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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Eagle lifters place 3rd, 4th in opener

Pecos Eagle powerlifters earned two first place finishes in weight divisions on Saturday, while placing third in the boys’ division and fourth in the girls’ division at their own powerlifting meet, which opened the 2008 season.

Monahans won both the girls and boys divisions. The Loboes’ boys had 38 points, while Kermit edged out Pecos for second by a 28-27 margin, with Fort Stockton fourth with 20 points. On the girls’ side, Monahans won with 32 points, three more than both Kermit and Fort Stockton, while the Eagles were next with 22 points. Stephen Apolinar and Deandra Bailey were the individual division winners for Pecos. Apolinar took first in the boys 132-pound weight class, with a combined 795 pounds for his bench press, dead lift and squat thrust. Bailey won the girls heavyweight division with a combined 675 pounds on her three lifts.

“We did about what I expected on the girls’ side,” said JEFF Green, the Eagles’ new powerlifting coach. “On the boys’ side, we did a little better than what I expected.” Along with Apolinar’s win, the boys picked up four second place finishes and on third on the day.

Aza Hinojos took second in the 114-pound weight class with combined lifts of 535 pounds; Lucas Chavez was second in the 148-pound division with combined lifts of 935 pounds; Nick Granado was second at 165 pounds with three lifts totaling 880 pounds and Joe Darpolar placed second by five pounds to Fort Stockton’s Jacob Carpenter in the 220-pound division, with combined lifts of 1,220 pounds. Granado’s loss came to former Eagle Phillip Williams of Iraan, who won his weight class with a 1,045 total.

The Eagles’ third place finish came in the 242-pound weight class, where Alonzo Villalobos had a 1,075-pound total for his three lifts. Travis Gomez was fifth for Pecos in that division, with three lifts totaling 850 pounds, and in the 198-pound weight class, Jake Varela finished fourth, with three lifts totaling 925 pounds.

Pecos’ point total was hurt by having no lifters in either the 275-pound or the super-heavyweight divisions. “We’re missing our best one there. We’re going to try and work to get him eligible,” Green said.

On the girls’ side, Pecos had two second place and two third place finishes to go along with Bailey’s victory.

At 198-pounds, Katherine Ramirez placed second and Makayla Hernandez was third, with lifts of 615 and 375 pounds respectively. In the 114-pound division, Ashley Ornelas was second with a combined 530-pound total for her three lifts, and Doni Marquez took third in the 165-pound weight class, lifting a combined 460 pounds.

Krystal Ramirez was fifth in that division, with a 385-pound total, and in the 105-pound weight class, Kayla Natividad finished fifth, with a 335-pound combined total. Aside from the team awards, the top individual lifter honors went to Fort Stockton’s Larry Leyva for the 165 pound and under weight classes, and to Reagan County’s Jeremy Creech in the 181 and up weight classes. On the girls’ side, Bailey and Ramirez placed second and third behind Layla Evans of Reagan County for the top lifter honor in the 165 pound and above division, while for 148 pounds and under Kermit’s Ashley Montoya earned top honors.

Saturday’s meet was the first of four regular season meets for Pecos. Their next will be on Jan. 26 at Monahans, while the top finishers in each weight class from across West Texas will advance to regional competition in March.

Pecos’ 4th quarter problems lead to 54-43 loss

The Pecos Eagle boys’ basketball team saw the Rankin Red Devils use a 21-point final period to pull away from the Eagles for a 54-43 win on Friday night in Rankin. “It was really just mental mistakes and inexperience that hurt us,” said Eagles’ coach Sammy Soliz. “I thought we really play well throughout most of the game, but when we get into a tough situation we make some mistakes that comes with us being inexperienced in varsity ball.”

“Their size didn’t give us trouble, but we lost their shooters in the fourth quarter,” he said. “We were up by two and lost their shooter (Chase Epley) and he hit two three pointers, then we turned the ball over and lost their post play. He scored, so that was eight points in about 30 seconds.”

Epley had two 3-pointers while Garrett Avalos had Rankin’s other 3s, while going 9-for-11 on the night from the foul line and scoring 16 points. Rankin post Jacob Schmitz ended up leading all scorers with 23 points.

J.R. Lujan led Pecos with 17 points and Chris Sotelo added 11, but Sotelo was one of three Pecos players to foul out in the final period.

“We got in early foul trouble. We had three guys foul out of the game and had two more with four fouls, which really hurt us,” Soliz said. “We had to sit out some key guys and had two sophomores play a lot of minutes.”

Soliz said backups German Rodriguez and Jonathan Dominguez did a good job coming off the bench for Pecos, which held a one-point lead after one period and was down by two, 23-21, at halftime.

The loss dropped Pecos’ record to 5-13 on the season. The Eagles had been scheduled to go to Sweetwater on Tuesday to face the Mustangs, but that game was cancelled due to semester tests. The Eagles’ next game in on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Lamesa.

Eagles’ improved shooting ends five-game loss streak

The Pecos Eagles got their leading scorer back on track Friday night and got their first win of 2008, as they snapped a five-game losing streak with a 50-37 victory in Rankin over the Red Devils.

