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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Eagle girls claim division win in EP Montwood golf tourney

The Pecos Eagles girls’ golf team had problems during the opening round of play for the second time in as many weeks on Friday, but the bracketing system at the El Paso Montwood Tournament allowed the Eagles to come back on Friday and win a divisional title.

The Eagles shot a 399-378-777 to win the second division of the 36-hole tournament, coach Tina Doan said. “The first day they grouped us all together in one division, and on the second day they grouped the Top 5 individual teams in one division, and then they grouped the second five, and we placed first in that second division,” she said.

A week after cutting their opening day score by 67 strokes at San Angelo following a 427 opening round, the Eagles’ improvement from Friday to Saturday wasn’t as drastic in El Paso. But Doan said, “We did not play well in the first day. We did not have good course management.”

“It was a good experience for us to have, but we’ve got to learn how to play both days,” she added.

Carolina Briones and Rica Pino both shot 186s to lead Pecos, Briones with a 97-89 total and Pino with a 98-88. Tatum Windham and Ari Alligood each shot 206 for the tournament; Windham with a 95 on Friday and a 111 on Saturday, while Alligood went from a 109 on Friday to a 97 on Saturday. Katrina Hinojos finished at 230 for the 36 holes, but cut her opening day total by 20 strokes, shooting a 125-105 on the Painted Dunes Golf Course.

“We had four of the Top 10 medalist in our division. If they had kept us all together, we would have placed fourth overall and had two in the Top 10,” Doan said.

She said El Paso Coronado took first overall in the tournament, which was made up mostly of Class 4A and 5A teams. “Clint was in the tournament, and next year we’ll be in their same district, and we finished ahead of them,” Doan said.

The varsity girls are off this week, while Doan said the Eagles’ junior varsity team will go to Andrews for a one-day tournament on Thursday. Pecos’ boys, who were off this past weekend after opening their spring 2008 season in Monahans, will return to play on Friday and Saturday at the Fort Stockton Invitational.

PHS boys claim regional title, girls take second place

The Pecos Eagle boys were able to survive the absence of one key team member to pick up their eighth Region I-4A Swimming and Diving Championship in nine years on Saturday, while Pecos’ girls were able to come away with one new regional record and second place overall in the team standings in the regional finals, at the Pete Ragus Aquatic Center. The boys were able to hold off El Paso Andress by one point, 110-109, to claim their eighth 4A title in the nine years since sub-Class 5A schools were given their own regional and state meets. They also qualified for state in the 200 medley relay and five individual events.

Pecos’ girls finished with 80 points to 116 for Chapin, which won their fourth straight regional crown. The Eagles finished nine points in front of runner-up El Paso High and after being shut out from any state berths for the first time last year, will send freshman Alyson Reynolds to Austin, after she set a new regional record in winning the 500-yard freestyle.

“The boys did about what I hoped, and the girls went a little better than what I expected,” said Eagles’ coach Terri Morse, who’ll be taking five swimmers to the Class 4A state finals at the University of Texas in Austin on Feb. 22-23. “The thing about the girls is they’re very, very young, and they’re starting to see what this level of swimming is all about. So next year, I expect them to be right there.”

The boys entered the meet minus junior Hector Roman, after he was injured when the van he was driving crashed a week before the regional meet began. Roman, who placed seventh at state in 1-meter diving last year, was favored to win the regional title, but in his absence, teammate Sammy Sandoval, who placed third at district, moved up one spot along with Andrews’ Colton Taff and earned his first trip to the state finals with a second place finish.

Sandoval had 263.50 points, 20 more than at district, 12 in back of Taff and 11 in front of his teammate, David Marez. “We changed on dive in hopes of getting first place. That didn’t work out, but he got second, so we’re real proud,” said diving coach Joan Capshaw, who won the Coach of the Year honors for boys I-4A diving despite Roman’s absence.

Also picking up a meet award was senior Matthew Florez, after he captured both the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle races. Junior Josh Elliott had Pecos’ other two individual gold medal finishes, taking the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard backstroke, and both were members, along with Derek Teague and Carlos Navarro, of the 200-yard medley relay, which opened up the swimming finals by winning with a 1:45.30 time.

Elliott took the 200 individual medley with a 2:05.89 time and won the 100 backstroke in 57.15; while Florez won the 50 free with a 22.41 time and took the 100 free in a 49.38 time.

