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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Foul shots help, hurt Eagles at tourney

Free throws helped get the Pecos Eagles into the consolation finals of the Greenwood Invitational Tournament on Saturday. And they took away the Eagles’ chance for a win over the Midland Christian Mustangs.

Pecos, which opened the tournament with a loss to the host Rangerettes, then defeated Colorado City before using foul shots in the fourth quarter and overtime to rally for a 48-47 win over District 4-3A rival Fort Stockton. But in the consolation finals against Midland Christian on Saturday night, the Eagles started out well from the line, but hit just 5-of-20 free throws in the final two quarters against the Mustangs, who ended the game with only four players on the court but came out on top by a 53-45 score. “It wasn’t the missed shots, it wasn’t the turnovers. It was just that we missed 23 free throws,” said Eagles’ coach Ruth McWilliams, who was substituting for her husband Brent as head basketball coach this weekend due to a family illness. “It just comes and goes, and they’re streaky shooters. Sometimes we hit them, and sometimes we don’t. We hit some important ones yesterday.”

The Eagles were 6-for-8 from the line during overtime against Fort Stockton on Friday, while scoring 16 points in the final period to tie the game, after being outscored in the third quarter, 12-2 by the Prowlers. Pecos had taken a 22-18 halftime lead with a 16-point second period, after getting off to a slow start in the game and trailing by a 12-6 margin after one period.

Against Midland Christian, the Eagles led for most of the first half, and were still within two points, at 43-41, after two foul shots by Gabby Garcia with 4:51 left in regulation. But with 3:40 left in the game Garcia was fouled by Midland’s Stephanie Guthrie, who was then hit with a technical foul. She missed both foul shots, then Leia McWilliams missed the two technical free throws and Pecos then failed to score after getting the ball back, before Jessica Smitherman hit a short jumper for the Mustangs to up the margin to 46-41.

Both Guthrie and Smitherman would foul out before the game was over, as the Mustangs seven players committed 28 of their available 35 fouls in the game, sending Pecos to the foul line 39 times. Most of those were by Garcia, who finished with 27 points, while Guthrie led all scorers with 29 points, while going 14-for-19 from the line, as part of a 19-for-31 night from the line for Midland Christian.

Garcia had all nine of Pecos’ points in the opening period on Saturday, which ended with the Eagles holding a three-point lead. Olivia Castilleja made a pair of foul shots to open the second period to give Pecos a five-point lead, at 11-6. Midland would tie the game at 15 and were up 17-16 when the Eagles went on a 7-0 run, again with all the points scored by Garcia, to take a 23-17 lead. But no other Eagle would score in the half, and the Mustangs would re-tie the game just before halftime.

A few more players would get into the scoring column in the third period, as Veronica Tarin and Emily Rodriguez had lay-ups and Leia McWilliams added a free throw to help Pecos go up by a 35-31 score, before the foul shooting problems began and Midland closed out the quarter with a 7-2 run to take a one-point lead.

The Eagles’ last lead was at 39-38 on a Carissa Cerna basket, but Pecos would then miss five straight free throws before Midland Christian finally regained the lead on a jumper by Guthrie.

Garcia had 24 points in the win over Fort Stockton, and also led the Eagles in scoring in Pecos’ opening 62-36 loss to Greenwood, with 22 points, and had 19 in their 41-31 win over Colorado City in their Friday morning consolation quarterfinal game. McWilliams said she would like to see some a little more balanced scoring in the games ahead and for some of the other Eagles to be more aggressive on offense. “They’re passing up shots. We need people shooting the ball, but we’re getting girls who are open who are passing the ball to someone when they’re covered,” she said. “Gabby’s a little more aggressive than some of the other girls about getting her shots than some of the younger girls we have on the team. They’re not as aggressive, but it will come.”

