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for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, January 25, 2008

Pecos drops final pre-district game to Jal

The Pecos Eagles will hope their luck against the Panthers improves on Friday night in their District 2-3A opener against the Fort Stockton Panthers, after suffering their ninth loss in 10 games on Tuesday, losing in Jal Panthers by a 55-43 final score.

The Eagles, who were 4-5 on the season after an early December win over Jal in tournament play at Wink, saw their record drop to 5-15 with Tuesday’s loss, the second for the Panthers over the Eagles, who also won in Pecos just before Christmas.

Coach Sammy Soliz said the Eagles had similar problems to their game last Friday in Lamesa, when they got into a running game and saw a seven point lead after one quarter disappear.

“We were just being impatient with our offense. I think we were up 7-8 points then we got impatient with our offense and didn’t run it completely. We’d try to do one pass and then shoot the ball,” he said, adding that the game was close until the end, when Pecos was forced to foul and the Panthers pulled away at the foul line for their 12-point victory. Soliz said J.R. Lujan again was the only consistent scorer for the Eagles, a problem he said the team is trying to address by making some changes to the roster.

“We had three guys come up from the JV to play for us. Bradley Woods came in and gave up some size and had some put-back baskets,” he said. “Luis Morales played well on defense. He didn’t score, but he had some steals and got our fast break going, and Dario (Portillo) came in and hopefully will help us with scoring.”

“We’re starting district, and we’re just trying to find another consistent scorer. Defensively I think we’re playing well, but offensively we just have to find somebody else besides J.R. to put points on the board for us,” Soliz said.

Portillo was on the varsity earlier this season, while Woods is a senior transfer who just became eligible to play on Tuesday. Soliz said he hoped the two plus Morales can help the Eagles against the Panthers, who won the District 2-3A title last season and return about half of their varsity squad.

“(Sergio) Corral is probably their big-time player down low, but they also have a couple of kids back from last year who can play outside and shoot the 3, so we’ll just have to play a lot of man defense against them.”

The Eagles will play their first two district games at home, then go on the road for three straight before closing out 2-3A play by hosting Monahans. “We play our first two in Pecos, and we need to hold homecourt if we want to succeed,” Soliz said.

The varsity game on Friday will start about 7:30 p.m., following the girls’ varsity game against Fort Stockton. Pecos’ junior varsity and freshmen teams will face the Panthers on Friday in the old Pecos High School gym, with the JV playing at 4:30 and the ninth graders at 6 p.m.

Andrews to test Pecos girls at 4-4A swim meet

The Pecos Eagles swim team will get a chance to try and repeat as District 4-4A champions at home instead of in the pool of their closest district rival this weekend, when they host the District Swimming and Diving Championships at the Pecos High School pool.

Preliminaries will start at noon on Friday, with the diving finals set for about 4:30 p.m. Swim finals will start at noon on Saturday, with the Top 6 finishers in each event advancing to the Region I-4A meet in Lubbock on Feb. 7-9.

This weekend’s district meet was originally scheduled for Andrews. But construction delays in the Mustangs’ new pool forced the meet to be moved to Pecos, which had been scheduled to host the 2009 district meet. Coaches Terri Morse said that while the boys will be favored to win their 17th district title in 19 years, the girls will have to work hard to avoid losing out to Andrews for the second time in the past three seasons.

“It we’re going to win, we’re going to have to make things happen for us,” she said. “The girls are going to have to be on Cloud 9 getting after it Friday and Saturday.

She said going into the meet she made some changes to the girls’ relay teams. “I wanted to speed up the 200 (freestyle) relay to make it faster. I think we’re going to need to get second in the 200 to win, so I want to see if we can beat out Big Spring.”

The girls go in seeded first in the 400 freestyle relay, but Andrews is seeded No. 1 in the 200 medley and 200 free relays. Individually, the Eagles have three events in which they’re seeded No. 1, two by freshman Conner Armstrong, in the 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke, and the other by freshman Alyson Reynolds in the 500 free. Reynolds is seeded second in the 200-yard individual medley to Greenwood freshman Jocelin Dreman, the lone swimmer for the Rangerettes at the meet, while Adrianna Roman is seeded second in the 200-yard freestyle and in the 500 free, and Jessica Dickenson is seeded second in the 100-yard breaststroke.

The boys are seeded first in both the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays and four individual events, along with Hector Roman in Friday’s 1-meter diving finals.

“For the boys, Monahans will be the closest to us. Big Spring has some guys we will be pretty tough, but Monahans has the most,” Morse said. “But for the boys, we’ll have to mess up pretty bad to be in trouble.”

Junior Josh Elliott is seeded first in both his races, the 200 medley and 100 backstroke, while senior Matthew Florez is seeded first in the 100 free and is No. 2, just behind Big Spring’s Cameron Hughey, in the 50 free. The other No. 1 seed is Edward Navarro in the 500-yard freestyle, where teammates Gus Mendoza and Frankie Morin are seeded second and third.

Navarro is seeded second behind Monahans’ John Ray in the 200 free, and Carlos Navarro is the No. 2 seed going into the 100-yard breaststroke, behind the Loboes’ Reed Bowman. Pecos is also seeded second in the 200-yard freestyle relay.

