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Friday, December 8, 2006

Swimmers end break with trip to Seminole

The Pecos Eagles swim team will end their three-week break this weekend, when they travel to Seminole for the Seminole Invitational.

Coach Terri Morse said swimming will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, while the 1-meter diving competition will take place on Friday at 5 p.m.

The Eagles have been off since the Monahans Invitational prior to Thanksgiving. They had been scheduled to swim last weekend at the Fort Stockton Invitational, but that meet was cancelled due to problems with the high school pool.

All six teams from the Eagles’ district will be at the meet, along with the host Indians and four schools from New Mexico; Hobbs, Carlsbad, Clovis and Artesia.

Pecos was shorthanded at their meet in Monahans, due both to grades and to an FFA event going on that weekend, as the boys ended up third while the girls placed 11th. Morse said while all her swimmers are now eligible and there are no conflicting events this weekend, not all will be making the trip to Seminole.

“I’ve got some not going because of illness, and some because of too many make-up workouts, but everybody’s eligible,” she said.

That group could include Cassandra Mata, who has the highest seed for the girls individually going into the Seminole meet, with a fifth in the 200 medley relay, and Adrianne Bagley, who was bitten by a dog and won’t swim this weekend. The highest seed now is Niki Lindemann, sixth in the 200 freestyle, while the 400 meter relay team goes in seeded fourth and the 200 medley relay is seeded seventh.

The boys go in seeded first in one relay, the 400 meter freestyle, while Kyle Winkles and Matthew Florez are seeded 1-2 in the 100 meter freestyle and Josh Elliott and Frankie Morin are seeded first and third in the 100 meter backstroke. Winkles is also seeded second to Hobbs’ Jacob Puckett in the 50 meter freestyle and Matt Oglesby is seeded second to Hobbs’ Eric Zeller in two events, the 200 medley and the 100 meter butterfly.

Following this weekend’s meet, the Eagles have one more meet before Christmas, next weekend at Abilene Wylie.

Pecos girls play Rankin after loss to Alpine

Pecos Eagles’ coach Debbie Garcia is hoping to get more points and fewer fouls out of her front line players this weekend at the Wink Oil Patch Invitational, after seeing her team fall by three-points on Tuesday in Alpine to the Bucks.

Alpine handed Pecos its third straight loss, by a 51-48 score. The Eagles were scheduled to try and end that streak at 12 noon on Thursday in their tournament opener against the Rankin Red Devils, the second of four opening round games in the varsity division.

“Our defense did well, and had a lot of steals. Gabby (Garcia) had 11 points, Jasmine (Rayos) had 10 and Amalie (Herrera) had nine, but those are my guards and wings. I need more points from my post players, and more rebounding from my post players,” the Eagles’ coach said.

Adrianna Armendariz and Chantel Mazone were plagued by foul problems most of the game. Armendariz picked up two quick fouls and ended up with only six points, while Mazone was held scoreless and fouled out. Meanwhile, Bucks’ posts Brittany Simples and Carizamae Mendoza finished with 14 and 12 points, while Ruby Brito led all scorers with 15.

The Eagles held a 9-5 lead after one period, but the Bucks were able to outscore Pecos 20-11 in the second period for a 25-20 halftime lead, and added one more point to their lead in the third period.

“They had a couple of pretty big girls who outrebounded us, and that was the difference in the game,” Garcia said.

The loss dropped Pecos to 3-4 on the season going into their game with Rankin, which also will present the Eagles with a challenge on the front line. The winner will advance to a 3 p.m. game on Friday against Grady or Jal, who the Eagles beat on Nov. 28 on the Panthers’ home court. The losers will face each other on Friday in a 1:30 p.m. start.

The host Wildcats take on Presidio and Crane faces Eunice, N.M. in the other opening round games. The tournament runs through Saturday, with the championship game set for 3:30 p.m.

