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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, November 14, 2008

Basketball season openers for PHS squads cancelled

The season opening basketball games this week for the Pecos Eagle girls have been cancelled due to volleyball playoff games, while next Tuesday’s regular season opener for Pecos’ boys also has been cancelled, due to the high school football playoffs.

Pecos’ girls had been scheduled to host Wink in their 2008-09 season opener on Tuesday, but most of the girls for both squads were in Big Spring for regional quarterfinal volleyball playoffs. Pecos’ girls saw their 2008 season ended by Brownwood, but their game against Kermit set for Friday also has been cancelled, with the Yellowjacket girls advancing to the Region I-2A Volleyball Tournament in Abilene on Tuesday with a victory over Alpine.

On the boys’ side, the Eagles were scheduled to open their 2008-09 season this coming Tuesday at home against Monahans, but both the Eagles and Loboes football teams are in the playoffs, with Pecos playing Midland Greenwood at Midland and Monahans traveling to Clint on Thursday. Wins would put both teams in the Region I-3A-Division II quarterfinals next week.

Pecos’ girls will start off their 2008-09 season this coming Tuesday with a home game against the Midland Lee Rebels, while the boys’ opener is tentatively set for Nov. 21 in Jal, N.M. against the Panthers.

Bears end football season with loss to Vaqueros

The Balmorhea Bears saw their 2008 season end last Friday night in Sierra Blanca, as they closed out their year with a 72-26 loss to the Vaqueros.

Sierra Blanca, which clinched the second place playoff spot in District 8-A six-man, won the game in the third quarter under the 45-point rule, and left Balmorhea with a 4-5 overall record and 0-3 in district play. A win could have tied the Bears with Sierra Blanca and Dell City at 1-2 in district play.

Balmorhea opted to receive the opening kickoff and on the first play Alvaro Beltran completed a pass to Ryan Mondragon for 54 yards to the Vaqueros 10-yard line. On the third play of the drive Beltran carried the ball to the 1-yard line to bring up 4th and goal. An offside penalty against Sierra Blanca put the ball 1/2 a yard from the goal line, but the Bears failed to score as they fumbled on the fourth down play.

The Vaqueros took advantage using a screen pass to go 74 yards for the score. The extra point made it 8-0 with 8:11 left in the first quarter.

Balmorhea’s Nigel Lozano returned the ensuing kickoff for 17 yards, but on the next play the Bears again lost possession on another fumble. This time, the Vaqueros began on Balmorhea’s seven-yard line, but Sierra then fumbled on their first play, with Balmorhea recovering the ball in their own end zone for a touchback.

The Bears started at their own 20 but on the third play of the drive suffered their third fumble of the game, and this time, Sierra Blanca put together a 3-play, 23-yard drive capped with a 17-yard touchdown pass. The score was16-0 with 5:33 left in the first quarter.

Both teams punted after their next possessions, but Sierra Blanca got off a 60-yard kick that pinned Balmorhea back on their own 3-yard-line. One play later Beltran scrambled to find an open receiver but was brought down in the end zone for a safety to make it 18-0.

The Bears again stopped the Vaqueros after the free kick, and finally got on the scoreboard early in the second period, going on a five-play drive capped with a long pass from Beltran to Mondragon for a touchdown. Mondragon’s kick made it was 18-8 with 9:00 left in the second quarter, and he would then stop Sierra Blanca’s next drive with a fumble recovery.

Gabriel Jurado followed with a 34-yard touchdown to make the score 18-14 with 6:36 left in the first half. But the Vaqueros answered less than two minutes later with their own touchdown, making the 24-14 with 4:44 left in the half.

The Bears next possession was brief, and ended with their fourth lost fumble of the half. Following the fumble the Vaqueros next series consisted of five plays for 57 yards and a touchdown to increase their lead 32-14 with 3:20 left before halftime. The Bears did get their third score on their next series, which included a 15-yard run by Nigel Lozano and was capped with a 5-yard touchdown run by Marcos Beltran making it 32-20 with 1:20 left in the half.

