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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, December 7, 2007

Swimmers return from break with weekend trip to Seminole

The Pecos Eagle swimming team will see a few new swimmers from New Mexico this weekend, when the end a three-week break competing at the Seminole Invitational.

Head coach Terri Morse said diving would start at 5 p.m. on Friday, while the timed finals for the swimmers would begin on Saturday at 11 a.m. All five of the Eagles’ District 4-4A rivals will be entered at the meet, along with the host Indians and Pampa Harvesters out of the Panhandle District 3-4A. Teams from New Mexico include Hobbs, Artesia, Carlsbad, and Clovis, with the Cavemen and Bulldogs swimming in Texas for the first time this season.

Pecos has been idle since Nov. 17, when the boys and girls placed third at the Monahans Invitational. Both Eagle squads were short swimmers for that meet, but Morse said she would have her full lineup for this weekend.

“Some are swimming different things, but most are swimming about the same thing as they usually do,” she said. “I’m making a couple of changes in the relays to see what things look like and to see all avenues before district.”

Pecos originally had been scheduled to swim in Andrews last weekend, but that meet was cancelled due to delays in finishing up the Mustangs’ new pool, which also led to next month’s District 4-4A meet being moved from Andrews to Pecos. But Morse said, “We had some pretty tough practices last week,” in place of the scheduled meet.

Pecos has one more meet scheduled prior to the Christmas break, next weekend in Abilene. The Eagles will have invitationals in Fort Stockton and Lubbock after New Year’s Day, and will host the 4-4A meet on Jan. 25-26.

Late game errors cost Pecos in last-second loss

The Pecos Eagle girls weren’t the only team to avenge an early season road loss Tuesday night on their home court. The Alpine Bucks boys’ basketball team did the same thing as Pecos’ girls did to Alpine on Tuesday, turning around a road loss and beating the Eagle boys on their home court.

The Bucks jumped out to a big first quarter lead, then rallied in the closing seconds after Pecos had come back to take a one-point lead and defeated the Eagles by a 39-38 final score.

The loss dropped Pecos to 2-4 on the season going into their opening round game at the Wildcat Classic in Wink on Thursday. The Eagles faced the host Wildcats in a 1:30 p.m. game in the six-team tournament. A victory would put Pecos into a 1:30 p.m. game on Friday against Jal., N.M., while a loss would drop them into a consolation game against one of the tournament’s three other teams, Eunice, Seagraves or Kermit, starting on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Coach Sammy Soliz said Pecos was able to fight back from a 12-4 deficit after one period, cutting Alpine’s lead to 18-14 at halftime and to one, at 25-24, after three periods. The Eagles were able to grab the lead in the final period, but Soliz said, “We made a couple of costly turnovers.

“We were still up by a point with 17 seconds left. They were pressing us, and we got the ball inside to one of our kids, but we just didn’t know the situation,” he said. “Instead of passing it back out with the lead, he put up a shot and missed, and they got the ball and went down and scored on a lay-up. “Then we still had time, but again, with a young team we didn’t know the situation, and we ended up shooting a half-court shot with eight seconds left in the game,” he said.

“I can’t complain about the defense. That’s carried us all year long. But talking with coach (Oscar) Luna and coach (Ken) Wallace, we need to work on handling those situations and improving our free throws,” said Soliz, after the Eagles were 13-for-25 from the foul line. “We also need to work on our boxing out, because Alpine was able to hurt us there.”

The Eagles got 28 of their 38 points from J.R. Lujan and Paul Zubeldia, who finished with 14 apiece. The Bucks had no players in double figures, but nine players scored at least two points in the win. Marcos Ramos’ eight points led the Bucks, who are 3-3 on the season after an 0-3 start.

Alpine also won Tuesday’s junior varsity game by a 55-24 score, while Pecos won the freshman game. No score was available for the Eagle ninth graders’ win.

Pecos’ junior varsity also will be playing in Wink this weekend, and starting play with a 10:30 a.m. game on Thursday against Jal. Pecos’ freshmen will be heading up the road another 50 miles for their games this weekend, at the Andrews Freshman Tournament.

