble like
that," Garcia said. "I just hope we can get over this and
get back to playing on Tuesday like we did against Borden
County last Friday. They were ranked 15th in the state, and
we beat them by eight (58-50),"

Mendoza led the Bears with 15 points, while Miranda added
12 and Rhyne and Castillo had 10. Moreland's 13 and Probe's
11 topped Fort Davis, which goes into the playoffs as the
District 32-A runners-up behind Wink.

The Bears' playoff practice game wins over Borden County
and Fort Davis raised their season record to 22-2 going into
Tuesday's bi-district game against Rankin, at 7 p.m. in
Imperial. The winner will face the winner of Tuesday's Fort
Davis-Valentine opening round game.


Tonight at 7:30 p.m., Pecos High School will be host for a
Class 4A playoff game with District 4-4A runner-up San
Angelo Lake View facing El Paso Bowie. The Chiefs lost a
first place playoff to Sweetwater on Monday but are still
making their first post-season appearance in 39 years. The
Bears finished third in District 3-4A, with a 19-10 record.

Rinehart 0 0-0 0; Probe 4 3-6 11; Reinburg 0 3-6 3; Morland
5 3-5 13; Hernandez 1 0-2 2; An. Liddell 0 0-0 0; Holguin 2
0-2 4; Williams 2 4-6 8; Sanchez 1 0-0 3; Aa. Liddell 1 0-1
2. Totals 16 13-28 46.

Miranda 5 2-2 12; M. Mendoza 0 1-2 1; Rodriguez 0 0-2 0;
Woodruff 1 0-2 2; Barrigan 0 0-0 0; D. Mendoza 6 3-6 15;
Scripps 0 0-0 0; Castillo 2 4-6 10; Roman 0 0-0 0; Rhyne 4
2-4 10; Tarin 0 0-0 0; Lozano 2 0-0 4. Totals 20 12-24 54.

Fort Davis 8 9 13 16 --46
Balmorhea 11 15 17 11 --54
Three-point goals: Fort Davis 1 (Sanchez), Balmorhea 2
(Castillo 2). Technical foul: Fort Davis, Moreland. Fouled
out: Fort Davis, Probe. Total fouls: Fort Davis 23,
Balmorhea 24.

Eagle girls in Sweetwater, boys 6th at Alpine

PECOS, Feb. 20 -- The Pecos Eagle girls are getting an early
look at one of the courses they'll be playing in District
4-4A competition, as they play today and Saturday in the
Sweetwater Invitational.

Pecos' girls are in the two-day tournament, while the boys
take this weekend off after competing in a one-day
tournament Tuesday in Alpine.

Coach Kim Anderson said his team finished sixth with a 347
score, with junior Casey Love taking medalist honors with a
76 score. Jason Salcido and Lee Lyles both shot 88s, while
Chris Ryan had a 95 and Michael O'Callaghan shot a 101 on
the Alpine course.

The tournament was the second of the season for the boys,
while the girls will be in their third tournament this
weekend. The Eagles finished fifth last Saturday at the Big
Spring Invitational out of a field of 23 teams, but three of
the four teams that placed ahead of their were district
rivals Big Spring, Andrews and Fort Stockton, though Pecos
did close the gap on the Prowlers last week.

The top two teams will advance to regionals in April
following the 54-hole district tournament. The final round
is scheduled for Sweetwater, so this weekend will give the
Eagles a look at the Mustangs' home course, though coach
Tina Hendrick said a couple of her `A' team players will
miss the tournament.

"I'm going to take a different group to Sweetwater this
weekend, because Amanda Stickels and Sarah Armstrong will be
at the UIL band contest," she said. "I'll take two others,
and I'm still looking at getting my 3-4-5 players set."

Eagles' track season opens

PECOS, Feb. 20 -- The 1998 track season gets underway for
the Pecos Eagles this afternoon in Fort Stockton, as they
compete in the Comanche Relays.

Finals will be today in some field events, plus the 3200
meter run, starting at 2:30 p.m., while the other field
event finals will take place Saturday morning and the
running finals will begin at 1 p.m. at Panther Stadium.

Along with the Eagles and Panthers, District 4-4A rival San
Angelo Lake View will also be in the Division II boys and
girls fields, along with new Class 5A school El Paso
Americas, and Class 3A's Monahans, Alpine and Presidio.

Pecos will have a chance to get a couple of early gold
medals today, with seniors Marisol Arenivas in the girls'
3200 and Jeff Brownlee in the boys shot put and discus. Both
were the District 4-4A runners-up in their events last year,
with Brownlee placing behind his brother Brian, who went on
to the state finals in Austin.

Coach Mike Ferrell is also hoping for strong results from
distance runner Billy Rodriguez, though he may not compete
in the 3200 meters this week, where he was edged out for
regionals by Lake View's Justin Haby a year ago. The Eagles'
1600 meter relay team should get a early test from Lake
View's mile relay squad.

Along with Arenivas, coach Lily Talamantez has regional
qualifier Penny Armstrong returning in the high jump, while
she'll be looking at a number of new runners in the 100, 200
and 400 meter dashes.

Lipinski claims Olympic skating gold

NAGANO, Japan, Feb. 20 (AP) -- Michelle was good, but Tara
was terrific.

Skating the program of her young life, 15-year-old Tara
Lipinski came from behind tonight to win the glamor gold of
the games, edging fellow American Michelle Kwan to win the
figure skating competition.

