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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Eagles place fourth at Sandhills Tournament

Offense was hard to come by at times for both the Pecos Eagles and their opponents this weekend at the Sandhills Tournament in Monahans.

Pecos rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit Friday morning by shutting out the Big Spring Steers in the third quarter of their opening round game, getting to within one before beating Big Spring by a 45-43 final score. Then it was the Eagles’ turn to be shut down offensively, as the host Loboes held them to only 13 points in the first half and 15 in the second later in the day, in a 38-28 victory.

That put Pecos into the third place game against Midland Classical Saturday morning, where the Eagles missed their two leading scorers more than Midland missed the absence of their top scorer from the night before. The Knights jumped out to a 21-1 lead early in the second quarter on the Eagles, then held off a comeback in the middle periods to score a 51-37 win over Pecos.

“We missed our tall players, and didn’t start playing aggressively until the last three minutes, and by then it was too late,” said Eagles’ coach Debbie Garcia about Saturday’s loss.

Pecos played without seniors Adriana Armendariz and Chantel Mazone, who had 11 of the Eagles’ 25 points in the loss to Monahans, while Midland was minus post Whitney Taylor, who scored 19 in the Knights’ two-point loss to Midland Christian in Friday’s other semifinal game. But led by Melanie Watson and Emily Hinton, Midland Classical went out to a big lead, while turnovers plagued Pecos in the first nine minutes of the game.

Watson had the game’s first basket, a three-point play and a 3-point jumper in the opening period, then scored off the inbounds to open the second quarter and put her team up by 20. Pecos’ first basket of the game wouldn’t come until 7:25 left in the half, on a rebound lay-up by Cheyenne Carrasco, but the Eagles were slowly able to cut into the lead over the remainder of the period, and went in at halftime down 28-16 after a three-point play by Veronica Tarin.

Gabby Garcia hit a lay-up to start the second half and cut the deficit to 10, and had a chance a few minutes later to get it down to single digits, when she was fouled on another lay-up try. But the sophomore suffered a cut to the face on the play and had to leave the game. Substitute Jenny Palomino missed Garcia’s foul shots - part of a 9-for-22 day from the line for Pecos - and Watson would then hit two free throws, followed by baskets from Randi Reddell and Kalin Sosa, and Midland Classical’s lead grew back to 18 points as the final period began.

The Eagles would make two more runs at Midland, cutting the margin back to 13 midway through the period on baskets by Jasmine Rayos and Amalie Herrera, then would get it down to 11 with 1:45 left, on a pair of 3-pointers by Rayos and a steal and lay-up by Herrera. But Hinton would hit a trio of 3-pointers on both sides of those runs, with the final jumper giving Midland their 14-point final margin.

“Their outside shooting was very strong, and when we went out to get them, we lost our rebounding,” Garcia said.

The Eagles had all their players against Monahans on Friday, but after their comeback over Big Spring, were out-hustled by the Loboes, who were playing their first game of the day after downing Presidio on Thursday, 47-44.

The Steers, who were beaten later on Friday by Presidio, put in 17 points in the opening period, and were up by seven after one quarter and 12 at the half, 31-19 before the Eagles’ comeback. Their 11-0 run in the third period made it a 31-30 game, and the Eagles were able to outscore Big Spring down the stretch for the victory.

Garcia was 9-for-11 from the line and finished with 14 points. The other Eagles were only 5-for-16 from the line, but the Steers would only go to the line seven times in the game, hitting four shots.

“That was a great win,” said Garcia, but she thought the effort left Pecos drained for their late afternoon game with Monahans. “We played them man (defense) and it was hard. They had a girl 6-3 and one 5-11, and I think we were out of legs. We weren’t moving to the ball, and we weren’t blocking out.”

The Monahans game was tied at 4-all when Bethany Willmon scored on a rebound lay-up, Dina Ortiz hit a 3-pointer than hit two of three foul shots after being fouled by Rayos on another 3, to give Monahans an 11-4 lead. A basket by Claire Weinacht broke the streak as the period ended, but Jordan Latham would hit two free throws and a short jumper and Catherine Cutbirth would score on a rebound side jumper to push the margin to 11 as the second quarter opened.

