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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, November 16, 2007

Pecos netters qualify for USTA state tourney

Four Pecos high school and junior high tennis players will be in Central Texas this weekend, competing in a state 14 and under tennis tournament.

Eagle freshmen Dakota Long, Megan Fuentes and Tanner Hardwick and Crockett Middle School eighth grader Geronimo Ornelas will be at the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch outside New Braunfels for the two-day USTA Junior Team Tennis Tournament. Pecos High School tennis coach Bernadette Ornelas said Jesse Long would be the parent taking the team to New Braunfels, and they would also have two players from Odessa, Dylan O’Michael and Amanda Bradshaw, playing with them to create a six-player team.

“We’ve never had a 14 and under team before,” Ornelas said. Pecos has participated in the USTA program in the past and this year in the 18 and under division, with teams from Monahans, Fort Stockton and Ozona making up the area district.

Ornelas said Pecos advanced out of their district to the 14 and under intermediate area competition two weeks ago against teams from Midland and Odessa. “They beat Midland 40-20 and beat Odessa 40-19,” she said, adding that the point totals were based on the number of games won per match.

The tournament will begin at 8 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

Eagles forced to shift lineup for Monahans

The Pecos Eagles swim team will have at least a couple of lineup changes on Saturday at the Monahans Invitational, where they’ll get to see a couple of their main regional rivals for the first time this season.

Pecos will close out their pre-Thanksgiving schedule by going to Monahans, with diving set for 5 p.m. on Friday and the swim finals for 11 a.m. on Saturday. The Eagle boys come off a big win at the Pecos Invitational last week, while Pecos’ girls were fifth, but only 12 points in back of division co-champs Clovis and Odessa High.

But coach Terri Morse said Pecos will have to swim on Saturday minus junior Josh Elliott, and could also be without junior Hector Roman on the boys’ side. Both picked up one individual goal medal in Pecos and were members of the 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relay teams, which also finished first. “I’ll have Luke (Serrano) in place of Josh in the 200 medley and 400 free, and I’ll have to find somebody else for him (Roman) if he goes.”

The girls could also be without sophomore Anatalia Roman for the meet, which will feature two-time defending Region I-4A champion El Paso Chapin and El Paso Andress, which Pecos beat out by 12 points last year for the Region I-4A title.

“Andress doesn’t have that many kids, but the ones they have are good,” Morse said.

As a result of the possible absences, senior Matthew Florez in the 100-yard freestyle would be the only boys’ entry for Pecos seeded first going into the meet, though Roman would also be seeded first in 1-meter diving on Friday.

On the girls’ side, freshmen Alyson Reynolds is seeded first in both her events on Saturday. She has the best time going into the 200-yard individual medley, which she won in Pecos a week ago, along with the 500-yard freestyle, which she didn’t swim last week.

All of the District 3-4A schools are scheduled to be at the meet, while Amarillo Caprock will be another Class 4A squad the Eagles will be seeing for the first time this season.

With the cancellation of the inaugural Andrews Invitational due to delays in completion of the Mustangs’ new pool, Pecos will have two weeks off following Saturday’s meet. Their next event will be the Seminole Invitational on Dec. 7-8.

Pecos routs Van Horn in home opener

The defense is still ahead of the offense for the Pecos Eagle girls’ basketball team, but the offense was able to come up with enough baskets Tuesday night to score an easy victory over the Van Horn Eagles.

Pecos’ starters didn’t allow Van Horn a point during their 5 1/2 minutes in the game during the first period, coming up with a series of steals off the full-court press. But the Eagles also missed a number of shots and by the middle of the second period, saw a 9-0 lead reduced to 20-16.

Pecos then scored the final five points of the first half and went on to outscore Van Horn, 30-11 in the final two periods for their first win of the season, 55-27 in their 2007-08 home opener.

“I felt like we played really well defensively. Our press worked real well,” said Eagles’ coach Donna Gent, who’s still hoping to see some improvement on offense. Pecos missed a series of early jump shots, and on the night were only 4-for-15 from the foul line, after a 1-for-12 performance in their season-opening loss last week in Alpine.

“We worked on the free throws, and we’ll get there,” said Gent, who added most of her players are still adjusting after coming out from volleyball. Gabby Garcia was the only Eagle to hit a free throw on Tuesday, and led Pecos with 14 points. She also had seven of Pecos’ first nine points, as guard Brittany Palomino found her inside for a pair of quick lay-ups, and she then hit three of four foul shots, around a lane jumper by Diana Parada, as part of Pecos’ 9-0 run to start the game. Gent then put her second team in, and Van Horn finally got on the scoreboard, on a three-point play by Emily Baltazar with 1:31 left in the period.

