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for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Late points help Monahans get by Pecos, 52-47

After being hurt in the early going from the outside by the Monahans Loboes, the Pecos Eagles saw Monahans get the big basket at the finish of their game Friday night from the inside and kept Pecos from getting its second District 3-3A win of the season.

Jordan Latham’s lay-up with 41 seconds to play put Monahans ahead 48-47, and a lob pass inside to Pecos’ Chantell Mazone, a play that had helped give the Eagles the lead 10 seconds earlier, went awry the second time it was tried. That gave the ball back to the Loboes, and Latham added four free throws in the final 15 seconds to give Monahans a 52-47 victory.

The game was similar to several others this season for the Eagles, as they were able to get points inside early and defensive rebounds at the other end, but struggled with both later in the game, when Latham and Catherine Cutbirth began getting more chances from in close. “We would actually have inside position sometimes, and we wouldn’t jump,” said Eagles’ coach Lisa Lowery, who saw her team lose an eight-point lead in the second quarter, then rally from five points down in the final period to take the lead, before the Loboes came back to win.

Mazone scored eight points on lay-ups in the first period, while Monahans had a pair of 3-point jumpers by Dina Ortiz, who finished with five overall in the game. A lane jumper by Gabi Garcia just before the buzzer gave Pecos a 12-10 lead going into the second period, and after Monahans tied the score, a lay-up by Mazone and two side jumpers by Amalie Herrera put the Eagles ahead by an 18-12 score. Ortiz then hit another 3, but Adriana Armendariz then scored off a pass from Mazone, and Olga Mendoza hit from 3-point range after a Latham free throw to give the Eagles a 23-15 lead.

The lead would be down to two by halftime, at 23-21, and Ortiz’s fourth 3-pointer midway through the third period would put the Loboes ahead 29-27. Monahans would lead by four until late in the quarter, when Vanessa Valeriano tied the game with a lay-up. But Kim Madrid would come back with a lane jumper off a steal in the final 10 seconds of the period to give the Loboes a 37-35 lead.

Pecos would tie the game at 39-all two minutes into the final period after a foul shot by Garcia, but Ortiz then hit her last 3-pointer and Latham followed with a lay-up for a 44-39 lead. The Eagles would rally once more, getting two jumpers from Armendariz around a lane jumper by Mazone and a short side jumper by Cutbirth to cut the lead to one.

Monahans then missed two shots from the outside before the Eagles came down and scored when Mendoza found Mazone inside with a lob pass.

But Latham then got free underneath for a lay-up, and when Mendoza tried to find Mazone again, this time the lob pass went over the Eagle post’s head and out of bounds. Mendoza then missed on a game tying 3-pointer after Latham hit two foul shots with 12.6 seconds left, and she then hit twice more at the 6.3-second mark to clinch the victory.

Mazone finished with a team-high 16 and Armendariz had 15 for the Eagles, while Ortiz led Monahans with 16 points, and Latham had 12 and Cutbirth 10 for the Loboes, who evened their District 3-3A record at 4-4 and kept them tied for fourth place with Greenwood, which defeated Fort Stockton on Friday.

Pecos saw its 3-3A record fall to 1-7 going into Tuesday night’s game at Presidio against the Blue Devils. The Eagles’ only district win came at home last month over the Blue Devils, by a 46-35 score, and won a non-district game in Presidio back in November, 32-31.

Loboes outlast shorthanded Eagles

The last time the Pecos Eagles played at home, they were called for 35 fouls.

Friday night, that many fouls would have left the Eagles with no one at all on the court, as Pecos was down to only seven players for their game against the Monahans Loboes.

The Eagles were minus leading scorer Luptio Bustamantes and down four players overall from their foul-filled home game last week against Lamesa, but went into the fourth quarter trailing Monahans by just two points. However, the Loboes then went into a delay, forcing Pecos to go into a man-on-man defense, and Monahans took advantage of some mismatches inside along with Pecos’ own lack of point production inside to outscore the Eagles 16-5 and win by a 48-35 final score.

