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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, February 10, 2006

Netters host Loboes, Rangers for tourney

The Pecos Eagles tennis team will host two of their district rivals on Friday in a three-team tournament at the Pecos High School tennis courts.

Coach Mike Ortiz said he originally was looking at a six-team tourney on Friday, but “the other teams bowed out on me for various reasons.” As a result, the Eagles will face Monahans and Greenwood in singles and doubles play, starting at 9 a.m. at the PHS courts.

“We should be done by 5 or by 6:30 at the latest,” Ortiz said.

He said he’ll have all his players available for Friday’s event, which is the final home match of the spring season for the Eagles. Pecos will play in a junior varsity tournament at Tuesday in Monahans, and will face a bigger field next weekend, at the El Paso Americas Tournament.

The Eagles’ home match scheduled for Feb. 2 against Fort Stockton was cancelled, and Ortiz said the Eagles dropped a 19-2 decision to Monahans on Jan. 26, in their first home matches of 2006.

Imari Ornelas at No. 1 seed picked up the girls’ only win, defeating Monahans’ Laura Ramirez by 6-4, 6-4 (10-4) scores, while the boys’ lone victory came at No. 3 boys doubles, where Chris Sotelo and Derek Barron downed the Loboes’ team of Boden and Nichols, 8-6. The closest losses were at No. 1 doubles on both sides, where Jerris Rayos and Paul Zubeldia lost to Kyle Bean and Michael Derrick, 9-8 (7-5) for the boys, and Ornelas and Crystal Ikeler fell by an 8-6 score to Laura and Wanda Ramirez.

Eagles host trio for softball scrimmage

The Pecos Eagles softball team will be taking on either two or three teams at home on Saturday, when they host the Kermit Yellowjackets, Van Horn Eagles and Marfa Shorthorns in their final pre-season scrimmage.

Coach Tammy Walls said Pecos would scrimmage Kermit first, starting at 9 a.m., and the teams will they play each other in a rotating format the rest of the day. However , Walls said she didn’t know the exact times since there was a possibility Marfa might not participate in the four-team scrimmage.

Regular season play opens for Pecos on Tuesday with a home game against Crane, whom the Eagles scrimmaged last Friday on the Golden Cranes’ home field.

“We thumped them,” said Walls, who noted that both teams were still missing players who were still in other sports. “We had Savannah (Ewing), Bianca (Baeza), Jessica (Florez), Hillery (Hinojos) and Cassandra (Terrazas), and I thought for the first outing we hit the ball well.”

”I was pretty pleased with the way we looked, but it’s still early,” said Walls. “Hillery pitched and she did an outstanding job. She threw strikes, which is all I asked her to do. “ “I saw what we need to work on, and several things on defense, though I don’t know how much the defense we had on the field will resemble what we’ll have out there on Saturday,” she added. “We had several people playing in different positions from where the normally play.”

“It was good to get our kids exposed to live pitching,” Walls said. “Their pitching wasn’t bad. It was the same pitcher from last year, and she threw hard and threw strikes, and it took an inning for us to get going, because we always seem to be slow starters.”

The Eagles will play in the Andrews Tournament following their season-opener on Tuesday against Crane, then return to Crane for the Crane Tournament on Feb. 23-25, where Walls said they’ll play 11 games in two days. The Golden Cranes host the Eagles again on Feb. 28, in Pecos’ final pre-district game.

Eagles taken down by Maidens to end season

The Pecos Eagles seniors got the start on Tuesday night, in the Eagles’ season-ending girls basketball game against the Seminole Maidens. And for a brief moment, the Eagles did hold the lead on first place Seminole.

But the Maidens recovered quickly after Olga Mendoza got through Seminole’s big front line for a lay-up, getting back-to-back lay-ups from Staci Fitzhugh and then baskets from Shannon Wickson and Courtney Layton as part of an 11-0 run in the quarter and a 24-2 run overall, as the Maidens completed their second straight undefeated season in District 3-3A with a 65-32 win over Pecos.

“I think our girls played hard, but it’s hard to contain them inside when you’re looking at three 6-foot players. That’s a lot of height,” said coach Debbie Garcia, who was subbing for head coach Lisa Lowery, who was out of town due to a family emergency.

The combination of the 6-foot-3 Fitzhugh, the 6-2 Layton and the 6-1 Sheets accounted for 36 of Seminole’s 65 points mostly on lay-ups, though Sheets had a couple of basket off steals, as did guards Felicia Alvidrez and Meagan Browning.