McWilliams said in the win over Fort Stockton, “Kristen Ikeler, Emily Rodriguez and Carissa Cerna hit some key pressure free throws to help us win the game.” Pecos jumped ahead 45-40 in overtime before holding on in the closing seconds against the Prowlers, who were led by Gabby Salmon’s 14 points. Against Colorado City the Eagles were the ones who won the first and third quarters, taking a 13-5 lead after one period and then winning the third period by an 11-2 margin and holding that lead for most of the final period, after the Wolves got to within 22-21 at halftime. The win was Pecos’ first of the season after four opening losses, and the weekend results left the Eagles with a 2-5 season record.

In the loss on Thursday against Greenwood, which advanced to the tournament title game before falling to Odessa High, the Rangerettes’ Ashley Ricketson scored 10 of her 19 points in the first quarter, when the host team took a 19-11 lead. They widened that margin to 31-19 at halftime, and put the game away with a 17-9 advantage in the third quarter.

Greenwood, which fell in the final by a 40-36 score, came into the tournament off a 63-34 homecourt win over Big Spring, whom the Eagles will face on Tuesday on the Steers’ home court, in their final game before the start of District 4-3A play. Play will begin with the freshman contest at 5 p.m., followed by the junior varsity at 6:30 and the varsity game at 8 p.m. District play starts for the Eagles at home on Friday night against the Clint Lions.

Pecos’ JV went 1-2 in tournament play at Greenwood over the weekend, losing their opener to the Rangerettes, 62-32, then falling to Midland Christian, 47-22, before ending with a 29-25 win over Colorado City. Chelsea Roman led the Eagles against Greenwood with 12 points, Annalisa Gonzales had six in the loss to the Mustangs and Destiny Simmons led Pecos with seven in their win over the Wolves.

Pecos boys split games at Alpine tournament

The Pecos Eagle boys’ basketball team ended up with a 2-2 record over the weekend at the Ramada-Brian Wilson Memorial Basketball Tournament in Alpine, with wins over Marfa and Van Horn and losses to Ponder and District 4-3A rival Fort Stockton during the two-day tournament.

“We went 1-1 both days,” coach Sammy Soliz said, suffering a 25-point loss along with a couple of injuries in the consolation finals to Fort Stockton on Saturday, after a 48-47 win over Van Horn earlier in the day. The Eagles opened up the tournament with a 78-29 loss to the defending Class 2A state champions, who went on to win the tournament, but then came back later on Friday to beat Marfa by a 67-45 final score.

“We had foul trouble for the first time all year against Fort Stockton, and Junior (Carrasco) got injured in the first quarter, so he didn’t play the rest of the game,” Soliz said. “Sammy (Sandoval) got hurt as well, so we were pretty shorthanded the rest of the way.”

Soliz said Carrasco suffered an ankle injury that kept him out of the final three quarters of play. “He twisted his ankle a little the first day against Ponder and came back and played, but reinjured it in the first quarter against Stockton and didn’t make it in again. Sammy had a shoulder injury that had been bothering him that he hurt.”

Despite the losses, Soliz said, “I really was pleased with our guys. All year long we’ve been pushing defense, defense, defense, and this weekend we ran our offense really well and were getting off the shots we should get. We’re still not getting to the free throw line as much as we should, but hopefully we’ll get the kinks out.”

Ponder followed up their win over Pecos with an 86-68 victory over Fort Stockton, and ended up winning the tournament title by beating Kermit in the finals, 100-31.

Soliz said the Eagles would have a couple of days to try and heal up, with no scheduled game on Tuesday. Pecos’ next game will be at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday in the opening round of the Monahans Tournament against Andrews, which finished third in their own tournament this past weekend.

The winner will face Midland Christian on Thursday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. in a quarterfinal match-up, while the loser will be off until 1 p.m. on Friday, when they’ll take on Kermit, Fort Stockton or Greenwood in a consolation semifinal game. Fort Stockton faces Alpine and the host Loboes take on Presidio in the other tournament openers.

Swimmers sweep dual meet over Panthers, Loboes

The Pecos Eagles swim team came up with their third dual meet victory of the season on Thursday, beating the Monahans Loboes and Fort Stockton Panthers in a meet at the Monahans High School pool. Pecos’ boys scored 147 points to 104 for Monahans and 65 for Fort Stockton, while on the girls’ side, the Eagles won by a 140-112 margin over Monahans, with Fort Stockton third with 33 points.

