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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Eagles’ 3s bomb Wildcats after close loss to Panthers

The shots were falling on Saturday for the Pecos Eagles’ basketball team in Fort Stockton, though it was one that fell on Friday but didn’t count that irritated Eagles’ coach Chaun Brooks, as Pecos closed out the Fort Stockton Tournament with a rout of Alpine after falling in the final minute on Thursday against the host Panthers.

Daniel Reyes hit a trio of first quarter three pointers n Saturday and had five overall, while Mark Molina also put in five against Wink, as the Eagles won defeated the Wildcats by a 61-35 score. Pecos ended up in the game after losing to Fort Stockton in a quarterfinal game Thursday evening, 45-41, which came after the Eagles held off Kermit in the tournament opener by a 54-53 score.

“We were up by two when Jeremy (Rodriguez) was called for charging,” Brooks said about Thursday’s second game loss. “They made a mistake on defense and opened t he middle up, and Jeremy went in and their kid undercut him. But he moved in under him after he went up in the air, and the ball was in the net before they hit. If they hadn’t done that, we would have been up by four, but Fort Stockton escaped.”

The Panthers’ Omar Calderon would score a couple of late baskets as part of a 6-0 run by the Panthers in the final minute of the game that gave Fort Stockton the victory. Calderon finished with 19 points, while Lucas Macha also had 19 to lead Pecos.

The Eagles had five 3-pointers in that game and six in the win over Kermit, after putting in nine in consecutive games against Seagraves and Stanton. The 3-point onslaught continued against Wink, after the Wildcats had gotten off to a quick 5-0 lead.

Macha got Pecos on the board with a couple of free throws two minutes into the game, before Reyes hit his 3s, the last of which put the Eagles ahead to stay, at 11-9. Rodriguez would score off a steal and lay-up, while Chris Garnto would hit a 3 later in the period, which ended with Pecos up by four.

Reyes would add another jumper just inside the 3-point line and one from behind the line to open the second period, and the outside shooting offset problems Pecos had with both fouls and rebounding. Wink’s Justin Swanson got inside several times for lay-ups, and the Wildcats would spend most of the second period at the foul line, but failed to take advantage and were 10-for-24 from the line in the game.

Molina began hitting from the outside in the second period and continued into the third quarter, allowing Pecos to increase a 36-21 halftime lead to 53-26 going into the final period. Reyes hit one more 3 early that quarter and give the Eagles a 30-point lead, more than enough of a cushion to survive a late-game scoring drought that resulted in just three points over the final 6:45 of the game.

“We just shot the ball well, and were hitting the net. That carried us in the first half,” Brooks said. “I thought we played better in the second half overall, but we shot the ball well in the first half.”

Reyes led the Eagles with 20 points, while Molina had 17. Swanson’s 12 points led Wink (1-10) in scoring.

The game had to be delayed midway through the opening period, to allow Wink to change uniforms, after both the Wildcats and Eagles started the game in white jerseys. Wink ended up borrowing junior varsity jerseys from Fort Stockton head coach Joe Flores to finish up the game and make things easier both on the players and the officials.

Against Kermit, Pecos built up a 10-point halftime lead, only to see the Yellowjackets wipe it out with a 19-9 advantage in the third quarter. Brooks said his team lost focus after going out to a 29-19 lead, and had to scramble to pull out the victory.

“Once we got a lead, our minds were on Fort Stockton, not on Kermit in the second half,” he said.

Tyler Williams led Kermit’s second half rally, and finished with a game-high 24 points, while Albert Pando had 10, including a trio of 3-point shots, part of a total of six 3s the Jackets hit in the game. Macha also had three 3s on the day, and ended up leading the Eagles with 13 points, while Rodriguez finished with 11.

Fort Stockton would end up capturing the tournament title, with a 58-35 win over Monahans, which was minus two of their starters for Saturday’s final. The Panthers had opened up the tournament with a win over Wink, while Monahans defeated Fort Hancock in their opener, then downed Tornillo, after the Coyotes beat Presidio in their first round game. Pecos’ 2-1 weekend improved their season record to 6-9, going into a two-week break for the Christmas holiday. Pecos’ next game will be their first of 2007, at home on Jan. 2 against the Andrews Mustangs.

Pecos swimmers earn first, second at Abilene

The Pecos Eagles’ swim team closed out the 2006 half of their 2006-07 swim season with a first place finish in the boys’ division on Saturday at the Abilene Wylie Invitational, while Pecos’ girls placed second in the eight-team field at the Redbud YMCA in Abilene.

