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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, December 5, 2003

Eagles cage Lions' 3-point shooters

Staff Writer

Nine days after a 40-point loss to the Andrews Mustangs, the Pecos Eagles started off the opening game of the Gym Bice Memorial Basketball Tournament in Andrews like they were headed for another 40 point loss.

This time, the opponent was the Lubbock Trinity Lions, who in the first four minutes of Thursday's game, jumped out to a 10-1 lead over Pecos. But then all the shots that didn't fall in their previous game started going down and all the offensive rebounds they didn't get last week they were able to corral, as the Eagles reeled off 11 straight points to get back into the game, then used an 18-3 run in the third period to jump out to a 50-38 lead before holding on for a 64-58 victory over the Lions.

"That's what we've been working on all this week," coach Joe Flores said. "We've been averaging 26 percent from the floor and we needed to improve. We finally shot over 30 percent, which is good for us."

The win earned the Eagles a second chance match-up against Andrews, tonight at 8:30 p.m. in the tournament semifinals. The winner will advance to the finals against the winner of this evening's other semifinal game, matching Snyder against Fabens. Andrews defeated Lamesa, 65-50, in their opening round game.

The Eagles won by containing Lubbock Trinity's outside shooting after a shaky start. Kaleb Hurley nailed a pair of 3s and Mark Zobeck hit one as part of the Lion's 10-1 opening run, which finally ended when Jose Reyes connected on a 3-point shot for the Eagles with 3:57 left in the opening period.

The Eagles then began finding openings inside for baskets, as Saul Pina, Oscar Parada and Ricardo Morales hit lay-ups to tie the game, and Pina then scored on a rebound basket to give the Eagles a 12-10 lead.

"As much pressure as they were giving us the posts were going to be more open than usual," Flores said, as Parada was able to break Trinity's full-court press most of the time, setting up inside scoring chances for the Eagles.

Trinity would hit four more shots from 3-point range later in the game. That included a 3-pointer by Zobeck at the buzzer in the first period that gave Trinity a 16-14 lead, and Hurley's final one with 45 seconds to play that cut Pecos' lead to 62-58. But in-between the Lions were contained from 3-point range, while only post Carson Pritchard was able to do much inside for Lubbock.

"We started off standing around, that's why we fell behind 10-1 at the beginning," said Flores. "But we've been playing an aggressive zone defense all year long."

He did enough in the second quarter to help Trinity maintain their lead, which was as much as seven points late in the first half, before inside baskets by Pina and Morales cut the lead to 33-30 entering the third period.

Reyes' second 3-pointer of the afternoon, two minutes into the third period, turned out to be the shot that would put the Eagles ahead to stay, at 37-35. He added a fast-break lay-up moments later, and after a basket by Lubbock's Scott Gary cut the lead to two, a Justin Lara lay-up began an 11-1 run by the Eagles, including seven points in the final 45 seconds, five by Jose Anchondo on a three-point play and a steal and lay-up at the buzzer.

A Lara foul shot to open the final period gave Pecos its biggest lead, at 51-38, before a 3-pointer by Zobeck started Lubbock's comeback attempt. They got the lead down to five midway through the period, and after Hurley's final 3-pointer the Eagles then missed a chance to score on their next trip downcourt, giving the Lions a chance to cut the lead to as little as one point. But Reyes was able to steal the ball from Hurley with 23 seconds left, and after Ricardo Morales was fouled and missed the front end of a one-and-one, Everett Phipps missed from 3-point range and Reyes was then fouled and hit two free throws with 3.5 seconds to play to clinch the victory.

Pina ended up leading Pecos with 17 points, while Reyes had 14 and Parada 11 for the Eagles, who are 2-2 on the season. Hurley had 18 to lead Trinity, which is 5-4 on the year.

Flores used only seven players in Thursday's win, but will have a couple of more guards in the lineup tonight against Andrews, which blew Pecos away in the middle periods on Nov. 25, turning a 10-9 lead after one period into a 68-28 victory. "We'll have Bino (Barreno) and Tick (Victor Reyes) back, so we should be able to handle the pressure better. We were not able to handle it last week," the Eagles' coach said.

PECOS (64)

Parada 4 2-3 11; Morales 4 0-1 8; Pina 8 0-0 17; Reyes 4 4-4 14; Anchondo 2 2-3 6; Lara 3 1-2 7; Medina 0 1-2 1. Totals 25 10-15 64.


