Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, December 4, 1998
Bears look to curdle Borden's season
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Dec. 4 -- After coming back from the brink of missing
the six-man football playoffs to reach the semifinal round
of the state tournament, the Balmorhea Bears' season can
already be considered somewhat of a success no matter what
happens in tonight's game against the Borden County Coyotes.
But that's not the case for Borden County. After winning
the state championship last year and beating the Bears at
home back in September, coach Bobby Avery said a loss
tonight would make the Coyotes' season a failure, despite a
"I don't think any of the guys will be satisfied at all if
we don't get to the state championship," Avery said
Thursday. "They feel like if they don't get to the final
game they wouldn't be satisfied with their season."
Borden County will be going for their second straight title
when they face the Bears at Walton Field tonight, at 7:30
p.m. For Balmorhea, it's an effort to reach the six-man
title game for the first time ever. They advanced to the
semifinals four years ago, losing to eventual state champion
Amherst by a 32-28 final score.
This year's trip to the playoffs was far rougher for the
Bears, who went through the 1994 season unbeaten until their
semifinal loss. Balmorhea was 3-3 at one point this year,
before rolling off three wins to close out district play and
advance to the post-season for the fourth time in five
In the playoffs, however, this year's group has had an
easier time. The 1994 Bears had to score a miracle,
final-play victory over No. 1-ranked Guthrie to get to the
semifinals, while this year's group has rolled through their
first two playoff games, over Sands and Samnorwood.
Borden County also has been on a roll since suffering their
only loss of the season in October to Sands. The Coyotes
have routed Balmorhea's district rival Grandfalls two weeks
ago, and did the same to Groom last Saturday, by a 52-6
They also beat the Bears, 57-24, two weeks before their
loss to Sands, even though Avery said, "In the other
ballgames (before the loss) we didn't play particularly
well. In that ballgame, we had a real poor second half, and
we were without probably our best defensive player (middle
linebacker Fernando Baeza) and we had four turnovers in the
"From that time on the kids have been more focused. They
found out when you give that many opportunities to the other
team, you're going to lose the game."
Balmorhea was also shorthanded in their 57-24 loss to the
Coyotes. "We were missing three players that game," said
Bears' coach Ennis Erickson, and Borden County used a 30-0
second period to roll up a 44-8 halftime lead.
"We outscored them 44-8 in the first half, but they came
back and outscored us 16-13 in the second half, and in the
second hall of the ballgame I saw them gain a lot of
confidence," Avery said. "I kind of thought we might play
Avery said that, like Erickson, he's spread the offense
around to several players. "It's hard to get all-state
recognition because our kids don't have the numbers some of
the others do. Baeza and (Ed) Rodriguez could easily be
2,000 yard rushers, and Colt McCook threw for about 1,300
yards and 58 percent completions in his first 10 games -- he
could easily be a 3,000-yard passer, but that's not what our
offense is about."
McCook had four TD passes against the Bears, and Avery said
Borden County has been able to mix both the run and the
pass. Balmorhea in contrast, has thrown the ball about four
times per game in their current win streak, and just twice
in their win over Sands.
"You really don't have to throw the ball when you can run
the dive play for 50 yards every time," Avery said.
The winner of tonight's game will face the winner of the
other semifinal, between Trinidad and Strawn either next
Friday or Saturday for the state championship.
Cold fourth quarter costs Eagles
By JON FULBRIGHT
CRANE, Dec. 4 -- The Pecos Eagles got the second- and
third-chance shots Thursday afternoon they didn't get a week
earlier against the Fort Stockton Panthers. They just didn't
get them to go in.
The Eagles played the Panthers much closer inside in their
second meeting of the season, but couldn't get anything to
fall in the fourth quarter, as they were held to five points
by Fort Stockton, which came away with a 39-35 victory in
the semifinals of the West Texas Shootout in Crane.