A day that had already seen one upset on ice, Canada losing
to the Czech Republic in hockey, ended with another when
Lipinski jumped and twirled her way to the gold medal.

``Eeeeeeeeeee,'' Lipinski screeched, jumping in the air in
glee as her winning scores were flashed.

The win gave the United States 13 medals in the Nagano
Games, matching the country's best total ever, in 1994 at

Kwan, skating first in the final group of six skaters,
appeared to have done enough to protect her short program
lead with a flowing yet slow-paced program.

Four skaters later, Lipinski wowed the judges with an
exuberant program that made her the youngest Olympic figure
skating winner ever.

``I can't believe it,'' she exclaimed, hugging her coaches.

It was the first 1-2 women's finish since the United States
did it with Tenley Albright and Carol Heiss in 1956. Lu Chen
of China won the bronze for the second Olympics in a row.

Earlier, the games that already had the Herminator got
another presence in the Dominator.

It was Dominik Hasek's turn to put his own special imprint
on the Nagano Games, and he did as the Czech Republic upset
Canada 2-1 in hockey.

In goal for the Czech Republic, Hasek -- aka ``The
Dominator'' -- allowed only one goal in 70 minutes of play,
then turned back five Canadian shots in the shootout for a
2-1 triumph that knocked Canada out of the tournament and
put the Czechs in the gold medal hockey final against
Russia, a 7-4 winner over Finland.

Robert Reichel ricocheted a shot off the left post and into
the net on the first shootout effort by the Czechs, and
Hasek made it stand up.

``If the Dominator plays good, we always have a chance,''
Jaromir Jagr said of his teammate. ``The Dominator came (up)
big. He stopped every shot.''

Canada, which lost the 1994 hockey gold to Sweden on a
similar shootout, sent the game into overtime with a goal by
Trevor Linden with just 63 seconds left.

After a scoreless overtime, it went to a shootout and Hasek
-- the NHL's most valuable player last year -- was at his
best. One after another, he stopped an all-star team of
shooters, leaping into the air in joy after clutching the
final shot for the win.

Not so happy were U.S. hockey players, who followed their
unexpected ouster from the Olympics by vandalizing rooms in
the Olympic village.

``Obviously such conduct is unacceptable and will not be
tolerated,'' NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said.

The incident occurred about 12 hours after the highly touted
U.S. team, composed entirely of NHL players, was eliminated
from the Olympics in a 4-1 loss to the Czech Republic.

Chairs were broken, two apartments were damaged by fire
extinguishers, and one extinguisher was thrown from the
fifth floor into a courtyard early Thursday.

The commotion woke up some U.S. speedskaters, who were
staying a floor below in the Olympic village.

``There was a mess,'' said International Ice Hockey
Federation president Rene Fasel.

U.S. hockey officials apologized to the U.S. Olympic
Committee for the incident and offered to pay for the
damage, estimated at $3,000.

``The USOC and our Olympic delegation are deeply disturbed
by the behavior of some of our athletes,'' said USOC
president Bill Hybl.

-- SKIING: A day after blowing a big first-run lead and
taking the silver in the slalom, Deborah Compagnoni found
herself leading by nearly a full second going into the
second run of the giant slalom.

This time, she actually increased the lead to 1.8 seconds on
a course that other skiers complained was the toughest
they'd ever encountered. Alexandra Meissnitzer of Austria
won the silver medal and Germany's Katja Seizinger took the

``Between the two runs, I thought of yesterday, when I had a
huge margin after the first run and then I lost gold,''
Compagnoni said. ``But this time it was giant slalom, my
favorite race, and I had an even bigger lead.''

-- NORDIC COMBINED: Norway's Fred Lundberg was so far ahead
at the end that he grabbed a Norwegian flag well before the
finish and waved it in celebration as he crossed the finish
line. Norway ended Japan's reign as a two-year champion in
the Nordic combined, thanks to some bad ski jumping the day
before by the Japanese.

Emperor Akihito and some 18,000 fans watched Japan get shut
out of a medal as Finland took second and France third

-- CROSS COUNTRY SKIING: Yulia Tchepalova cried after being
left off Russia's gold medal cross-country relay team. Then
she thought about getting even by winning the 30K cross
country race. Tchepalova did just that today, rallying in
the final quarter to win the gold medal. It gave Russia a
historic sweep of the five women's cross country events.

``I got a bit cross,'' the 21-year-old said. ``But then I
thought, 'Who cares about the relay? I'll show them what I
can do.'''

-- BOBSLED: Rain and mild temperatures forced cancellation
of the second run of the four-man bobsled, setting up a
two-run final Saturday. The bad weather means bobsledders
will make only three total runs instead of four. Germany 2
set a track record of 52.70 to lead after the first run.
Christoph Langen piloted the German entry to the record in a
steady rain. Great Britain 1, piloted by Sean Olsson was
second, while Christian Reich's Switzerland 2 was third. The
U.S. sled driven by Brian Shimer was fourth, five-hundredths
of a second out of third.

-- SPEEDSKATING: After watching teammate Gunda
Niemann-Stirnemann become the first woman speedskater to
break 7 minutes in the 5,000, Claudia Pechstein went out and
did one better. Pechstein, the gold medalist in Lillehammer
four years ago, finished in 6:59.61 today to beat
Niemann-Stirnemann by four-hundredths of a second and win
the gold with a new world record. Lyudmila Prokasheva of
Kazakstan won the bronze.

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