Balmorhea would get two more chances with the ball before halftime, the first after stopping Sierra Blanca on downs, but the Vaqueros would pick off a pass and go 80-yards for a touchdown.

That made it 40-20 with 20 seconds left in the half, which was still enough time for Balmorhea to score, off a 14-yard run by Marcos Beltran and a 40-yard pass from Alvaro Beltran to Mondragon that set up a score Marcos Beltran which got the Bears back to within 14 at halftime.

But Sierra Blanca would take the second half kickoff and drive 46 yards for a score, and after forcing the Bears to punt again, would get their seventh touchdown of the game on a 9-yard screen pass, with the extra point kick making it 56-26 with 6:19 left in the third quarter.

Sierra Blanca then picked off Alvaro Beltran and had their second interception return for a score, making it 64-26 with 4:54 left in the third quarter. Balmorhea was then forced to punt again, and Sierra Blanca ended the game under the 45-point rule with an 18-yard touchdown pass with 59 seconds left in the third quarter.

Balmorhea Bears Head Coach Debiase Mendoza said, “Offensively we were not able to secure and maintain possession of the football and just weren’t able to capitalize on our possessions and come away with a win.”

Sanderson won the District 8-A Division II six man title, and both the Vaqueros and the Eagles drew first round playoff byes. Sierra Blanca awaits the winner of the Ackerly-Sands vs. Welch-Dawson playoff game, while Sanderson will face the winner between Lamesa Klondike and Gail-Borden County next week.

Eagles host 16 area teams at swim meet on Saturday

The Pecos Eagles swim team will be hosting their District 4-4A rivals and a number of other Class 5A and below teams from across the region on Friday and Saturday, for the annual Pecos Invitational.

Coach Terri Morse said diving competition would be at 5 p.m. on Friday at the Pecos High School pool, while the timed finals will start on Saturday at 11 a.m. A total of 16 teams will be entered in the meet, with just under half of those coming from Lubbock.

The Lubbock schools have seven teams – Coronado has a red team, Lubbock High has a black,” Morse said, which allows those 5A schools to get more swimmers into each event.

Pecos comes in off second place finishes on both the boys and girls sides this past Saturday at the Midland Invitational. Both Midland schools, along with all three Abilene schools and Pecos’ other district rivals Andrews, Big Spring, Fort Stockton and Monahans also will compete, while the rest of the field includes Seminole, Pampa and Clovis, N.M., which will be one of the favorites at the meet.

Morse said her swimmers would be swimming mostly in the same events they competed in at Midland. “The relays will also be somewhat the same as Midland. There might be a couple of changes,” she said.

Going in, the Eagles are seeded first in three of the six relay events. Both the boys and girls 200-yard medley relay teams have the best times so far of the two-dozen relay teams entered, and the boys’ 400-yard freestyle relay team is also seeded first. Individually, senior Josh Elliott is the only Pecos swimmer going into the meet seeded first in his events, the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard backstroke.

Pecos does have several entries seeded second, including the girls’ 400-yard freestyle relay team. Sophomore Alyson Reynolds is seeded second in both the 500-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke, as is sophomore Conner Armstrong in the 100-yard backstroke, while Hector Roman goes in seeded second in Friday’s 1-meter diving. However, Morse said there’s a possibility the senior won’t compete this weekend, as he continues his recovery from his latest surgery related to his February car accident.

“We’re going to let doc (trainer Joel Birch) look at it, so we’ll see,” Morse said. Roman was impaled in the shoulder by a 30-foot fence pole, and has only competed in one meet so far this season, prior to his latest surgery.

“He really wants to dive for the meet, because it’s in Pecos and he’s a senior, but we’ll let doc make the decision,” Morse said. “If he does dive, we’ll keep the brace on to make sure he doesn’t pull his hand too far back.”