Two baskets by Herrera and a 3-pointer by Rayos would get the lead back down to six, but the Loboes would end the half and open the third period with baskets by Kellie Almanza and Willmon off passes by Cutbirth.

Mazone, who was in foul trouble in the first half, and Armendariz would then score five straight points and Herrera would follow with a lay-up to make it 23-20 with three minutes left in the third period. But the Eagles would be blanked for the rest of the quarter and managed only five points in the fourth period. The Loboes would go on an 8-0 run and would never trail by less than eight the rest of the way, while Pecos ended up taking only three foul shots in the game.

“I think if we came out with fresh legs, it would have been more like what we did against Big Spring,” said Garcia, whose team is 3-3 going into their Tuesday game against Alpine. The Bucks also played in the Sandhills Tournament, and after a 47-41 opening loss to Midland Classical, defeated Monahans’ junior varsity and then beat Presidio in the consolation game 60-32.

Pecos hosts Alpine after Coahoma tourney losses

The Pecos Eagles struggled with offense and turnovers over the weekend at the Coahoma Invitational Tournament, dropping a trio of games to the Wall Hawks, the Coahoma Bulldogs and the Miles Bulldogs.

Pecos had an early lead on Wall in their tournament opener on Thursday, trailed by just three at the half, but saw the Hawks score 32 second half points to beat the Eagles, 48-30, then rallied from a nine-point first quarter deficit on Friday to trail the host Bulldogs by just one at the half, but could manage just seven points in the second half and fell to Coahoma by a 45-30 score.

Things were better on Saturday for the Eagles on offense, but coach Chaun Brooks said a couple of late mistakes against Miles left Pecos on the wrong end of a 51-47 final score, dropping the Eagles to 2-5 on the season, going into their Tuesday night home game against the Alpine Bucks.

“It was a David vs. Goliath type of game. We were with them at halftime, but in the third quarter we couldn’t get any shots,” Brooks said of the opening games. “They zoned us and our shots didn’t fall.”

The Eagles only managed 12 first half points against Wall, but allowed the Hawks only 15 points. However 10 of those came in the second period, and Wall would then outscore Pecos 17-10 in the third period to take a 32-22 lead, and doubled up the Eagles in the final period, with a 16-8 scoring advantage.

Against Coahoma, the Eagles cut a 15-6 first quarter deficit to 24-23 at the half, but couldn’t overcome being outscored 13-3 by the Bulldogs in the third period.

“Their front line was 6-6, 6-5, and our front line is 5-11, so we mostly had to shoot from the outside,” Brooks said.

“There were some positives against Miles. We lost by four, but were in position to with the game, but we had two crucial turnovers back-to-back,” he said. The Eagles were able to cut into a 31-22 halftime deficit by outscoring the Bulldogs 9-4 in the third quarter before falling short in the final period.

Brooks said forward Lucas Macha was named to the all-tournament team. He led the Eagles with nine points against Coahoma, while guard Jeremy Rodriguez had 11 in the loss to Wall and 16 on Saturday against Miles. However, he added the Eagles still need to improve their ball-handling in their upcoming games.

We’re having bad passes and over-dribbling, and we’re just not patient. We’re trying to do things the first time around instead of taking our time.” he said. “Jeremy had a good scoring game, but he has to fulfill the point guard role and think pass first, shoot second, and we need the other guards to take the burden off him, and be able to handle the ball when they need to.”

The losses were the first on the road for Pecos after two wins to open the season, including a 53-51 victory at Alpine two weeks ago. The Bucks lost at home again by two points on Friday, falling to Monahans by a 63-61 score. Play will start with the JV game at 6 p.m., followed by the varsity game at 7:30 p.m.

After Tuesday’s game with Alpine, the Eagles will be in the Wink Tournament this weekend.

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