The boys scored almost double the points of runner-up Pampa, winning with 623 points to 322 for the Harvesters. Pecos’ girls edged the host Bulldogs for second place by a 392-288 margin, and ended up 13 points behind first place Monahans.

“We could have beaten Monahans, but we had a disqualification,” Eagles’ coach Terri Morse said, referring to freshman Anatalia Hernandez in the 500-yard freestyle. Pecos still won the race, as another freshman, Adrianna Roman, took first wit a 6:29.62 time, but Morse said, “We would have finished first and second and would have gotten another 17 points, and Monahans beat us by 13.

Morse said Hernandez flinched at the start of the race, causing the disqualification. “They don’t false start anymore, but there was dual conformation, so I knew she false started, but she didn’t find out until she finished the race,” she said. “I’m just glad it happened now, so she understands what she did, instead of later at district.”

Roman’s win in the 500 free was one of two wins on the day for the Eagle girls. The other was in the 400 freestyle relay, where Hernandez, Neyva Rodriguez, Cassandra Mata and Niki Lindemann won with a 4:25.10 time. The girls also had a fourth in that race, from the ‘B’ team of Jessica Dickenson, Stephanie Lucas, Brittanie Rodriguez and Cynthia Marmolejo, while Mata, Hernandez, Dickenson and Roman were third in the 200 medley relay and Roman, Lindemann, Marmolejo and Neyva Rodriguez placed fourth in the 200 free relay.

Roman was also third in the 200 medley for Pecos, while Hernandez took third in the 100-yard butterfly. Lindemann was second in the 100-yard freestyle and third in the 200 free; Mata was fourth in the 200 free and the 100 breaststroke; Dickenson was fifth in the 200 free and the 100 breaststroke; Neyva Rodriguez was third in the 100 free and sixth in the 50 free; Adrianne Bagley was 13th in the 100 free and 14th in the 50 free; Marmolejo was third in the 100 yard backstroke and fifth in the 100 fly; Lucas was fifth in the 100 back and sixth in the 100 fly; and Brittanie Rodriguez was seventh in the 500 free and 100 backstroke.

The boys won 10 firsts and had a number of other medal finishes, including a 1-2-3 by Kyle Winkles, Matthew Florez and Hector Roman in the 100-yard freestyle. Winkles won with a 51.6 time, three-quarters of a second ahead of Florez, while Roman’s 58.30 time was first among a quartet of swimmers to place within .36 of a second of each other. The boys also swept all three relays, with Florez, Frankie Morin, Luke Serrano and Derek Teague taking the 200 free with a 1:42.64 time, and Austin Vernon, Edward Navarro, Gus Mendoza and Roman placing second. Oglesby, Florez, Elliott and Winkles took the 400 free with a 3:37.9 time and won the 200 medley with a time of 1:46.99. Pecos also had a third place finish in that race from its ‘B’ team of Roman, Morin, Serrano and Teague, while the 200 medley ‘B’ relay of Gus Mendoza, Brian Carrasco, Adam Medina and Austin Vernon was fourth.

Winkles also won the 50-yard freestyle with a 23.19 time, while Josh Elliott and Matt Oglesby also had a pair of individual wins. Elliott took the 100-yard backstroke with a 1:01.34 time, with Morin placing second; and won the 200 freestyle with a 1:58.56 time. Oglesby took the 200 medley with a 2:10.54 time, with Serrano placing second, and won the 100 yard butterfly with a 59.72 time, half a second in front of David Matlock of Amarillo Caprock. Pecos’ other first came on Friday, when Roman took the 1-meter diving competition with 351.15 points.

Morse said the times were better for the boys than the previous week at Seminole, but not as fast as in other races. “But I’ve been working them hard in practice and some of them are broken down,” she said, referring to the extra weigh the swimmers have been carrying in workouts.

In other finishes on Saturday, Serrano, Morin and Mendoza placed second, third and fourth in the 500 free; Teague was second Carrasco was fifth, Oscar Machuca was seventh and Vernon was ninth in the 100-yard breaststroke; Mendoza was fourth and Medina ninth in the 200 free; Carrasco was fifth in the 200 medley; Teague was sixth and Machuca 14th in the 50 free; Medina was fifth in the 100 fly; Navarro was sixth in the 500 free; and Vernon was 11th in the 100 free.

Morse said the Eagles would take five days off for Christmas, then have 10 days to practice before the Lubbock Invitational on Jan. 5-6. It’s the last meet before the District 4-4A Swimming and Diving Championships, set for Jan. 19-20 at the Monahans High School pool.

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