Eagles lose big lead, but hold on for victory

Things may have been a little too easy for the Pecos Eagles on Tuesday night, in the first 1 1/2 quarters of their game against the Alpine Bucks.

Pecos’ girls jumped out to a 24-7 lead early in the second period against Alpine, and were still up by 17 late in the second quarter when the Bucks began a comeback, cutting a 29-12 lead to 40-38 early in the fourth quarter, before the Eagles were able to get going again and pull away for a 56-45 victory.

“I think when we went in at halftime, we thought we had it,” said Eagles’ coach Donna Gent. “The third quarter is usually our best quarter, but we came out and kind of struggled.”

Alpine’s Melissa Martinez and Megan Oliphant began controlling play inside against Pecos just before halftime, allowing the Bucks to cut the 17-point deficit down to 11, at 32-21. Then in the third period guards Ruby Brito and Kayla Urias began hitting their shots, while the Eagles were unable to get their offense back in gear.

Oliphant would go outside to hit a 3-point jumper early in the final period to cut the lead to two, and Alpine would get the ball back with a chance to tie or take the lead, when Pecos guard Diana Parada came up with a steal and lay-up to slow the Bucks’ momentum. Urias would hit one of two foul shots after that, but Gabby Garcia followed with the last of her four 3-point jumpers, then hit a lay-up off a pass from Jasmine Rayos, as the Eagles were able to get past the Bucks’ full-court press for several late lay-ups, which allowed them to pull away.

The Eagles used their full court press to come up with a couple of baskets in the opening period and one off a steal in the fourth quarter, but had to be careful on Tuesday, with only seven players suited out for the varsity game. Gent said Pecos was shorthanded due to the absence of senior Gia Lujan due to family concerns, while sophomore Alyson Salcido decided to quit the team to concentrate on track.

“She had wanted to quit after the first game, but I talked her into staying and trying it through the first tournament,” Gent said. “Track is something she has a chance to go somewhere in, and I want her to do what makes her happy.”

She said Lujan may return later, and that she would probably bring up Brittany Quintana and Aileen Rayos from the junior varsity for this weekend’s Wildcat Classic in Wink.

“The girls on the varsity right now seem to have a good chemistry,” she said. “We’ll look at a couple of other people and see how they do, and just to give us more people to go to if we get into foul trouble.”

The Eagles stayed out of foul problems for the most part on Tuesday, with the exception of post Claire Weinacht, who had to sit out much of the second half due to foul trouble. She was able to return late and had a couple of lay-ups after the Eagles had beaten the Bucks’ press.

“Poor Claire tonight, every time she turned around she was called for a foul,” Gent said. “On the last foul, their girl (Urias) tripped over her own feet, and she just happened to be running by and they called a foul on her.”

Pecos built their big early lead mainly on outside shooting by Garcia and Rayos, who were left open by the Bucks’ defense. Garcia led all scorers with 21 points despite only one 2-point field goal, while Rayos finished 14, and also had a couple of rebound lay-ups. Parada and Brittany Palomino also were able to find openings inside for baskets in the early going, while Brito had five of Alpine’s first seven points. She finished with nine, while Urias had 11 to lead the Bucks, who improved to

The win avenged a season-opening 44-38 loss by Pecos in Alpine, and raised the Eagles back over the .500 mark for the season at 6-5, while Alpine is now 7-2 on the year.

Gent said Pecos originally had been scheduled to face Wink in their tournament opener on the Wildcats’ home court, but instead would take on Seagraves at 3 p.m. on Thursday in their first round game. A win would move Pecos into a 9 a.m. semifinal game on Friday, while a loss would drop the Eagles into a consolation bracket contest, at 6 p.m. on Friday.

Pecos also won Tuesday’s junior varsity game by a 43-34 score. Aileen Rayos led the Eagles with eight points. The JV will also be in Wink for tournament action this weekend, and began play with a 9 a.m. game on Thursday against Jal, N.M. Pecos’ freshman team, which played its first games of the season last weekend at Imperial, was off on Tuesday, and isn’t scheduled to play again until Dec. 21, when the Eagles go to Midland Lee.

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