The visiting Eagles closed the gap to 11-6 by the end of the quarter, before the Eagles widened the margin back to nine, at 17-8, on two lay-ups by Katherine Moore and a jumper by Olivia Castilleja. The margin would reach 11, at 20-9, after a basket by Veronica Tarin, before Van Horn scored seven straight points, on a steal and lay-up by Aubrey Durbin, a 3-point jumper by Monica Corrales and two foul shots by Jenna Flores.

That cut the lead to four with just over a minute left in the half, but Parada then came down and hit a jumper in the lane and Jasmine Rayos was then able to connect on a 3-point jumper with four seconds left, widening the margin back to nine. Pecos then scored the first eight points of the second half, beginning with another Garcia lay-up off a pass from Palomino and followed by a lay-up by Tarin and two baskets by Parada, the second off a Palomino steal. The Eagles ended the period up 39-21, and would outscore Van Horn by a 16-6 margin in the final quarter, as their full-court press continued to cause problems for Van Horn through the end of the game.

“Everyone who came off the bench I felt contributed. Each game we’re getting better,” Gent said.

Parada also was in double-figures for Pecos with 10, while Corrales’ nine points led Van Horn. Gent said Moore ended up leading the Eagles with seven assists while Palomino had seven steals. “Everyone on the team did have a steal,” said Gent.

The Eagles improved to 1-1 on the season and will get a tougher test at home on Friday, when they host the 2-0 Kermit Yellowjackets, which routed Pecos’ District 2-3A rival, Fort Stockton, by a 66-31 score on the Prowlers’ home court on Tuesday.

“That will be a tough test, because Kermit’s got a lot of girls who can shoot, and they play hard,” the Eagles’ coach said. Pecos scrimmaged Kermit last month, though both teams were missing several players due to volleyball.

Pecos also won Tuesday’s junior varsity game by a 40-18 final score. Destiny Simmons led Pecos with 10 points. Pecos’ freshmen didn’t play on Tuesday and will open their season on Friday against Kermit. Both the JV and ninth grade games are scheduled for 5 p.m. starts, with the varsity game to follow the JV in the new gym, at 6:30 p.m.

Boys’ basketball opener pushed back

New Pecos Eagles boys basketball coach Sammy Soliz will have a couple of extra days to decide on his 2007-08 varsity squad, after the Eagles’ season opener on Friday against Sweetwater was cancelled.

“Sweetwater is still in the (football) playoffs, so they cancelled the game,” Soliz said. Pecos’ season opener will now be on Monday, at home against the Alpine Bucks, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Soliz moved up from junior varsity to varsity coach, taking over for Chaun Brooks. He inherits a team that had only one non-senior on the squad last season, and that for only the final few games of the District 2-3A schedule. The Eagles ended up losing to Monahans in the final game last season and missed the playoffs with a fourth place finish in district ,with a 1-5 record, 7-17 overall.

“I just got the football guys out on Saturday, so this is everybody’s first full workout,” he said on Monday. “Saturday was just mainly a walk-through. “Coach (Oscar) Luna and I pretty much have an idea, but it’s not set in stone, especially with grades going in Friday,” Soliz said. “I’m trying to figure out who’s passing and who’s not.”

He did say that unlike the past two seasons, when the Eagles’ varsity squad has been made up almost entirely of senior players, this year’s group would have some younger players.

“Right now anybody we put on the varsity won’t have any varsity experience, but we won’t be senior-oriented,” he said. Pecos does have seven seniors out, while junior Joseph Rodriguez is the only player to have been with the varsity a year ago.

Rodriguez was brought up late in the season to help with rebounding, and Soliz said, “Right now our biggest concern is something we can’t help, which is size.”

The Eagles will have a little more size this season up front than last year, with Rodriguez, junior Paul Zubeldia and seniors William Bailey and Quinton Roman, but will remain one of the shorter teams in the area. Soliz said his other tentative varsity players are seniors Chris Sotelo, Matthew Rodriguez and Jesus Roberto Lujan, juniors Timothy Reyes and Dario Portillo and sophomore Edgardo Madrid.

“We have 28 kids out on just the JV and varsity, so we’ve got a lot of kids showing up to play. We’ll just have to see how it goes,” he added.

Pecos’ freshmen and JV teams also will start their 2007-08 seasons on Monday against Alpine. It will be Pecos’ only game before Thanksgiving, with their next action not until Nov. 29, at the Coahoma Tournament. Pecos’ other tournaments will be in Wink and Alpine, the latter coming the weekend after New Year’s Day, while their district schedule will open at home on Jan. 25 against defending 2-3A champion Fort Stockton.

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