Miguel Estrada hit a 3-point shot off the opening tip, and Josh Anchondo got inside enough to led Pecos with 14 points, including 9-for-12 from the foul line. But after Bosh Richardson, who finished with nine points, got into second half foul trouble the Loboes were able to take control on the inside.

Blake Wisnard hit a series of hook shots early, and did the bulk of the Loboes’ scoring in the first half, finishing with a game-high 18, while Chris Collins would hurt Pecos in the final period, scoring the first two baskets of the period, the first after Monahans held the ball for the opening two minutes of the quarter.

Eagles’ coach Art Wellborn, who had been suffering from the flu since Wednesday, left following the final buzzer, but assistant coach Michael Valencia said despite the loss, the Eagles played one of their more structured games of the season.

“Me and coach Wellborn said at halftime this was the first time in a while we’ve seen the kids having fun while they were playing out there,” Valencia said. “I just hope it continues through the next round.”

Anchondo only had one two-point field goal in the game, that coming early in the first quarter, but he and Richardson were able to find openings inside to either hit a few shots in Richardson’s case, or get fouled and go to the line, which is where Anchondo spent much of the second period.

Pecos’ last lead of the game was at 10-9, on a Richardson foul shot in the first period. Two baskets by Wisnard after that made it 13-10 at the end of the period, and Monahans would hold six- and seven-point leads in both the second and third periods, but were unable to pull away from the Eagles.

Down 30-23, Anchondo hit a 3-pointer, then had four foul shots in the final two minutes of the period to cut the lead to 32-30. But the foul shots came after Richardson picked up his fourth foul with 2:12 left in the third period, and he lasted only 40 seconds after re-entering the game in the final period, fouling out with 4:02 remaining.

Pecos was down 39-30 at that point, and while Luis Licon would hit a 3-pointer the next trip downcourt, the Eagles could never find the range again from 3-point range, while Monahans hit nine foul shots in the final three minutes of play, compared to just a pair of free throws by Anchondo for Pecos.

“We talked before the game about how we were down to seven kids, and someone was going to have to step up,” Valencia said. “Josh did a good job. If he were 6-5 he’d be a force inside. And I thought Bosh stepped up and did a good job. All the kids picked up the slack, but I thought he stepped up big time.”

The loss dropped Pecos to 1-5 in district and 2-15 overall on the season, while Monahans closed out the first half of 3-3A play with a 3-3 record. The Eagles open the second half of district on Tuesday night against Presidio, the only team they defeated in the first half. Pecos will travel to Presidio for a 7:30 p.m. game, after rallying late to down the Blue Devils on Dec. 19 by a 53-52 final score.

Pecos did win both the junior varsity and freshman games on Friday. The JV won by a 59-42 score with Lucas Macha, one of the Eagles moved down from the varsity, leading the way with 17 points. The freshmen rallied from a 14-2 deficit after one period to down the Loboes, 66-53. Timo Reyes led Pecos with 29 points.

Netters lose players and matches

Pecos Eagles tennis coach Mike Ortiz lost two players and two matches to open the spring season on Saturday, as the Eagles were edged by the Reagan County Owls by a 10-8 score, before falling to Monahans by a 19-2 margin.

Playing on the Loboes’ home court, the Eagles lost Francisco Ornelas and Jessie Hanks, their No. 1 ad No. 2 seeds on the boys’ side, to injuries in the morning lost to Big Lake. “Pops and Jesse got hurt and couldn’t play for us on the boys side,” Ortiz said. “My girls’ doubles were a little bit off, but I’m not worried about them. They’ll be there when we need them. But I am worried about my boys. They both got hurt on the same court, and I hope they’re going to be OK.”

Ornelas and Hanks won their singles matches against Big Lake, after losing in doubles play, and then didn’t play in the late afternoon match against the host Loboes. The boys’ only win there was at No. 3 doubles, where Chris Sotelo and Derek Barron defeated Steven Boden and Brandon Nichols, 8-6. Jerris Rayos and Paul Zulbedia moved into the No. 1 and 2 spots against Monahans, and came close to a win during doubles play, falling to Kyle Bean and Michael Derrick, 9-8 (7-4).