Eagles rally late for win over Loboes

The fourth quarter has been the best quarter for the Pecos Eagles girls’ basketball team so far in District 2-3A play. But coach Donna Gent would like to see a little better play out of her team in the three periods before that on Friday, when the Eagles will try to wrap up the first half of their district schedule unbeaten with a win over Fort Stockton. The Eagles, who outscored Presidio 24-13 last Friday to rally for a 60-50 win in their 2-3A opener, trailed Monahans by 10 points midway through the third period, before outscoring the Loboes 27-7 the rest of the way for a 48-38 victory.

“We were very lethargic. We weren’t playing with any intensity, and we were not shooting well at all,” Gent said. “We shot 23 and 22 percent in the first and second quarters, and turnovers were killing us.

“We weren’t looking at our posts and it wasn’t until the fourth quarter when our backs were against the wall that we finally started playing,” she added.

The poor shooting even extended to the foul line, where Pecos hit five of their final six free t throws in the fourth quarter after going 0-for-8 from the line before that. The Eagles ended up hitting as many shots from behind the 3-point line as they did from the foul line on the night.

Jasmine Rayos hit four three pointers as part of a 19-point game, with three of those 3s coming during an 11-point third quarter. But no other Eagle scored a point in the period, and after Rayos’ first two 3s cut a 22-15 halftime deficit to one, Monahans scored the next nine points to go out to a 31-21 lead.

Rayos ended the streak with a lay-up, then hit another 3 before the period ended, to get Pecos to within 31-26. Catherine Moore than opened the fourth quarter by rebounding a missed foul shot by Gabby Garcia and scoring, and the Eagles would tie the game later off five foul shots by Rayos and Diana Parada.

Parada would then come up with a steal to set up the go-ahead basket, as Kristen Ikeler found Rayos underneath for a lay-up. Then with the Eagles up 37-36, Garcia would score off a pass from Ikeler, Parada would come up with another steal to set up a lay-up by Rayos, and Ikeler would follow by hitting a 3-pointer and another jumper from the four line to give Pecos a 46-36 lead.

“Kristen really stepped it up tonight,” said Gent, who was without starting guard Brittany Palomino due to illness.

“Catherine Moore did a good job rebounding and going back up with the ball,” Gent said, adding that Aileen Rayos, brought up from the junior varsity for the game, and Brittany Quintana also played well coming off the bench.

Like Pecos, Monahans have only one senior on their varsity roster. But the Loboes also had several freshman players in the line-up, and one, Erin Fisher, would score eight points in the second period, while hitting a 3-pointer in the third quarter to help the Loboes’ build up their 10-point lead. She finished with 14 points, while sophomore Michelle Azjue had 10, and kept the Loboes in the game early with six first quarter points, after baskets by Garcia and Veronica Tarin had given the Eagles and early 4-0 lead.

Pecos improved to 10-12 on the season and 2-0 in district, and is alone in first in the district standings, while Monahans fell to 3-17 and 0-2 in 2-3A play. The Eagles will stay at home for their next two games, Friday against Fort Stockton and next Tuesday versus Presidio, to start the second half of district play. The Prowlers are 1-1 in district after losing to the Blue Devils on Tuesday by a 41-39 score.

Monahans did win Tuesday’s junior varsity game, by a 41-32 final score. Olivia Castilleja led the Eagles with 11 points.

Eagle netters down Owls to start spring play

The Pecos Eagles tennis team opened its winter-spring 2008 season this past Saturday with a 9-8 win in Monahans over the Reagan County Owls.

“Overall the girls won 9-3,” said Eagles’ coach Bernadette Ornelas. “We had taken eight girls, but we were shorthanded on the boys side and only took four.”

The girls got singles wins from their top four seeds, Megan Fuentez, Dakota Long, Doni Marquez and Janette Perea, along with Meagan Lopez and Julie Licon at No. 7 and 8 seeds. In doubles, Fuentes and Long, Moore and Perea, along with Hope Mora and Marcem Meneje were winners.

The closest match for the boys was a 9-7 loss by Derek Barron and Elias Alvarado to Reagan County’s Stephen Aguilar and Andrew Villarreal.

Ornelas said the Eagles had also been scheduled to face Midland Trinity, but that match was cancelled, and the team’s scheduled tournament this weekend at Midland High also has been postponed. The Eagles’ next action will e on Feb. 8-9 in Andrews, the first of five varsity tournaments for Pecos before their District 2-3A tourney on April 1 in Fort Stockton.

Pecos (9) vs. Big Lake (8) Boys Singles Elias Alvarado lost to Stephen Aguilar, 8-1; Avery Valeriano lost to Andrew Villarreal, 8-5; Joe Gabaldon lost to Jonathan Forga, 8-0. Girls Singles Megan Fuentes defeated Maynell Subia, 8-6; Dakota Long defeated Rayea Evans, 8-3; Doni Marquez defeated Janie Rivera, 8-6; Janette Perea defeated Ianeria Calanaco, 8-6; Hope Mora lost to Yaquiro Ramirez, 8-0; Marceum Meneje lost to Taelor Young, 8-5; Meagan Lopez defeated Kai Miller, 8-6; Julie Licon defeated Krista Campbell, 8-6. Boys Doubles Derek Barron and Alvarado lost to Aguilar and Wharton, 9-7; Valeriano and Gabaldon lost to Forga and Montano, 8-1. Girls Doubles Fuentes and Long defeated Subia and Evans, 8-5; Marquez and Perea defeated Calanaco and Rivera, 8-6; Mora and Meneje defeated Young and Campbell, 8-6; Lopez and Licon lost to Miller and Portales, 8-6.

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