Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Stockton races past Pecos in 2-3A opener
The Fort Stockton Panthers got their running game going, and the Pecos Eagles never got their rebounding on track Friday night, and the result was an easy win for the Panthers in the teams’ District 2-3A boys basketball opener.
The defending district champs went on a 15-0 run in the first quarter and were up by 16 at halftime, on the way to a 78-47 win over the Eagles at the Pecos High School gym.
“We can say size is going to kill us, but we weren’t battling their rebounders,” said Eagles’ coach Sammy Soliz. “We just have to box out on the back side and not let them go straight up.”
Offensively, the Eagles didn’t have as many openings as the Panthers, getting several shots blocked inside by Fort Stockton, while failing to convert on others when they did have their chances.
“We had the shots we wanted on offense working pretty good, but we were just missing a lot of shots in the paint,” Soliz said. “If somebody comes out and plays you, you’ve got to take the defender to the goal, and hopefully, they can find you open on the back side.”
Fort Stockton pushed the ball upcourt from the outset, but was off-target on their shots in the early going. After Joe Daniel Granado, who led all scorers with 23 points, hit a foul line jumper to open the game, Pecos scored six straight points, off two Timo Reyes lay-ups and a pair of free throws by J.R. Lujan.
But Frankie Rivas, who finished with 14 points, then hit a side jumper and Lambert Gonzales, who finished with 18 followed with a lay-up to tie the score. Rivas then hit another jumper to put Fort Stockton ahead to stay and Trey Cantu then connected on the first of his three 3-point shots on the night, and the Panthers suddenly had an 11-6 lead.
That lead would grow to 17-6 before Luis Morales ended the run with a side jumper just before the end of the first period. But the Panthers then came out and outscored the Eagles 12-5 in the first 3 1/2 minutes of the second quarter to go up by a 29-13 score.
The teams would trade points for the rest of the half, but the third period opened with a 3-pointer by Granado, one of three in the period by the Panthers, who also got rebound baskets off their own missed foul shots by Cantu and Blaine Burtch, and led by 28 after three quarters.
Lujan would get a couple of three-point plays early in the final period, and Paul Zubeldia would also convert a foul shot after a lay-up in the opening two minutes of the quarter. But Fort Stockton’s Sergio Corral also was converting on lay-ups, and the Panthers would go up by 31 points, at 71-40, off a steal and lay-up by Cantu, which turned out to by the final margin of victory.
Pecos did have a scoring advantage from the foul line, but still had problems there, going 13-for-22, while Fort Stockton managed only 7-for-22 from the line. Zubeldia led the Eagles with 15 points, while Morales had 13, including one of Pecos’ two 3-pointers in the game.
“We were 2-for-11 from 3-point range,” Soliz said. “We knew from the beginning of the season we weren’t going to be strong shooting from the outside, but we’ve got to hit our shots in the paint.”
The loss left Pecos with a 5-15 record going into their 7:30 p.m. game at home Tuesday night against Presidio. The Blue Devils also dropped their district opener on Friday, losing at Monahans by a 48-32 final score. Following Tuesday’s game, Pecos goes on the road Friday to face Monahans, the first of three straight district road games for the Eagles.
Fort Stockton also won Friday’s freshman and junior varsity games. The JV and ninth graders will also face Presidio on Tuesday, in the old PHS gym starting at 4:30 and 6 p.m.
Trapped Prowlers can’t escape Eagles
The lowest-scoring game for the Pecos Eagle girls basketball team so far in District 2-3A play was also their best game so far in district play, and gave the Eagles a two game lead at the halfway point of the 2-3A schedule.
The Eagles scored almost as many points in the first quarter as the Fort Stockton Prowlers did in the entire game on Friday night, as Pecos used a full-court press to force Fort Stockton into a series of turnovers and beat the Prowlers by a 44-16 final score.
“We wanted to make a statement,” said Eagles’ coach Donna Gent. “We only beat Monahans by 10 and beat Presidio by 10, and there’s no reason for us not to dominate this district.”
The Eagles had scored 60 and 48 points in their first two district games, against Presidio and Monahans, but needed the points because they trailed both the Blue Devils and Loboes after three quarters of those games. On Friday, the Prowlers got off to a 3-0 lead on a Mary Gonzales lay-up and a foul shot by Reba Bernal, but wouldn’t score in the final six minutes of the opening period.