The Eagles will now face the loser of this morning's
Crane-Ozona game in the third place contest, set for 4:30
"We got our second and third shots, we just did not
convert," said Eagles' coach Mike Sadler. "We can't beat
oursevles. We've got to start making our free shots and
lay-ups if we're going to be a good basketball team."
Fort Stockton didn't set the nets afire in the final
period, either, scoring just 10 points. But two baskets by
Luke Groth gave the Panthers a 35-32 lead, and then a lay-up
by Andrew Alvarez and two foul shots by Erik Castillo in the
final minute allowed the Panthers to hold on for the victory.
Groth had 12 points while the Panthers' other post, Nathan
Reeves put in 13 to lead Fort Stockton in scoring. But
unlike last week's 49-40 win, this time the Eagles got some
points of their own from inside, as Fernando Navarette led
all scorers with 14 points and Mark Marquez added 12.
Navarette had 16 in the Eagles' 59-54 win over McCamey in
the first round of the tournament Thursday morning, after
scoring 31 in his first game back on Tuesday against Crane.
"Fernando is going to compliment Mark. With him in their now
Mark is going to get the (rebound) shots coming off, it's
just a matter of converting the opportunities," Sadler said.
Both teams were without one of their starters for much of
the game. Oscar Luna, who missed the morning game against
McCamey to maintain his extracirricular eligbility hours for
later in the season, didn't see much time on the floor in
the first half against Fort Stockton, either, He picked up
three fouls in the first four minutes of play, then got No.
4 with 2:43 left in the first half.
Fort Stockton, meawnhile, lost Nathan Sawyer to an ankle
injury in a for position battle with Marquez in the third
period, as Navarette sank a 3-pointer to put Pecos up,
24-23. He then passed to Marquez for a lay-up on the next
possession, giving the Eagles what turned out to be their
biggest lead of the night, but Groth would score off two
inside shots and Alvarez then stole a pass scored to put
Fort Stockton back in front.
Frank Perea's lay-up allowed the Eagles to regain the lead
as the quarter ended, and a jumper by Luna with 5½ minutes
left gave them their last lead, at 32-31 after Sawyer hit
two free throws. Pecos threw away a couple of chances to
score after that, but mostly it was just missed shots that
did in the Eagles.
Alvarez' lay-up off a Castillo pass put the Panthers up
37-33 with 55 seconds left, before Marquez was able to
rebound a missed Luna shot and score at the 36 second mark.
But Castillo then sank both foul shots with 22 seconds to
play and the Eagles were unable to get off a quick shot in
their final trip down court.
Aside from Navarette's 16 against McCamey, Jeremy Herrera
had 14 points and Perea 10 in the win, as Pecos went out to
a 15-8 first period lead and held off a late rally by the
Badgers. The Eagles are now 3-4 on the season going into
their game today, most likely against Crane, who beat Fort
Davis in their only game Thursday.
Herrera 1 2-2 5; Marta 0 0-0 0; Perea 1 0-0 2; Luna 1 0-0 2;
Navarette 6 0-0
14; H. Garcia 0 0-0 0; Marquez 5 2-3 12. Totals 14 4-5 35.
FORT STOCKTON (39)
Alvarez 3 0-1 6; Groth 6 0-0 12; Regino 1 1-2 4; R. Lopez 0
0-0 0; Castillo 0
2-2 2; J. Lopez 0 0-0 0; Reeves 5 3-3 13; Sawyer 1 0-0 2;
Weist 0 0-0 0; V.
Lopez 0 0-0 0. Hernandez 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 6-8 39.
Pecos 11 10 9 5 -35
Fort Stockton 14 9 6 10 -39
Three-point goals: Pecos 3 (Navarette 2, Herrera), Fort
Stockton 1 (Regino), Fouled out: None. Totals fouls: Pecos
14, Fort Stockton 10.
