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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, February 1, 2008

Pecos lifters place fifth at Monahans meet

The Pecos Eagle boys and girls powerlifting teams both placed fifth last weekend, picking up one individual division win apiece in their second meet of the 2008 season, held in Monahans on Saturday.

Coach Jeff Green said Job Darpolar in the boys’ 220-pound weight class, and Deandrea Bailey in the girls’ 220-and-up weight class placed first, with Darpolar also earning Outstanding Lifter honors overall at the meet for the boys’ in the upper weight class divisions.

Darpolar had a combined total of 1,295 pounds for his bench press, squat thrust and dead lifts, which was 175 pounds more than his combined total two weeks earlier, in the Eagles’ season opening meet at the old Pecos High School gym. Bailey won her weight class with a combined 765-pound total, and Green said, “Most of them improved on their totals,” though the Eagles didn’t have as many entries this past weekend as they did at home two weeks earlier.

“I only had seven boys and 10 girls,” he said. “I think the bus left a little early for some youngsters.”

Three of the six other boys entered were able to place at the meet. Alonzo Villalobos took second in the 242-pound weight class, with a combined lift of 1,100 pounds; Lucas Chavez was third in the 148-pound weight class, with a 950-pound total; and Jake Varela finished fourth at 198 pounds, with combined lifts totaling 945 pounds.

The girls had two other lifters earn medals Saturday. Katherine Ramirez and Makayla Hernandez were second and third in the 198-pound division, with lifts of 630 and 545 pounds respectively. Four other Pecos lifters placed fifth in their divisions – Kayla Natividad at 105 pounds, with a 330-pound total; Ashley Ornelas at 114 pounds, with a 550-pound total; Kary Rodriguez at 132 pounds, with a 515-pound total, and Myra Moreno at 165 pounds, with a 520-pound total.

Green said the meet featured 12 boys teams and 15 girls teams. It was the second of four regular season meets for the Eagles, with the next one set for Feb. 9 in Kermit.

Pecos girls heading to Crane for first softball scrimmage

The Pecos Eagles girls softball team will hold the first of their two pre-season scrimmages this Saturday morning in Crane, with coach Tammy Walls getting her first look at some players while looking to fill some holes both offensively and defensively in the Eagles’ 2008 line-up.

“I should have everybody,” Walls said, as she’s been minus over half her players for the Eagles’ opening workouts due to basketball and swimming. That includes Pecos’ one returning pitcher from last season, Gabby Garcia, while Walls will also be looking to find a new catcher, after returning starter Claire Weinacht suffered a season-ending knee injury on a ski trip in early January.

“We’ll pitch Gabby, and Crystal (Ramirez) and maybe Brittany Palomino,” she said, “Some of the other freshman I haven’t had a chance to work with, one is in swimming and four are in basketball, so I’ll just get them out there and see what they have.”

She said at catcher, “I’ve been looking at a couple of kids, but I won’t really know until we get into a game situation, because that’s such an important position on the field. You’ve got to be ready mentally and physically.”

Walls said she expects Saturday’s scrimmage to only be against the Golden Cranes, while next weekend’s scrimmage in Pecos will match the Eagles against both Crane and Alpine. Pecos’ regular season opener is also at home, on Feb. 16, when they’ll host Kermit and Seminole.

The Eagles also have pre-district home games against Crane and Greenwood, and road contests in Seminole, Snyder and Marfa, along with tournaments in Crane and Lubbock in late February. The District 2-3A schedule again will be three rounds this year, with Pecos playing five of their nine district game at home, starting on March 17 against Monahans. Their final regular season game will be on April 18, also at home against Presidio.

Turnovers bedevil Eagles against Blue Devils

Taking care of the basketball was a game-long problem for the Pecos Eagles on Tuesday night, in their game against the Presidio Blue Devils.

Presidio’s boys came out aggressive on defense, and used a series of turnovers to built as much as a 10-point lead in the first period, then would foil Pecos comeback attempts several times in the second half with baskets off steals, as the Blue Devils beat the Eagles by a 52-43 final score.

“In the pregame we were telling them ‘every possession counts’, and then we end up with 27 turnovers,” said Eagles’ coach Sammy Soliz. “That’s 27 less possessions, and our game plan was every possession we’ve got to get at least one shot.”

Edgar Ramirez and Ruben Guerrero also connected on a trio of 3-point shots in the first half after Pecos had cut a 12-2 deficit to 12-7. Ramirez had two 3s as part of his game-high 16 points, the second one to open the second quarter, and which put the Blue Devils on top by 12, at 21-9.

“The guys just didn’t make things easy. In the second quarter they put their big kid (Isai Hernandez) on Paul (Zubeldia), and we let him go 1-on-1 on his, but our kids didn’t notice the mismatch until coach (Oscar) Luna and I pointed it out,” Soliz said.

Pecos would cut that lead down to three over the next few minutes, as Zubeldia hit a lay-up, J.R. Lujan connected from the outside, including a 3-pointer. Zubeldia then hit a jumper in the lane and was fouled by Hernandez with 2:10 left in the half to cut the lead to 21-18. But Zubeldia missed his chance at a three-point play, and Presidio would then close out the half by hitting two more 3-point shots, by Oscar Carrasco and Pablo Rodriguez, to widen the lead back to nine at halftime.