Pecos tied the game when Brittany Palomino banked in a 3-point shot, and took the lead for good midway through the period on a free throw by Gabby Garcia. Garcia would then add a lay-up, while Catherine Moore would score off a rebound lay-up and Jasmine Rayos closed out the quarter with a lay-up and a 3-pointer at the buzzer off assists by Diana Parada to give the Eagles a 13-3 lead.
Fort Stockton would get the lead under 10 points only once, when baskets by Maribel Silvas and Heather Garvin made it 15-7. But Palomino then scored off a missed shot, Veronica Tarin found Rayos for another lay-up and Garcia hit a foul shot with just under 10 seconds left in the half for a 20-7 lead.
“I felt like we put good pressure on top and forced them to turn over the ball,” said Gent. “We shot better tonight than we did against Monahans, though we’re still not where we need to be, and we didn’t shoot well on our free throws (7-for-18).”
Gent said Garcia, who hurt her thumb in Pecos’ final game before district play began, is still bothered by the injury. The junior finished with 11 points, but was only 5-for-10 from the foul line.
“Her thumb has really been hurting her. It’s been taped up, but it’s still a problem, and when you hurt your thumb it throws off your shooting, because she’s not getting good rotation on the ball,” she said.
No Fort Stockton player had more than one basket in the game, and the Eagles would widen their lead to 32-10 after three periods. Rayos, who led Pecos with 15 points had another 3-pointer in the quarter, while Tarin scored all seven of her points in the final period, when Pecos’ lead reached 29 points on several occasions.
Pecos’ win and Monahans’ 42-34 victory at home over Presidio means all three of Pecos’ district rivals are 1-2 in 2-3A play, while the Eagles are 3-0, and can clinch a playoff spot on Tuesday night with a victory at home over the Blue Devils. The win also improved the Eagles’ overall record to 11-12 going into Tuesday’s game, which will be the final home game for Pecos during the regular season.
“Tuesday’s going to be a physical game, and I’m hoping Brittany Palomino will be back 100 percent,” Gent said. Palomino had missed last Tuesday’s win over Monahans due to illness. “Kristen Ikeler did a good job again coming over the bench and Vedo (Tarin) and Catherine did a good job for us on the boards tonight.”
The Eagles also won Friday’s junior varsity game over Fort Stockton, 33-20. Carrisa Cerna led Pecos with 12 points. The JV will face Presidio on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., followed by the varsity game at around 6 p.m.
Eagles repeat sweep of district swim titles
An easy win as expected for the Pecos Eagle boys’ swim team was coupled with a win by a wider margin than expected by Pecos’ girls in their home pool Saturday afternoon, as both teams were able to repeat as District 4-4A Swimming and Diving Champions.
Pecos’ boys captured their 17th district title in the past 19 seasons while the girls won their 15th district title in the past 18 years on Saturday. The boys won with 138 points to 71 for second place Monahans, while the girls took their division title by 24 points, scoring 105 to 81 for second place Andrews.
“They did a lot better than I thought they would. They really turned it around,” said Eagles’ coach Terri Morse of the girls’ win. “Some things went our way yesterday (Friday), and then the adrenaline just starts pushing you.”
The girls had five first place finishes and one new district record set, by freshman Alyson Reynolds, who won the 500-yard freestyle in 5:36.63. That was 25 seconds ahead of teammate Adrianna Roman and almost two minutes ahead of the last of the six finalists, which ended up causing a controversy, when both Reynolds and Roman left the wall and swam back out in their lanes before Fort Stockton’s Jenny Reyes finished her laps.
Andrews coach Mike Waldman said a swimmer at regionals in Lubbock had been disqualified for doing the same thing in the past, and the coaches and head meet official Bill Marshall spent almost a half-hour in Morse’s office arguing the situation before it was decided the two could keep their first and second place finishes.
Morse said that while the swimmer in Lubbock was disqualified, “It’s not a rule in the rule book. We just have to go with the Federation rules. It may imply a disqualification there, but there’s nothing in the rulebook that requires it, and they didn’t re-enter the pool or interfere with anybody else, so he (Marshall) just gave them a warning.
“The good thing was even if they had been disqualified, we still would have won the meet, because we were more than 12 points ahead of them. So I’m happy it worked out that way without any questions,” she added.