The win came despite being a little shorthanded, as coach Terri Morse said senior Josh Elliott and freshmen Lauren Elliott were both away at the state FFA competition, forcing her to shift her relays and some of the individual events. However, Eagles’ coach Terri Morse said the boys did have senior Hector Roman back swimming and diving for the first time since his surgery two months ago.

Pecos did earn wins in two of the three relays, as Edward and Carlos Navarro along with Frankie Morin and Derek Teague too the 200-yard freestyle with a 1:42.19 time, and later won the 400 free with a 3:46.53 time. Hector and Gregory Roman, Abraham Lujan and Gus Mendoza were fourth in that race as the Eagles’ ‘B’ relay team, while the 200 freestyle ‘B’ team of Hector Roman, Tye Hegar, Austin Demor and Clay Teague also placed fourth.

In the 200-yard medley relay, Hegar, Mendoza and both Romans swam as the ‘A’ relay and finished third, while Lujan, Demor, Clay Teague and Luis Villescas were the ‘B’ relay and placed fifth.

Individually, the Pecos had a couple of 1-2 finishes on the day, the first by Hector and Gregory Roman in the 1-meter diving. Hector Roman won with a 208.20 score while Gregory was second with a 181.75 total. The second was in the 200 free, where Edward Navarro won with a 2:00.92 time, while Morin was second, seven second behind.

The boys also got a first from Derek Teague in the 200 individual medley with a 2:23.42 time; with Lujan fourth and Demor fifth; from Carlos Navarro, with a 24.24 time in the 50 free while Gregory Roman was fifth and Villescas 10th; a first by Edward Navarro in the 500 free, with a 5:34.69 time, while Lujan finished third; a first by Morin in the 100 backstroke with a 1:07.14 time, with Mendoza fourth and Clay Teague fifth; and a first by Carlos Navarro in the 100-yard breaststroke, with a 1:10.42 time, with Hegar placing third.

The other finishes for the Eagles were a second and third by Mendoza and Demor in the 100-yard butterfly; and a third by Derek Teague, fourth by Hegar, ninth by Villescas and 10th by Clay Teague in the 100 free.

The girls swept all 11 events at the meet, had three races where they placed first and second and two others where the Eagles claimed the top three positions.

Conner Armstrong took the 100-yard backstroke with a 1:10.71 time, while Anatalia Hernandez and Tiffany Hunter placed second and third; and in the 100-yard butterfly, Alexcia Mendoza won with a 1:11.04 time, with Hernandez second and Victoria Machuca third. In the 200 individual medley Mendoza won with a 2:30.82 time, with Maggie Hernandez second, in the 50 freestyle, Armstrong took first with a 28.67 time, while Dakota Hegar finished second; and in the 100 free it was Adrianna Roman winning with a 1:03.63 time while Hegar was second, .12 second behind.

The other individual wins for Pecos’ girls came in the 200 free, while Roman took first with a 2:18.10 time and Hunter was fifth; the 500 free, where Alyson Reynolds won with a 5:47.99 time, with Maggie Hernandez third; and the 100-yard breaststroke, where Reynolds won with a 1:17.29 time and Machuca placed third.

In the relays, Armstrong, Reynolds, Mendoza and Hegar took the 200 medley with a 2:05.20 time; Mendoza, Hegar, Roman and Anatalia Hernandez took the 200 free with a 1:54.55; and Hernandez, Armstrong, Roman and Reynolds had a 4:15.21 time in winning the 400 free relay. Pecos had no ‘B’ relay teams on the girls’ side.

The Eagles were originally scheduled to swim at the Seminole Invitational this coming Saturday, but have canceled out of that meet, and instead will stay at home for another dual meet against Monahans at Fort Stockton, starting at 6 p.m. on Friday, with diving set for between 4 and 4:15 p.m. It will be the last home meet for Pecos this season along with their final meet before the Christmas break.

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