Presidio would again go up by 12 early in the third period, and the Eagles would again get the back to three late in the quarter. This time it was two lay-ups by Timo Reyes, a Luis Morales basket, a three-point play by Jonathan Dominguez and another jumper by Zubeldia that turned a 33-21 deficit into a 35-32 margin. And the Eagles would get the ball back when Presidio’s Ruben Baeza picked up his third foul. But Guerrero and Carrasco would come away with lay-ups off steals on Pecos’ next two possessions, and the Eagles would end the period trailing 41-34.

A couple more steals turned into lay-ups would increase the lead back to 11, at 46-35, before the Eagles made their final run. A steal and lay-up by Chris Sotelo, two foul shots by Lujan and a lay-up off a steal by Morales got Pecos to within five with two minutes remaining. But a Sotelo lay-up with 1:39 left was wiped out by a charging call, Guerrero and Rodriguez would then hit foul shots and the Eagles’ defense allowed Ramirez to get behind them for a full-court pass and lay-up off an inbounds pass with just under a minute to play to seal the victory.

“We had two guys we mainly wanted to shut down, No. 15 (Ramirez) and No. 10 (Rodriguez) and we let them get loose,” Soliz said. “Paul played well down low, and in the second half we were able to get the shots we wanted, but we just made too many mistakes.”

Zubeldia led Pecos with 12 points while Lujan had 10, as the Eagles fell to 0-2 in district 5-16 on the season, with their next three games in 2-3A play all on the road, starting on Friday night in Monahans against the Loboes. Monahans, 16-point winners over Presidio in their district opener, lost on Tuesday night to Fort Stockton, 68-63.

Presidio also won Tuesday’s junior varsity game over Pecos by a 66-28 score. Soliz said there was no freshman game on Tuesday, and the ninth grade and JV teams will be combined on Friday night against Monahans, in a 4:30 p.m. game. The varsity game will start following the conclusion of the Pecos-Monahans varsity girls’ game, at about 7:45 p.m.

Eagles earn playoff spot after struggle

There wasn’t anything pretty for the Pecos Eagles, in their playoff-clinching victory Tuesday night over the Presidio Blue Devils, other than the final score itself.

The Eagles spent most of the game jumping out to leads of five to nine points, only to see the Blue Devils rally, taking the lead at one point late in the first half. Presidio then cutting an eight-point Pecos lead in the third period to as little as three with under two minutes to play, before the Eagles did just enough on defense and at the foul line to come away with a 42-33 win.

“It was like we’d play hard for a few minutes and get a five-point lead and then we’d just relax,” said Eagles’ coach Donna Gent. “Jasmine (Rayos) only scored two points. I know they were playing her close, but Jasmine just didn’t shoot tonight. But Gabby (Garcia) got back in her shooting rhythm, and Vedo (Veronica Tarin) had a good game.”

Rayos had the game’s first points, on a rebound lay-up, but wouldn’t score again the rest of the night. Garcia would hit two jumpers and a lay-up, to go along with a pair of free throws later in the period, which ended with the Eagles up 13-10. But Pecos would need a steal and lay-up by Garcia late in the second quarter to go in at halftime with a 17-16 lead. Two baskets by Diana Parada opened the second half, and she then found Garcia for a lay-up to give the Eagles a 23-16 lead. The margin would reach eight, at 29-21, late in the period after another steal and lay-up by Garcia, but free throws by Doraley Garcia and Nikki Ortiz and a three-point play by Garcia helped Presidio get back to within four early in the final period.

“Diana did well in spurts, but she was overshooting her target on a lot of her passes,” Gent said. “It just felt like we were flat tonight.

“I thought Brittany Palomino, Aileen Rayos and Brittany Quintana did a good job staying on No. 3 (Ortiz), because she had most of their points the first two times we faced them. She had 21 then so we cut that total in half (10 points).”

Pecos would get a jumper by Quintana and a free throw and lay-up by Tarin in the final period, and were back up by seven, at 36-29, with 2:27 to play after two foul shots by Parada. But Garcia, who led all scorers with 19, then connected on two more free throws and scored on a lay-up with 1:56 to play to get the Blue Devils within 36-33.

That turned out to be Presidio’s final points, though they would have several more chances to score. The Eagles were able to force the Blue Devils into some bad shots and three turnovers, though after Parada hit two more free throws with 1:39 to play Pecos kept things close by going 4-for-13 from the foul line in the final 90 seconds of play.

The win got the Eagles back to the .500 mark on the season, at 12-12, and with a 4-0 record in district, assured Pecos of their second straight trip to the playoffs. The Eagles can clinch their first outright district title since 1970 on Friday with a win in Monahans over the Loboes, who improved to 2-2 in district play with a 43-27 win on Tuesday over Fort Stockton.

“We’ve had off games and on games. Hopefully this was our off-game and we’ll be on for our game against Monahans on Friday,” Gent said. “I know Monahans is going to be at the top of their game anytime we play them, so we’ll have to be at the top of our game.”

Pecos also won Tuesday’s junior varsity game over Presidio by a 45-29 score. Olivia Castilleja led the Eagles with 13 points. Friday’s game will start at 4:30 and 6 p.m., and Pecos will then close out their regular season next Tuesday night in Fort Stockton.

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