Lions' hitters end Eagles 2008 season

Striking mainly from the outside, the Brownwood Lions got in front of the Pecos Eagles early on Tuesday night, in their Region I-3A volleyball playoff game, and ended Pecos’ 2008 season with a three-game sweep at the Big Spring High School gym.

Flynn Harrell and Julie Kennedy were able to get their shots from the outside hitter’s position past Pecos’ blockers most of the night, while the Eagles weren’t able to maintain a second game offensive surge, losing their chance to tie the match before eventually falling by 25-14, 25-17, 25-17 scores.

“Everything went to the outside. We just didn’t control their two hitters,” said Eagles’ coach Ruth McWilliams. “They’re a good team, and I knew it would be a tough match, but I thought we could come up and entice them to hit it deep. They did for a little while but then they made adjustments, and then we’d make adjustments and then would adjust again.”

Moochie Galloway also provided Brownwood with some offense from the middle hitter’s position. She followed up a kill by Harrell with a spike of her own as part of a 3-0 run to open Game 1, and after Pecos cut the lead to 3-2 on a Jasmine Rayos spike and block of Harrell by Leia McWilliams, Harrell responded with a spike off a McWilliams block attempt to kick off a 9-3 run that gave the Lions a 12-5 lead.

The Eagles would then trade points with the Lions for the next few minutes, and Brownwood was up 19-12 when another Harrell spike, followed by kills from Galloway and Kennedy made it a 24-12 game. The Eagles stayed alive on a spike by Rayos and a tip over the front line by Gabby Garcia, but Kennedy ended the game with a spike off the block attempt by Ally Salcido.

“They had some big hitters,” McWilliams said, adding that the hard shots from the outside got Pecos out of position even when they were able to get to the spikes. “When they hit the ball, they hit it hard. The problem was our setters had to work to run to the ball,”

Game 2 also began with Brownwood taking a 3-0 lead and the Lions were up 7-3 when the Eagles made their best run of the night, a 10-4 streak that briefly put them ahead 12-10. Rayos would block Chloe Gaye and Salcido had an ace serve that tied the game at 8-8, and Garcia and Claire Whinchat would add hits to put the Eagles up by two points a couple of times.

But Brownwood would rally to tie things at 12-all, and after a block of Harrell by Rayos, the Lions hitter and Galloway would start a 4-0 run with a tip over Pecos’ front line, and she would then get a block of Marissa Tarring. A block by McWilliams of Harrell ended the run, but Brownwood then went on an 8-2 streak, featuring kills by Kenney and Galloway and an ace serve by Alex Williams to pull away from the Eagles at the finish.

The Eagles would hold a 2-0 lead at the start of Game 3, on a bad hit by Sheldon Miller and an ace by Aileen Rayos, but the Lions would come back to tie the game, and then went on a 12-2 streak that turned a 4-4 tie into a 16-6 Brownwood lead. Most of the points in this run came on unforced errors by Pecos.

The Eagles settled down after that, while the Lions’ Miller began having a few problems getting the sets to the Lions’ outside hitters, which allowed Pecos to cut the lead to 20-15. But after a time-out Harrell and Galloway came back with spikes to widen the margin back to seven, and the teams then traded points before a spike by Gaye ended the match.

“We did everything we could. We just ran into a buzzsaw,” McWilliams said. “I don’t want to be negative. That’s what happens a lot after losses. We did what we could, but some things just didn’t go our way.”

Pecos ends their season with a 28-12 record, while Brownwood improved to 30-9 and moves on to the Region I-3A Tournament at Lubbock Christian University against defending Class 3A state champ Wimberly on Friday. The winner there will face the winner between Fredericksburg and Dalhart, which ended Monahans’ run of six straight regional tournament appearances on Tuesday with a five-game win in their Region I-3A quarterfinal match.

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