Hill 2 1-1 5; Zobeck 3 0-0 9; Hurley 7 0-0 18; Turner 0 0-0 0; Bushman 1 1-1 3; Hair 1 0-0 2; Phipps 0 2-2 2; Nataorjon 1 1-2 3; Gary 1 0-0 2; Prichard 7 0-0 14. Totals 23 5-6 58.

Pecos 14 16 20 14 64

Lub. Trinity 16 17 5 20 58

Three-point goals: Pecos 4 (Reyes 2, Parada, Pina), Lubbock 7 (Hurley 4, Zobeck 3). Fouled out: Lubbock, Hair. Total fouls: Pecos 12, Lubbock 16.

Lamesa's press puts squeeze on Pecos girls

With more height and better outside shooters, the Lamesa Golden Tornadoes already had a big advantage over the Pecos Eagles going into their opening round game Thursday night at the Lamesa Tournament. And once the Tors' full-court press began giving the Eagles' guards all kinds of problems, the rout was on for Lamesa.

Ashley Hunter's lay-up off a steal midway through the opening period began a 33-0 run for Lamesa, turning what had been a 6-4 lead by the Tors into a 39-4 advantage in the final minute of the first half.

The Eagles finally broke that string just before the half was over, and fared better in the second half, when Lamesa took off their full-court press, but the Tors still added another 17 points to their lead and ended up defeating the Eagles by a 69-19 final score.

The loss dropped Pecos into a 4 p.m. consolation bracket game today against Sundown in the tournament. Sundown was beaten by El Paso Bowie, 44-39, in their opening round game.

Lamesa advanced to the Region I-3A semifinals a year ago before losing to eventual state champion Canyon, and return most of their key players from a year ago, including Hunter, who opened the game by scoring a lay-up off the opening tip. But Leslie Rodriguez scored on a lay-up on Pecos' first trip downcourt off a pass from Vanessa Garcia, and after Mari Mendoza scored off a pass from Rodriguez a few minutes later, the Eagles trailed by just two points.

But that would be the high point of the game, as the Tors took advantage of their height inside to score several times off their own missed shots, while their press produced a series of easy lay-ups.

"We just refuse to block out," said Eagles' coach Veronica Valenzuela. "One time I think they took six shots at the basket. It's the same thing at both ends. We don't block out and they get a lot of shots, and we only get one shot."

Valenzuela said following Tuesday's loss at Midland Trinity that the Eagles tried to pass over Midland's players too many times, and ended up getting their passes intercepted, and the same problems returned on Thursday. "I talked to them at halftime about it, but it just seems like I'm saying the same things over and over again."

The Eagles' best inside threat on the night turned out to be Mendoza. She had only six points, but also had several other chances in-close during the game.

"And she's barely five-feet tall," Valenzuela said. "I don't know how else to get them in there and motivate them to block out and rebound, except to run them every time."

Rodriguez hit a couple of outside shots and led Pecos with eight points, while Danielle Garcia was the only other Eagle to score in the game, finishing with five. Every player on Lamesa got on the scoreboard, with Alise Gordon, who relieved Hunter for much of the game, leading all scorers with 12 points.

The loss dropped Pecos to 1-4 this season going into their game today against Sundown. They'll finish off the tournament on Saturday with a game against either Lubbock Cooper or Lubbock Roosevelt.

PECOS (19)

Rodriguez 4 0-0 8; Carrasco 0 0-0 0; D. Garcia 2 1-5 5; M. Mendoza 3 0-2 6; Valdez 0 0-0 0; O. Mendoza 0 0-0 0; V. Garcia 0 0-0 0; Regelman 0 0-2 0; Armendariz 0 0-0 0. Totals 9 1-9 19.


Harris 2 1-2 6; Bunton 4 0-1 8; Stewart 0 1-6 1; Meador 4 0-1 8; Hunter 5 0-0 10; Gordon 6 0-0 12; Barron 3 2-4 8; Reeves 5 1-2 11; Barrington 2 1-2 5. Totals 31 6-18 69.

Pecos 4 3 6 6 19

Lamesa 23 18 16 12 69

Three-point goals: Lamesa 1 (Harris). Fouled out: None. Total fouls: Pecos 12, Lamesa 11

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Pecos Enterprise
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