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for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, December 14, 2007

Buffaloes pen up Eagles’ offense in 65-40 win

The Pecos Eagles had the answer for the first double-digit lead the Stanton Buffaloes took Tuesday night at the Pecos High School gym. But after Stanton took away that option at the start of the second quarter, the Eagles weren’t able to find another way to keep up with the Buffaloes, and ended up losing by 65-40 final score.

“We’re going to find that teams are always going to be taller than us,” said Eagles’ coach Sammy Soliz, as Stanton controlled play inside for almost the entire game, and were able to take away Pecos’ outside shooting game after the first period.

Garrett Fulton and Tyler Fulton kept Stanton’s offense in gear, and kept getting post Adam Evans some easy open shots underneath. Evans had eight points in the first four minutes of play while a Garrett Fulton jumper with three minutes left in the period gave Stanton a 14-3 lead.

Pecos’ only points had come on an Edgardo Madrid 3-pointer, after the Buffaloes had taken a 5-0 lead. He then broke the 9-0 run with another 3, and Dario Portillo and Jonathan Dominguez followed with 3s of their own, while Pecos was able to tighten up their interior defense as the quarter came to an end. The trio of 3s cut the lead to 14-12, and J.R. Lujan then tied the game by grabbing a 3-point attempt by Dominguez that was blocked by Tyler Fulton, and putting it in from 12-feet away at the buzzer.

“Coming into this year, I thought perimeter shooting would be one of our weaker points, but for the last four games we’ve been hitting our shots outside,” Soliz said. “But they got out of their zone and went to more of a man-to-man type of game after the first period.” Tyler Fulton would open the second quarter with a foul line jumper, part of his 12 points on the night, but Paul Zubeldia then gave Pecos what turned out to be their only lead of the game, hitting a lay-up while getting fouled by Evans 30 seconds into the second period. The three-point play put Pecos up 17-16, but a minute later Evans would hit a lay-up and was fouled by Zubeldia, and followed up his three-point play with another lay-up for a 21-17 Stanton lead.

Lujan would hit a lay-up to get Pecos back to within two, but Evans then connected on his sixth lay-up of the half, and two more lay-ups by Garrett Fulton and David Erives followed, for a 27-19 lead. Pecos would add just three more points in the half, which ended with a steal and lay-up by Justin Hinojosa that gave Stanton a 33-22 lead.

“We had the shots we wanted inside, but we just didn’t knock them down,” Soliz said. “Our offense was working, and we were able to get the ball where we wanted to get it, but we just weren’t knocking them down.”

While the Eagles were missing their shots inside the 3-point line, they also weren’t getting more than one shot each trip down, while the Buffaloes scored several times off second- and third-chance opportunities, to go along with the back-door passes to Evans, which finished with a game-high 20 points.

“For some reason our backside guys weren’t moving on defense much. We tried to go into our zero, which is our man (defense), but they just executed their plays every well,” Soliz said.

The margin would grow to 17 points by the end of the third period, as the Eagles again struggled to score. They got a lay-up by Zubeldia to open the period, but wouldn’t get another basket until Madrid hit a jumper with under two minutes left in the quarter, which ended with Pecos trailing 46-29.

The Buffaloes’ lead in the final period would grow to as many as 28 points, at 60-32. Tyler Fulton and Evans would have back-to-back three-point plays, and Victor Rodriguez would hit from 3-point range after a Jeremiah Soto lay-up. Soto and Lujan would account for all 11 points for Pecos in the final period.

Lujan led Pecos with 14 points and Madrid added 10 for the Eagles, who fell to 4-6 on the season going into their Friday home game against Coahoma, which lost by two points two weekends ago in the finals of their own tournament that Pecos also participated in, going 1-2 in their three games.

“Coahoma played Stanton tight, so it’s going to be another tough game,” said Soliz, who is hoping to get two more players, guard Chris Sotelo and post Quenton Roman, off the ineligible list in time for Friday’s game.

Pecos’ big early lead on Big Spring stands up

The problems on offense the Pecos Eagle girls’ basketball team suffered through last weekend during tournament play in Wink were gone in the first quarter of their Tuesday night home game against the Big Spring Steers. But the Eagles again ran into problems scoring in the second half on Tuesday, though that didn’t become a major problem against the Steers, who had problems all game long putting the ball into the basket.

Pecos scored more points in the first four minutes of Tuesday’s game – 11 – than they did in the entire second half. But the Eagles were up by 18 at halftime, 31-13, and held as much as a 24-point lead in the final period before settling for a 41-23 victory against their former district rival.

“In the second half our shooting percentage was horrible,” said Eagles’ coach Donna Gent. “In the fourth quarter we shot eight percent and we only shot 21 percent in the third quarter. I told them for now we’re playing teams we’re capable of staying ahead of even when we play like that, but when we get to the playoffs, shooting eight percent we’re not going to be capable of beating anyone good.”

Big Spring dominated girls basketball for most of the late 1980s and 1990s, when t he Steers and Eagles were both members of the same Class 4A district. But the Steers have run into problems on offense this season and in the first half on Tuesday were unable to stop the Eagles from getting inside for a series of baskets.

Claire Weinacht opened the game with a rebound lane jumper and a lay-up, and after a rebound basket by the Steers’ Lindsey Yarbler, Pecos ran off 12 of the final 14 points of the period to take a 16-4 lead. Jasmine Rayos had a three-point play and Danielle Garcia scored twice from inside and then hit the first of her three 3-point shots to give Pecos a 14-2 lead. Catherine Moore had a rebound basket for the Eagles’ other two points of the period.

Baskets by Jordan Chesworth and Caty Partez got the Steers back to within eight as the second period opened, but a Kristen Ikeler foul shot, Garcia 3-pointer and a Rayos lay-up increased the lead to 22-8. The Steers’ Dominique Green would then hit a lay-up and 3-pointer to make it 22-13, but Garcia then banked home a shot, Rayos hit a 3-pointer and Diana Parada hit from the foul line to widen the lead back to double-digits.

Garcia would hit two foul shots, while Green missed two from the line with 1.2 seconds left in the half off a foul by Weinacht, the first foul of the game for Pecos.

The Eagles’ foul totals went up as their point totals went down in the final two periods. Pecos was whistled for 11 fouls in the third and fourth quarters, but both teams struggled from the field and the foul line. Weinacht and Rayos would score in the opening two minutes of the period to put Pecos ahead by 22, but the Eagles could only manage a 3-pointer by Garcia the rest of the period.

Big Spring only had four points in the quarter and trailed by 24, at 41-17, with three minutes to play, before closing out by scoring the game’s final six points.

“Right now we just don’t seem to be able to put a full game together,” Gent said. “Against Central at the Greenwood Tournament we were flat in the first half and then took it to them in the third quarter, and against Seagraves at the (Wink) tournament, we were flat in the first half and then came out and played in the second.”

Garcia finished with 18 points and Rayos had 10 for the Eagles, who are 7-6 on the season. Gent said Garcia also had nine rebounds and four steals in the win, while Parada had four assists and three steals and Weinacht had seven rebounds.

The Eagles are off this weekend, and will return to action next Tuesday in Kermit against the Yellowjackets, who beat the Eagles in Pecos last month by a 44-37 final score. After that, Pecos goes to Midland to face the Lee Rebels in their final game before the Christmas break.

“Those are going to be two tough opponents, but we will get Veronica Tarin back. She’s eligible as of this Friday, and that will help with our rebounding,” Gent said. Big Spring did win Tuesday’s junior varsity game, 41-40. Andrielle Martinez scored 14 points to lead the Eagles.

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