The girls also picked up only one win on the afternoon against Monahans, a 6-4, 6-4 (10-4) win by Imari Ornelas at No. 1 seed over Laura Ramirez. Ornelas also won in singles play against Big Lake, as did Kristen Ikeler, while the two teamed up earlier in the day for a doubles victory.

Rayos and Zulbedia picked up a doubles win over Big Lake, and Zulbedia also won at No. 4 seed in singles play, while Janette Perea and Dalicia Ramirez picked up the Eagles’ other victory, at No. 4 doubles.

“With all the young kids we have, I know it’s going to be tough to win many matches, but the upside is they get to get the experience,” Ortiz said. “I think we’ll be the top tea next year, with the kids coming up, but we’re going to take some lumps this year.”

Pecos will be at home this Saturday for another dual meet against a District 3-3A rival, when they host Fort Stockton, beginning at 4 p.m.

Pecos (8) vs. Big Lake (10) (No last names for Big Lake) Boys Singles Pops Ornelas defeated Noel, 6-2, 6-2; Jesse Hanks defeated Jaran, 8-4. Jerris Rayos lost to Davis, 6-3, 6-2; Paul Zulbedia defeated Stephen, 8-5; Chris Sotelo lost to Anthony, 8-1. Girls Singles Mimi Ornelas defeated Lauren, 8-3; Kristen Ikeler defeated Ashley, 9-7; Amber Pando lost to Valerie, 8-5; Elva Martinez lost to Darcy, 8-2; Victoria Montoya lost to Nina, 8-1; Dalicia Ramirez lost to Kristina, 8-1. Boys Doubles Ornelas and Hanks lost to Mel and Jaron, 8-4; Rayos and Zubledia defeated David and Stephan, 8-4; Sotelo and Barron lost to Anthony and Robert, 8-5. Girls Singles Ornelas and Ikeler defeated Lauren and Ashley, 8-6; Pando and Martinez lost to Nina and Darcy, 8-5; Montoya and Hope Moya lost to Valerie and Kristina, 8-0; Perea and Ramirez defeated Roxanna and Yeanira, 8-7. Pecos (2) at Monahans (19) Boys Singles Jerris Rayos lost to John Willhelm, 6-0, 7-5; Paul Zulbedia lost to Kyle Bean, 8-0; Chris Sotelo lost to Michael Derrick, 6-3, 6-3; Derek Barron lost to Andrew Orona, 8-3; Jerry Ramirez lost to Steven Boden, 6-1. Girls Singles Mimi Ornelas defeated Laura Ramirez, 6-4, 6-4 (10-4); Kristen Ikeler lost to Dina Ortiz, 6-0, 6-2; Amber Pando lost to Tiffany Bean, 6-2, 6-2; Elva Martinez lost to Emily Acosta, 6-0, 6-4; Victoria Montoya lost to Cheyenne Smith, 6-0, 6-0; Dalicia Ramirez lost to Jennifer Rodriguez, 7-5, 6-1; Hope Mora lost to H.B. Cater, 8-1; Daniella Bustillos lost to Erin Coldeney, 6-0, 6-0. Boys Doubles Rayos and Zulbedia lost to Bean and Derrick, 9-8 (7-4); Sotelo and Barron lost to Orona and Heslin, 8-1; Sotelo and Barron defeated Nichols and Boden, 8-6. Girls Singles Ornelas and Ikeler lost to Laura Ramirez and Wanda Ramirez, 8-6; Pando and Martinez lost to Ortiz and Acker, 8-3; Montoya and Hope Moya lost to Smith and Coldewey, 8-3; Perea and Ramirez lost to Rodriguez and Cater, 8-0; Munoz and Munoz lost to Chavez and Galindo, 6-0, 6-0.

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