“Give them credit. Their press looked better today than it did the first time we played them. They were a lot quicker,” Garcia said.

Mendoza had both of Pecos’ baskets in the first quarter, the other on a short side jumper to close out the period, but the Eagles wouldn’t score until midway through the second period, when Gabi Garcia hit a pair of free throws to make it a 25-6 game. Seminole’s lead would grow to 32-7 before two free throws and a 3-pointer by Mendoza and a pair of foul shots by Chantell Mazone doubled Pecos’ point total in the final minute of the half.

The Eagles did a better job of hanging with the Maidens in the third period, along with a better job of breaking Seminole’s press. Pecos had several fast-break lay-ups and traded foul shots with the Maidens, coming out of the period down by a 50-28 margin.

Adriana Armendariz had eight of her nine points on the night in the third period, and basket by Mazone to open the final period made the score 50-30. But that would be the next-to-last points Pecos would get in the game. Seminole reeled off a 15-point streak over the next seven minutes, until another Mazone basket with 30 seconds to play closed out the scoring for the game.

“They’re quick getting down the court, and they have a lot of depth on the bench,” said Debbie Garcia. “They can take out one 6-foot girl and put another in, and they’re not 6-foot slow, they’re quick.”

Mendoza and Armendariz tied for high-point honors for the Eagles with nine, while Sheets’ 15 points lead the Maidens in scoring. “We didn’t shoot badly, we just didn’t shoot very much,” said Garcia. “We got some looks at the basket, but we didn’t get a chance to shoot enough from inside.”

The loss ended Pecos’ season with a 2-10 record in district play, and a 5-19 record overall, while Seminole ended with a 12-0 district record and a 24-6 season record. They’ll have a bye in the first round of the playoffs and will start area round play next weekend.

Along with Mendoza, Tuesday’s game was the final one for seniors Vanessa Valeriano, Roxxie Mendoza, Heather Hinojos and Eupemia Garcia. It was also the last for the Eagles and Maidens as district rivals in basketball. Pecos will play next season in District 2-3A with Monahans, Fort Stockton and Presidio, while Seminole will be part District 4-3A, with Brownfield, Levelland and Lubbock Cooper.

Pecos routed after third quarter collapse

Pecos Eagles ‘coach Art Wellborn was hopeful that after some rough spots in the first half of their game Tuesday night against the Seminole Indians, the Eagles could come out and get closer to Seminole in the second half of their game at the Pecos High School gym. Pecos had cut a double-digit deficit midway through the second period down to six at one point, before seeing Seminole score the final seven points of the first half to take a 37-24 lead. As it turned out, that was just a sign of things to come for the Eagles, who were outscored 23-4 in the third period and ended up losing to Seminole by an 80-46 final score. “We got selfish and stopped trying to run any offense, and we turned flat-out lazy and let them beat us downcourt,” said Wellborn. “Micah Clay wore our guys out down there.”

Clay did most of the damage for Seminole in the third period, scoring his team’s first 11 points and 13 of his 26 overall on the night in the period. The Indians also caught the Eagles out of position inside on defense a number of times for easy lay-ups, while on offense Pecos could manage just two baskets by Francisco Ornelas in the period.

Pecos was down to just eight players in uniform for Tuesday’s game, after losing Miguel Estrada for the season due to a violation of school policies. “We missed Miguel tonight. He gives us a lift on defense, but he’s not going to be back,” Wellborn said.

Louis Sheets had all seven of his points in the game early in the opening period, including a 3-pointer that gave the Indians a 14-7 lead. The Eagles would cut that down to 18-14 early in the second period, then fell behind 28-16 before a couple of 3-pointers by Luis Licon and a jumper by Josh Anchondo around a basket by Clay made it a 30-24 game.

Riley Davis had five of his 12 points as part of the half-ending 7-0 run, while in the final period, Rowdy Pack had seven of his 12 points, while Anchondo had eight of his team-high 16 points for the Eagles.

“Josh did a great job out there, but we need more than just him,” said Wellborn. Licon was the only other Pecos player in double figures, with 10 points. The loss dropped the Eagles to 1-9 in district, 3-20 on the season going into the final home game, Friday night at 7:30 p.m. against Fort Stockton.

The Panthers moved a half-game ahead of Lamesa for the final playoff spot out of District 3-3A with a win over Presidio, while the Tornadoes lost to first place Greenwood, 10-0. The Rangers remain a game up on 9-1 Seminole in the 3-3A standings.

