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By JON FULBRIGHT
BIG LAKE, Dec. 27, 1996 - Just about everything went right for the Pecos
Eagles in the first half of their opening game in the Reagan County
Tournament In fact, things may have been a little too easy for the
Eagles against Eldorado.
Three-point jumpers, baskets off steals, circus shots underneath - the
Eagles made them all in racking up 51 first half points, on the way to
an 87-48 victory over the Class 2A Eagles. But in the second game of the
round-robin tournament, it was the host Reagan County Owls who were
making their shots, as they came away with an 85-64 victory over Pecos,
earning them a berth in Saturday's championship game.
The Eagles will stay home today, then return to Big Lake Saturday for
the third place contest, at 3:30 p.m. The other half of the bracket,
matching Ballinger, Crane and McCamey, is being played today, and will
determine the Eagles' Saturday opponent.
"I was impressed with our defense tonight. That really helped us on
offense," said Eagles' coach Mike Sadler, whose team surpassed its win
total for all of the 1995-96 season with their first game win.
"I was scared with the lay-off (of 11 days), we would be real cold, but
we hit some good shots. Eric (Abila) popped from outside, and it was
good for us."
Reagan County had opened the tournament by edging Eldorado, 88-83, with
Zane Bruce pouring in 34 points in a losing cause. But against Pecos,
after some early success on the offensive boards by Bruce and Kyle
Hester, Eldorado went through a 10 minute period of total domination by
Abila hit four 3-point baskets in the first period while Fabien Adame
found openings inside, as Pecos turned a 9-6 lead into a 23-9 advantage
by the quarter's end. Abila's success - he finished with a game-high 22
points - frustrated Eldorado guard Zack Steele to the point where he was
whistled for a technical foul in the second period for trying to
undercut Abila on a 3-point jumper.
Adame's circus shot was part of a 20-point effort, though he and
several other Eagles struggled from the foul line, where Pecos was
11-for-25 overall. Eldorado fared no better, going 8-for-18, and most of
their misses came in the first period, when things were still close.
Up by 14 after one period, the Eagles defense turned it into a 20-point
lead in less than a minute, as Adame scored off a Nufie Flores assist,
then hit twice more, following a Hector Garcia steal and on a rebound
basket off another turnover.
Eldorado finally started hitting some 3-point shots late in the half,
but still went in down 51-29 at halftime. The big lead allowed Sadler to
substitute freely throughout the game, and outside of Garcia, every
Eagle got on the scoreboard.
Mark Marquez, Fernando Navarrette and Jacob Chavez all saw extended
action inside, as did guards Cisco Rodriguez and Oscar Luna. Five points
by Marquez early in the final period upped the lead to 30, and the
Eagles came close to a 40-point final margin against Eldorado's reserves.
Playing on their home court, Reagan County's shooters were on target in
both their games against the two Eagle squads. "They've got good 3-point
shooters, and they don't miss from the free throw line," Sadler said
prior to their loss to the Owls.
Pecos actually had more players in double figures in the second game,
but this time, got little point production out of the rest of the squad,
while Reagan County had a more balanced overall attack. Omar Hinojos led
the Eagles with 17 points, Adame and Abila both put in 16 and Moses
Martinez had 10 in the losing effort, which gave the Eagles a 6-6 mark
for the season going into Saturday's third place contest.
Thursday, first game
Flores 1 0-1 3; E. Abila 7 4-5 22; J. Abila 3 2-2 9; Rodriguez 1 0-0 2;
Luna 1 0-0 2; Martinez 2 0-0 4; Hinojos 2 3-8 7; Garcia 0 0-0 0; Adame
10 0-3 20; Marquez 3 1-4 7; Navarrete 2 1-2 5; Chavez 3 0-0 6. Totals 35
Steele 0 2-2 2; Snelson 4 1-2 12; Meador 0 1-2 1; Bruce 6 1-2 13;
Leggett 3 0-0 7; Hester 3 3-8 9; Fryar 2 0-0 4; Clark 0 0-2 0. Totals 18
Three-point goals: Pecos 6 (E. Abila 4, J. Abila, Flores), Eldorado 4
(Snelson 3, Leggett). Technical foul: Eldorado, Steele. Fouled out:
None. Total fouls: Pecos 16, Eldorado 16.
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ODESSA, Dec. 27, 1996 - The Pecos Eagles began adjusting to life without
their starting point guard in rough fashion Thursday afternoon in
Odessa, as they were routed for the second time this season by the
Pecos, 73-35 losers to Permian in their season opener, were beaten 73-30
this time by the Panthers, in the first round of the Hi-Noon Optimists
Invitational at Odessa College. It sent the Eagles into a 4:30 p.m. game
against Odessa High's junior varsity today.
The Eagles had only two of their regular starters back in mid-November,
when they were shut out in the first period by Permian, as the Panthers
scored off a series of turnovers. On Thursday, Pecos played without
point guard Marisol Arenivas, and again the Panthers took advantage,
jumping out to a 25-8 lead after one period, and holding Pecos to just
12 second half points.
Arenivas, who missed the opener against Permian, had scored 32 points in
the Eagles' last three games, but is gone due to grades until late
January. That forced coach Patty Hall to use posts Lori Marquez and
Penny Armstrong as ballhandlers, and combined with the absence of
reserve post Shirhonda Bell, it put the Eagles in a hole even before the
Permian's junior post Katrina Jordan, who had 25 points in last month's
win, led the Panthers again with 17, while Jennifer Brewer put in 12 for
Permian, which will face Monahans today in the tournament semifinals.
Marquez was the lone player in double figures for Pecos with 12 points.
The 4-8 Eagles will need a victory today over Odessa High's JV to earn
the right to play again on Saturday against Lamesa, since there will be
no seventh place game after Greenwood dropped out of the tournament. The
consolation final against the Tornadoes, 68-51 losers to Odessa High's
varsity, will be at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
OHS faces Andrews in today's other semifinal, while Odessa High's JV
lost their game to Monahans, 50-37.
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State and Regional Sports Pages--San Angelo Standard-Times
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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
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