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Area Newspapers


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Thursday, November 19, 1998

Bears seek to stop Sands from advancing

Staff Writer
PECOS, Nov. 19 -- Pre-district play was certainly a learning
experience for the Sands Mustangs, but since then, they've
been teaching their opponents a lesson.

Friday night in Rankin, the Balmorhea Bears will be the
ones trying to bring Sands back down to earth, when the
Bears face the Mustangs in the area round of the state
six-man playoffs, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Sands went 11-2 last season, but with no seniors on this
year's team and with defending state champion Borden County
as a District 6-A six man rival, the Mustangs were expected
to finish behind both Borden County and Grady in this year's

Even that appeared to be a longshot midway through the
season. Sands went into district play with an 0-5 record,
but in a stunning reversal, went through district play
undefeated, upsetting Borden County in the process and then
closing district with a 26-22 win over Grady to clinch a
playoff spot. The Mustangs then won their bi-district game a
week ago, beating Meadow, 38-22.

"We played some real tough schools in pre-district," Sands
coach Billy Barnett said. "Our first game was against
Grandfalls (a 49-28 loss) and we also played Hermleigh,
Sanderson, Lazbuddie and Jayton.

"We lost eight seniors last year, so that left us with
virtually no experience. But we were in every ballgame and
we should have won most of them."

"The high point of our year so far was beating Borden
County. We were down by 20 at the half and came back to win
by one point. Since then the kids have gotten more
confidence and they've gone about taking care of business."

Sands' win over Borden County came right after they had
beaten Balmorhea their in the Bears' final pre-district
game. Balmorhea lost to Grandfalls, the District 7-A six-man
champ, the following week, but won four of their final five
games, including a victory over Sanderson, to get back into
the playoffs after a one-year absence and finish with a 6-3

Balmorhea clinched second place last week in their final
regular season game, a 60-33 win at home over Sierra Blanca.
The Bears' regular season lasted a week longer than the
Mustangs because of the extra team in District 7-A.

"I was really impress with the way that (Roger) Lopez kid
runs," said Barnett, who was able to scout last week's game
against the Vaqueros. "He's not very big, but he runs tough."

Lopez and Travis Woodruff did most of the running for the
Bears in district, while injuries sidelined Arturo Miranda
and Jouse Mendoza for a while. "In the game he saw Roger had
several tough runs," coach Ennis Erickson said. "Runs where
it looked like he should have been down and was able to keep

Both teams favor the run over the pass. Barnett said he's
relied on three running backs, Marcos DeLeon, Junior
Martinez and Cesar Martinez. DeLeon has gained the most
yards, with 920, while both Martinezes scored 13 touchdowns
during the regular season.

Quarterback Colby Floyd has also been used more as a runner
lately, Barnett said. He's also thrown the ball some,
completing 52 of 109 passes for 838 yards and 10 touchdowns
during the regular season.

"For the most part the run the ball," Erickson said. "They
have a little bit (of size) and some speed."

Defensively, Sands uses many of the same starters as on
offense. "DeLeon at middle linebacker is probably our
leading tackler. Floyd and Cal Zant are on the defensive
line and both Martinezes are at the corners."

Balmorhea's injuries did give other players more time to
play during district, but whether or not the extra
experience will help the Bears on Friday, Erickson couldn't

"It might work for us a little bit, then again not
necessarily to the point where you can guarantee it."

Barnett said with the young team Sands has, the Mustangs
were actually looking towards 1999 as their big season. "I
didn't know what to expect (this year), so at this point,
this is just icing on the cake. We've got everybody coming
back next year, so anything we do from now on is just icing
on the cake."

NBA union's stance gets first dissident

NEW YORK, Nov. 19 (AP) -- In the harshest anti-union
comments yet by an NBA player, Tim Legler of the Washington
Wizards said negotiations are stalled largely because the
highest-salaried players are looking out for themselves.

``They're the ones who are going to feel it if we sign this
deal,'' Legler told the Washington Post. ``That's why the
deal is not being signed. ... What this whole thing boils
down to is the superstar players don't want to be maxed out
on what they get paid individually. ... We're fighting for
stuff only a few guys are going to benefit from.''

Legler, whose comments appeared in today's Post, is the
first NBA player to denounce the union since the lockout
began nearly five months ago. Union leadership responded
that Legler was wildly misinformed about both the union's
position and the owners' proposal.

The sides plan to meet Friday in New York after more than
two weeks without a full negotiating session.

On Wednesday, Day 141 of the lockout found Knicks coach Jeff
Van Gundy rehabbing a Harlem brownstone, praising the
Pacers, rapping about Master P and trying to adhere to the
rule that prohibits him from speaking about players by name.

``What if I'm using pronouns?'' Van Gundy asked, not
grasping the intricacies of the gag order quite as firmly as
he grasped Alonzo Mourning's leg last spring.

Speaking at a Knicks community relations project, Van Gundy
summed up his feelings on a day when he should have been in
Denver for the second game of a nine-day, six-city road
trip: ``Bored, yeah. Professionally bored.''

Van Gundy has been watching videotapes of new acquisition
Marcus Camby and reviewing players the Knicks might want to
pursue as free agents, while also keeping in touch with
other members of the coaching fraternity -- with one notable

Asked if he had spoken to Miami Heat coach Pat Riley, his
former mentor with whom he had a falling-out during the
first round of the playoffs last season, Van Gundy squirmed
and tried to avoid responding before finally answering

To a question of whether a shortened season might benefit
the more established teams, Van Gundy said it's a matter of
who comes back in shape.

``The thing I read about Indiana is that their team is ready
to go. They've got 11 or 12 guys working together each and
every day, and I think that team will definitely have a jump
on all the other teams because they are more committed.

``For our team, I haven't heard those reports.''

Van Gundy had heard, however, about the exploits of rap
impresario Master P, who after earning more than $50 million
last year has been playing point guard this season for the
Fort Wayne Fury of the CBA, totaling three points, no
assists, four turnovers and seven fouls in 20 minutes in two

Master P, also known as Percy Miller, has made waves in the
agent business by signing Ron Mercer of Boston, Derek
Anderson of Cleveland and rookie Ricky Davis of Charlotte.
Mercer had been represented by David Falk, and Davis was a
client of Arn Tellem.

So far, the first seven weeks of the season have been
scrapped and the chances are dwindling for a settlement that
would allow for the NBA season to start before Christmas.

Wizards guard Mitch Richmond, who is on the players'
negotiating team, said Legler's comments about elite players
were ``uncalled for'' and that Legler ``is definitely

``He hasn't been to one meeting,'' Richmond said. ``He
hasn't been to the negotiating table. ... The owners'
proposal doesn't benefit anyone. We are not going to sell
out the lower-paid guys for the higher-paid guys. ... Not to
put down Legler, because he's my teammate, but he should
talk to the players association about this.''

Legler did not attend the players' meetings in Las Vegas
(attended by 240 players) or New York (105 players). He also
missed last Friday's conference call between the union and
Wizards players.

``I think he is a voice in the wilderness,'' union director
Billy Hunter said. ``I don't think (his comments) hurt our
unity, but it sends the wrong message to the public and the
owners. I think the owners are looking for any crack that
might exist, in order to magnify it.''

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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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