Reynolds placed second her other race, the 200 individual medley, to Greenwood freshman Jocelin Drennan, who also took the 100-yard butterfly and was named the Outstanding Swimmer of the meet on the girls’ side. Roman had earlier taken first in the 200-yard freestyle with a 2:13.11 time, while freshman Conner Armstrong picked up two gold medals for Pecos, edging teammate Niki Lindemann by .34 second to win the 100-yard freestyle with a 60.65 time, and then taking the 100-yard backstroke with a 1:08.79 time.
Pecos’ other first place finish came in the final race of the day, the 400-yard freestyle relay, where Armstrong, Roman, Reynolds and Neyva Rodriguez won with a 4:07.08 time. Armstrong, Lindemann, Reynolds and Anatalia Hernandez had been edged out for first by Andrews in the opening race of the day, the 200-yard medley relay, finishing .21 behind the Mustangs with a 2:04.09 time. The Eagles’ other relay, the 200-yard freestyle, placed second, with Rodriguez, Lindemann, Roman and Hernandez finishing two seconds in back of Andrews.
Hernandez also qualified in two individual events, placing second to Drennan in the 100-yard butterfly and third in the 200-yard individual medley.
Lindemann finished second to Andrews’ Alison Mohr in her other race, the 50-yard freestyle, and Rodriguez placed fourth in the 100 yard freestyle and fifth in the 50 free.
The other Eagle girls to place in the Top 6 and earn a berth in the regionals in Lubbock were Maggie Hernandez, who finished fifth in the 100-yard butterfly and was sixth in the 200 medley; Stephanie Lucas, fourth in the 100 fly and fifth in the 100-yard backstroke; and Dakota Hegar, who was sixth in the 50 freestyle.
The boys already had picked up one first place finish on Friday, when Hector Roman took the 1-meter diving competition with a 401.35 score. They earned seven more gold medals on Saturday, and while no district records were broken, senior Matthew Florez was able to break the 50 second barrier for the first time while winning the 100-yard freestyle, and also won Outstanding Swimmer honors overall for the boys’ division.
Florez won the 100 free with a 49.82 time, after taking the 50 free with a 22.52 time. Both wins came after he had finished second to Big Spring’s Cameron Hughey in Friday’s preliminaries. Junior Josh Elliott also won both of his individual events, taking the 200 medley with a 2:09.51 time and then winning the 100 backstroke with a 57.89 time.
The other individual win for Pecos came from junior Frankie Morin, who took the 500-yard freestyle with a 5:31.24 time, half a second in front of teammate Edward Navarro. Pecos also placed first in the 200-medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay. Elliott, Florez, Roman and Carlos Navarro won the medley, with a 1:47.25 time, while Florez, Roman, Elliott and Derek Teague won the 400 freestyle, with a 3:37.14 time.
“There were some better finishes for the boys than I expected,” Morse said. “Several of them finished high, and in the 500, I didn’t know if (Monahans’) John Ray would win it our if our guys would, but we ended up getting 1-2 in the race.”
Pecos’ other relay, the 200 freestyle of Morin, Teague, Luke Serrano and Gus Mendoza, was edged out for first by just under one second by Monahans. The other individual qualifies for Pecos included Edward Navarro and Mendoza, third and fourth in the 200 freestyle; Serrano and Carlos Navarro, fourth and fifth in the 200 medley; Teague, second in the 50 free; Sammy Sandoval, third in the 1-meter diving; Brian Carrasco, fourth in the 100 fly; Roman, third in the 100 free; Mendoza and Abraham Lujan, fourth and fifth in the 500 free; Serrano and Morin, third and fourth in the 100 backstroke; and Carlos Navarro, Carrasco, Teague and Oscar Machuca, second through fifth in the 100-yard breaststroke.
Morse collected Swimming Coach of the Year honors on both the boys and girls sides, while Joan Capshaw was named Diving Coach of the Year for the boys with Ramon and Sandoval placing first and third in that event. The swimmers and divers will be entered in the Region I-4A Championships at the Pete Ragus Aquatic Center in Lubbock on Feb. 7-9. The winners there will automatically qualify for the Class 4A state championships two weeks later in Austin, along with swimmers who earn one of the eight at-large berths in each race.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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