Pecos’ JV lost their game on Tuesday night to Alpine, and were to face the Bucks again in the opening game of the JV division of the Wink tournament, at 9 a.m. on Thursday. The Bucks downed the Eagles by a 44-31 score. Veronica Tarin led Pecos with nine points. The winner of Thursday morning’s game came back and played again at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday against Midland Christian, while the loser played at 3 p.m. against the loser of the Grady-Jal JV contest.

Eagles fall to Bucks, play in Wink tourney next

The outside shots were falling for the Pecos Eagles at the start of their game Tuesday night against the Alpine Bucks. But when that disappeared, the Eagles weren’t able to do enough other things to come up with a win over Alpine at the Pecos High School gym.

Pecos got a trio of 3-pointers from Lucas Macha and a 3 from Felix Salcido in the opening period, as they went out to a 19-10 lead over Alpine. That nine point lead turned into a nine-point deficit by the third period, as they were outscored by the Bucks over the next nine minutes 24-6 before going on a 9-0 run to tie the game with just under six minutes left in the fourth quarter.

But the Eagles were never able to take the lead, and ended up missing three in-close shots and one 3-pointer to tie in the final two minutes, and lost by a 47-44 final score.

“There are a lot of things we have to learn,” said Eagles’ coach Chaun Brooks, whose team had beaten the Bucks by two points in Alpine two weeks ago. “We need to not only take care of the ball but execute the fundamentals, and those are things you just can’t get in in one off-season. You’ve got to start at the junior high level on up.”

Macha hit his first three 3-point attempts on the way to a game-high 20 points. He also had a lay-up in the first period after Salcido’s 3 to give the Eagles their 19-10 lead. But Alpine’s Justin Gonzales closed out the first quarter and opened the second with 3-pointers of his own, and Tyler Murphy followed with a three-point play off a pass from Gonzales that tied the score at 19-all.

Pecos’ last lead came on a foul shot by Salcido with 4:09 left in the half, for a 22-21 lead. But Adam Fuentes then hit two free throws and Gonzales and Manuel Carrillo followed with rebound lay-ups for a 27-22 lead. Macha then hit his fourth 3-pointer of the night, but Fuentes came right back with a 3 and Gonzales hit a lay-up at the buzzer to make it a 32-25 game.

“We were supposed to have four guys helping, but Alpine drove right up thee middle, and we didn’t have anybody to step up and stop them,” Brooks said.

He then opened the third period with a basket off a steal, and the Eagles wouldn’t score for over 3 1/2 minutes in the second half. But Alpine had its own turnover problems at that time, and after Macha hit a short jumper, Chris Garnto hit s 3-pointer, Macha scored on a lay-up and Mark Molina scored off a pass by Justin Gonzales to tie the game.

That only lasted a few moments. Murphy closed out the quarter with a reverse lay-up and a foul-line jump, and would score again after Molina opened the fourth period with a rebound basket. Foul shots by Macha and Salcido would get the lead down to one, and Pecos would have several chances to take the lead, only to see them stopped by turnovers.

“We didn’t execute anything. They pressured us and we crumbled,” Brooks said. “But that only comes with experience, and right now we don’t even have one guy with one year’s varsity experience.”

Fuentes would score the Bucks’ final two baskets, a lay-up off a steal by Gonzales and a 3-pointer that made it a 47-43 game. Vance Mondragon then missed on a couple of short jumpers around Molina going 1-for-2 from the foul line, and after the Eagles got the ball back on a turnover, Macha couldn’t hit the tying basket from 3-point range with 10 seconds to play, and the Bucks were able to run out the clock.

Molina was the next highest scorer for Pecos with nine, but Rodriguez, the Eagles’ second-leading scorer this season, was shut out by the Bucks. Murphy had 15, Fuentes 13 and Gonzales 12 to lead Alpine. “I did see some really good things, but the bad outweighed the good,” said Brooks, whose team lost their fourth straight game and are 2-6 on the season going into Thursday’s opening round game against Rankin in the Wink Invitational.

Pecos did win Tuesday’s junior varsity game by a 38-22 score. J.R. Lujan led the Eagles with eight points. The JV also will be playing in Wink this weekend, while Pecos’ freshman team will be entered in the Andrews ninth grade tournament.

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