Gabby Garcia, who had missed all or part of the middle three games of the losing streak with a knee injury, scored 22 points, and the Eagles jumped out to an early lead with a 15-point fourth quarter, then scored 15 in the final period and avoided the problems that led them to blow a late seven-point lead last Tuesday in a loss at Jal.

“I was just so proud of the way they finished,” said Eagles’ coach Donna Gent. “They worked extremely hard this week we did a lot of running and worked on a lot of situations, and we were just a lot more focused in practice.”

“The JV helped us out a lot in practice. We did a whole lot of different settings and it helped our girls see what we could do in those situations,” she added.

Scoring had been a problem for Pecos during their losing streak. Pecos hadn’t scored more than 37 points in a game since Garcia’s injury, but had 25 by halftime and held a 35-26 lead going into the final period.

“We were close to 50 percent shooting for the whole game,” Gent said. “Gabby had 22 points and 15 rebounds and Vedo (Tarin) and Brittany (Palomino) had six apiece.”

Garcia had returned for Tuesday’s loss at Jal, but the Eagles were without starting post Claire Weinacht, who was lost for the season after suffering torn knee ligaments while skiing. Going into Friday’s game, Gent said Jasmine Rayos would see more action at post due to the injury, but Gent said Rayos spent most of Friday’s game in foul trouble.

“Jasmine had three fouls in the first quarter, so I sat her down for the entire second quarter and didn’t put her back in until the five minute mark of the third, and right away she picked up her fourth foul. So I took her out until the fourth quarter, and put her in for a minute, and then she picked up her fifth foul.”

Gent said Catherine Moore did a good job replacing Rayos up front, while Garcia had 15 rebounds to go with her 22 points. “The girls who came off the bench all contributed. Brittany Quintana and Kristen Ikeler both played very well when they went in.”

“Defensively we did very well, and we had 36 rebounds and in the second half we only had four turnovers. When we saw the inside girl (open) we were cutting well, and we were scoring well,” Gent said.

Hailey Avalos scored 13 points to lead Rankin, which fell to 8-13 on the season. Pecos improved its record to 8-11 going into its final pre-district game, against one of the teams they lost to during their five-game streak, Greenwood. The Eagles, who lost at home to the Rangerettes by a 38-25 score on Jan. 4, will travel to Greenwood for a 6 p.m. game on Tuesday, followed by their District 2-3A opener on Friday night in Presidio against the Blue Devils.

Rankin did win Friday’s junior varsity game by a 45-40 score. Carrisa Cerna had 12 points to lead the Eagles in scoring. The JV will also play at Greenwood on Tuesday, starting at 4:30 p.m.

Swimmers get 6th, 12th in final pre-district meet

The Pecos Eagles swim team placed sixth on the boys’ side and 12th on the girls’ side on Saturday at the Lubbock Invitational, the Eagles’ final meet before District 4-4A competition in Pecos at the end of the month.

Pecos’ girls scored 50 points in their division, which was won by Lubbock High with 413 points. Lubbock High also won the boys title with 414 points, while Eagle boys ended up with 140 points, despite losing out on any points in the day’s final event, the 400-yard freestyle, due to a disqualification.

“They said Derek (Teague) left early, but I didn’t see that,” said Eagles’ coach Terri Morse, who added the boys would have placed third in that event, but the extra points wouldn’t have moved them up in the final standings, since fifth place Lubbock Monterey ended up with 172 points.

“The girls finished ahead of all the other 4As except for El Paso High, and the boys finished ahead of everyone except for the 5As,” Morse said.

Pecos didn’t have any first place finishes in the two-day event, but did pick up several medals. The boys’ 200 medley relay team did score third, senior Matthew Florez picked up a third in the 50-yard freestyle to go along with a fourth in the 100 free, and junior Josh Elliott took third in the 100-yard backstroke after earning a seventh in the 200-yard freestyle.

In other results, Edward Navarro 16th in the 200-yard freestyle, Carlos Navarro was 14th and Teague 16th in the 100-yard breaststroke; the boys’ 200-yard freestyle ‘A’ relay team placed 16th, and the Eagles ‘B’ 400-yard freestyle relay team took ninth.

In diving on Saturday morning, Hector Roman placed fifth in both the 1-meter competition and the 3-meter event, which is not part of the Eagles’ other diving competitions.

Pecos’ girls got a ninth from their 400-yard freestyle relay team and a 12th from the 200-medley relay squad. Individually, Allyson Reynolds was seventh and Adrianna Roman 16th in the 500-yard freestyle; Conner Armstrong was 15th in the 100-yard backstroke; and Reynolds finished 10th in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Saturday’s finals were limited to the Top 16 finishers in each event from Friday’s preliminaries. “It was a tough meet and pretty quick, so it was a good meet for all of us,” Morse said.

The Eagles will be hoping to get back to Lubbock a month from now for the Region I-4A swimming and diving championships in early February. District 4-4A competition will be Jan. 25-26 in Pecos, and the Top 6 finishers in each event will advance to the 4A regionals.

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