Seminole also won Tuesday’s junior varsity game, and the ninth grade contest, 64-32. Paul Zubledia had 13 points to lead the Eagle ninth graders, who cut 20 points off their loss two weeks earlier to the Indians in the championship game of the District 3-3A freshman tournament.

Swimmers dealt setback going into regionals

Tougher competition, and the loss of two of their top swimmers, figure to make advancing to the Class 4A State Swimming and Diving Championships a tough challenge for the Pecos Eagles swim team this weekend, at the Region I-4A meet in Lubbock. But the Eagles will have three top seeds going into the seventh annual Class 4A regionals.

Diving competition began Thursday, with the swimming prelims and finals set for 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday at the Pete Ragus Aquatic Center.

El Paso Chapin ended Pecos’ run of four straight Region I-4A girls swimming titles in 2005, while Pecos’ boys shared the regional title with Monahans, after winning it outright the first five years the Class 4A regionals have been held. Chapin and Pecos again were expected to be a favorites to win the girls and boys titles this weekend, but the Eagles took a major hit this week when they lost juniors Kyle Winkles and Matt Oglesby for violations of the school district’s code of conduct as the result of a Jan. 31 incident.

“We have a school code of conduct and students need to abide by that code, whether they are in extracurriculars or not,” interim superintendent Bob McCall said on Thursday.

Winkles was named outstanding swimmer on the boys side two weeks ago at the District 3-4A meet, and he and Oglesby both won their two individual events, while participating on the winning 200 yard medley and 400 yard freestyle relay teams.

“More than likely Andrews will win the boys’ side with our difficulties,” Eagles’ coach Terri Morse said on Tuesday.

The Eagles will have to adjust their relays to compensate for the loss of the two swimmers, and can move people over from the 200 yard freestyle relay, where Pecos placed third at district. Pecos was seeded first in the other two relays going into Friday’s prelims.

Individually, freshman Josh Elliott will now go into regionals seeded first in both his individual events, while his brother Matt is seeded second.

Josh Elliott placed second to Winkles in the 100-yard backstroke at district and is seeded .19 seconds head of Aaron Mirales of El Paso El Dorado going into regionals. In the 200 individual medley, he placed five seconds behind Oglesby, but his 2:09.4 time is still nearly four seconds ahead of third-seed Joseph Delgado of El Paso Del Valle.

Matt Elliott won the 200 freestyle at district, and comes into regionals seeded second by 1.15 seconds to Chapin’s Bryan Jones. In the 100 yard butterfly, he was second by just .18 seconds at district to Oglesby, and will now be seeded second by .48 of a second to Justin Kepple of El Paso Burges.

Matthew Florez is the other Eagle seeded near the top in an individual event on the boys’ side. The sophomore is No. 3 seed in the 100-yard freestyle, behind Andrews’ Trevor Williams and Evan Peterson of El Paso High.

Morse said Chapin, Burges and El Paso Andress are probably the top three teams on the girls’ side, where the Eagles have one top seed going into Friday’s preliminaries, senior Lindsey Shaw in the 200 individual medley. Her 2:26.23 time is .27 second better than Chapin’s Ali Walker, while in the 100-yard backstroke, Shaw’s winning time at district of 1:07.75 puts her .48 seconds behind Walker’s teammate, Mary Tooke.

Shaw and Ashley Mendoza won both their races at district. Mendoza, who took the 200 and 500 yard freestyles, is seeded third in the 500 free, behind Walker and Nancy Gamboa of El Paso Burges, and third in the 200 free, behind Chapin’s Amanda Nevarez and Gamboa.

The Eagles’ district-winning 400 freestyle relay team of Shaw, Mendoza, Neyva Rodriguez and Cassandra Mata goes into regionals seeded second by nine seconds to El Paso Burges, but two seconds up on No. 3 seed El Paso High. The same four placed second to Andrews in the 200 individual medley at district, in a race plagued by a faulty horn that caused Pecos to get off to a late start. Both 3-4A teams are nine seconds behind No. 1 seed Chapin, with Burgess, Andress and El Dorado’s medley relay teams also ranked ahead of the Mustangs and Eagles.

The winners of each event will automatically advance to the Class 4A Swimming and Diving Championships on Feb. 24-25 at the University of Texas-Austin, while eight other state berths will be picked from the eight regionals across Texas, based on the fastest times among the other schools.

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