The Eagles also picked up a second in the final event of the meet, the 400-yard freestyle. Pecos went into that race five points ahead of Andress, which had won the 400 relay in Friday’s prelims, and knew they had to finish no worse than one spot behind the El Paso group of Eagles in order to win the regional title.

Andress ended up winning again with a 3:26.64 time. Pecos was able to claim second with Florez, Elliott, Teague and Edward Navarro finishing with a 3:29.11 time, which gave them the team title, but was four seconds short of earning an at-large berth in the state finals.

“I thought all the boys did a good job and stepped it up. We won the races we had to win, and in the ones where we couldn’t win, we either moved up or held our place,” Morse said. Like the diving, both relays had to go without Roman, who was part of the two squads when they won first at district on Jan. 26. “The boys stepped up when they were called on. They did what they needed to do, and I’m proud of them,” Morse said.

Reynolds, who had broken the District 4-4A record in the 500 two weeks earlier, cut six seconds off that winning time in Lubbock, taking the regional title with a 5:29.73 time. Earlier, she had placed third in the 200-yard individual medley.

The girls also had to survive some adversity at regionals, as Morse said freshman Conner Armstrong, who won both her events at district, wasn’t feeling well going into Friday’s prelims. She was still able to qualify in both the 100-yard freestyle and 100 backstroke, and moved up from eighth place to fourth in the 100 free while holding on to her No. 3 spot in the 100 backstroke from Friday to Saturday.

The girls’ other finishes included a fourth by Adrianna Roman in the 500 freestyle and a fifth in the 200 free; seventh by Anatalia Hernandez in the 200 individual medley and 100-yard butterfly; a fifth by Neyva Rodriguez and a sixth by Niki Lindemann in the 100 free; The boys’ also had several others qualify in the Top 8 on Friday to advance to the finals. On Saturday, Edward Navarro was sixth in the 200 freestyle; a sixth by Carlos Navarro in the 200 medley; a fourth by Edward Navarro, fifth by Frankie Morin and seventh by Gus Mendoza in the 500 free; a fifth by Luke Serrano in the 100-yard backstroke; and a fifth by Carlos Navarro and seventh by Teague in the 100-yard breaststroke.

“I think this year for both the boys and girls the three things we stood for were pride, determination and resiliency, especially the last one,” Morse said. “They really had to be resilient this year to overcome obstacles.”

Aside from Andrews Taff in 1-meter diving, the only others out of District 4-4A to advance to Austin this year were the Mustangs’ Danielle Alaniz, who finished second in the girls’ 1-meter diving, Big Spring’s Cameron Hughey in the boys’ 50 free and Midland Greenwood’s Jocelin Drennan, who won the girls 100-yard fly. The freshman also placed second in the 200 medley and was chosen as the meet’s outstanding female swimmer.

Eagles edge Longhorns in warm-up for playoffs

Being at a size disadvantage isn’t that unusual for the Pecos Eagle girls’ basketball team. But being at a disadvantage in quickness hasn’t been a problem for this year’s Eagle team, until Friday night in Buena Vista.

The Class A Longhorns spent much of the night using their quickness to get open for shots inside and outside against the Class 3A Eagles, as both teams prepared for the playoffs with a practice game at the Imperial High School gym. Buena Vista led by as many as 10 points in the second period before the Eagles started to turn things around, taking the lead in the third quarter, but not securing a victory until Miranda Graham missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer, which allowed Pecos to escape with a 53-52 win.

“Give credit to Buena Vista, they’re a very good little team and very quick,” said Eagles coach Donna Gent. “They’ve got some good ballhandlers and they caused some turnovers we shouldn’t have had, but they weren’t able to press us successfully. We handled their pressure.”

Diana Parada was able to tap her own missed shot to Veronica Tarin, who hit a lay-up with 45 seconds remaining to give the Eagles their 51-50 lead. Tarin then blocked a short jumper by Buena Vista’s Roni McDowell with 33 seconds left, but Pecos would give the ball up when Gabby Garcia was called for traveling while trying to get a pass inside to Jasmine Rayos with 10 seconds to play.

Pecos then put pressure on guards Lauren Ivy and Cat Olivas, who combined for 30 of the Longhorns 50 points, but that left Graham, who had hit three 3-pointers earlier in the game, open on the left side. She was able to get off a shot with two seconds left, but it bounced high off the back rim as the game ended.

Parada struggled through a one-point night, but Gent said, “Diana had the flu. It was bad enough she went to the doctor, but she’s such a trooper she didn’t want to come out.”