Pecos girls get first win of season
By JON FULBRIGHT
CRANE, Dec. 4 -- The Pecos Eagle girls finally got their
first victory of the 1998-99 basketball season Thursday
night, though they had to endure a long afternoon against
the Reagan County Owls before getting that win, over the
Fort Davis Indians.
Reagan County outscored Pecos 44-10 in the second half, on
the way to a 76-24 victory over the Eagles. That dropped
Pecos into Thursday's consolation bracket of the West Texas
Shootout in Crane, and after a sluggish first half against
Fort Davis, the Eagles used a series of steals in the second
half to build a double-digit lead, and went on to defeat the
Indians by a 56-43 final score.
"The way we started out shooting in the first quarter
against Reagan County, I thought it was going to be a good
day, but in the second half we just couldn't buy a basket,"
said Eagles' coach Brian Williams. "Tonight, we didn't
change much, it was just our shots were falling in the
Shaye Lara had the first two steals for lay-ups, which
widened a 21-19 halftime lead to 25-19. She would add a
three-point play with 2½ minutes left in the period, putting
Pecos up by nine, before the Indians rallied to within 33-30
against the Eagles' second team.
It was still a 37-32 game early in the third period when
Alexa Marquez hit a side jumper, Maricela Arenivas scored
off a steal by Lara, and Lara scored off another turnover
for a 43-32 lead. Lara's basket, and later ones by Marquez
and Monique Levario were second-chance efforts, something
the Eagles have seen few of this season.
"How many games are we going to have a height advantage
over the other team?" Williams asked, though the Eagles
didn't use it in the first half. Guards Allison Moore and
Missy Olivas hit jumpers to start things off, but several of
Fort Davis' baskets were on second-chance shots, and the
Indians also went to the foul line 12 times in the first
half, 10 more than Pecos.
"I said to Shaye and the others when we were in the
dressing room `Don't put that pressure on yourselves' and
told them just to go out and play the way you can," Williams
Lara finished with 16 points, while Arenivas had nine for
the Eagles, who improved to 1-6 on the season with the
victory. Fort Davis was led by Lacy Davis, who provided most
of the Indians' scoring in the second half and finished with
Hardly anybody scored for Pecos in the second half against
Reagan County, while the Owls got 17 points from Marie Dodd
in the final three periods. The Eagles trailed 14-8 after
one period and 32-14 at halftime, but really ran into
problems in the third quarter, when they were outscored 21-2.
"The way we were shooting in the first half (against Fort
Davis) was the way we shot in the other game," Williams
said. Six points by Lara and Philonicus Fobbs led the
Eagles, while Katherine Phillips and Kassi Bird both had 14
points for the Owls, who beat Crane later in the day, 53-36
to advance to the tournament title game.
The Eagles, meanwhile, will look for their second win of
the season in today's 3:30 p.m. consolation final against
the winner of this morning's Monahans-El Paso Ysleta game.
"At least we're playing for something," Williams said. "A
win is a win and maybe that will kick-start us into doing
Barreno 1 0-0 2; Lara 7 2-3 16; Marquez 2 0-2 5; Garcia 2
0-0 4; Payne 0 0-0 0; Molinar 2 1-2 5; Quiroz 0 0-0 0;
Salcido 1 0-0 2; Arenivas 4 0-0 9; Levario 2 1-2 5; Fobbs 3
2-5 8. Totals 24 6-14 56.
FORT DAVIS (43)
Granado 1 1-4 3; Moore 2 1-3 5; Olivas 3 0-0 8; Sones 0 0-0
0; Donnell 3 2-4 8; Hartnett 0 2-2 2; Billing 2 1-3 5; Davis
3 6-12 12. Totals 14 13-27 43.
Pecos 9 12 14 21 -56
Fort Davis 11 8 11 13 -43
Three-point goals: Pecos 2 (Arenivas, Marquez), Fort Davis 2
(Olivas 2). Fouled out: None. Total fouls: Pecos 20, Fort
Ned Cantwell, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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