While Buena Vista had the most points from behind the 3-point line, the Eagles ended up taking more shots from long distance. Pecos hit five 3s, one less than the Longhorns, but ended up winning the game due to their better foul shooting, as they went 14-for-18 from the line, while Buena Vista was 14-for-26, with most of those misses coming in the final period. “This week we worked on a 3-point drill, and I told them if they were open to take it, and that’s what they got, but they weren’t looking inside enough when the posts were open,” Gent said.

Garcia, who led Pecos with 21 points, had six of Pecos’ eight points in the opening period. Rayos, who finished with 17, had the bulk of the Eagles’ points early in the second period, but a 3 by Graham and an Olivas lay-up made it 22-15 midway through the quarter, and after a 3-pointer by Brittany Palomino, McDowell hit two more free throws and, after Garcia matched those foul shots, Olivas and Graham nailed back-to-back 3s to give Buena Vista a 30-20 lead.

Pecos was able to get back to within six before halftime, on two more foul shots by Garcia and a rebound lay-up by Rayos just before the buzzer. The Eagles then found the range from the outside as the third period started, with Palomino and Rayos hitting from 3-point range to cap a 9-2 run that put Pecos ahead, 33-32.

Pecos’ last lead before Tarin’s lay-up was on a three-point play off a rebound basket by Garcia, but Olivas, who led all scorers with 22, answered with a 3 for a 50-48 lead. Buena Vista went up 51-48 on a McDowell foul shot, but she and Ivy would miss six foul shots down the stretch.

McDowell would put the Longhorns back in front at 52-51 with a free throw at the one minutes mark, after Garcia tied the game with a lane jumper and a foul shot, but on the next series down Parada missed a short jumper on the right side, but was able to knock the rebound over to Tarin, who had an uncontested lay-up.

“Our rebounding a felt like was OK, but it just seemed like we were too relaxed,” Gent said. “I felt like we didn’t put any pressure on until the fourth quarter. We were just kind of blasÈ until they finally decided to play.”

The win allows the Eagles to go into the playoffs with a record above .500 for the first time since 1991, at 13-12. They’ll now await the winner of Monday night’s bi-district game between Greenwood and Seminole at Odessa College. Gent said the area round playoff game would be held in Odessa either on Thursday or Friday at a site to be determined.

Pecos advanced to the area round for the first time last year with a bi-district win over Tornillo, before falling to District 3-3A champ Snyder. Seminole was the District 4-3A runner-up while Greenwood finished third in 3-3A, but won two games last month over Pecos.

District 2-3A runner-up Monahans will face Tornillo on Tuesday night in Van Horn for the right to face Andrews in the area round of the playoffs, while Presidio and Fabens were to face each other in Pecos on Monday, with the winner going on to play Levelland in the area round.

Pecos’ playoff hopes ended with loss at Presidio

The Pecos Eagles’ hopes for a playoff berth in boys’ basketball was ended Friday night in Presidio by the Blue Devils, who pulled away from the Eagles in the final period to clinch a playoff spot with a 53-37 win.

Pecos trailed by just four points, 36-32, late in the third period, but were outscored17-5 the rest of the way by Presidio, which also outscored Pecos by a 18-3 margin from 3-point range. Oscar Carrasco had three of the Blue Devils six 3-point shots as part of his 13 point night, while Pablo Rodriguez had one 3-pointer and was a perfect 10-for-10 from the line, leading all scorers with 19 points. J.R. Lujan was the lone Pecos player to hit double figures in the game, finishing with 12.

The win improved the Blue Devils’ season record to 10-13, and 3-2 in District 3-3A play, going into their final regular season game on Tuesday night against Fort Stockton. Pecos saw its record fall to 5-20 on the year, and kept them winless in 2-3A play, at 0-5.

The Eagles close out their 2007-08 season at home on Tuesday night with a 7:30 p.m. game against Monahans. The Loboes also clinched a playoff spot with Pecos’ loss, despite dropping a 62-47 decision at home to Fort Stockton on Friday. Monahans beat Pecos on Feb. 1 in the teams’ first district meeting by a 65-61 score.

Play will begin on Tuesday at 6 p.m., with the final regular season game for Pecos’ JV, as they take on the Loboes’ JV. That game will be played in the old Pecos High School gym, while a Class 5A bi-district girls playoff game between Lubbock Monterey and El Paso Americas will be played in the new gym at 5 p.m., prior to the boys’ varsity game between the Eagles and Loboes.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321

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