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Friday, January 5, 2007

Swimmers end break with trip to Lubbock

The Pecos Eagles swim team will have most of their squad in action, as they end their three-week Christmas break on Friday and Saturday at the Lubbock Invitational, the final meet for the Eagles before district competition in late January.

“I know three won’t be getting to go, but everyone else probably will, so we’ll have about 23 there,” said Eagles’ coach Terri Morse. She said two had been absent from workouts during the holiday break, while Cassandra Mata has been sick and will miss this weekend’s races.

“I changed the girls’ relays up, mainly in the medley,” Morse said, while adding the individual events the Eagles swim at Lubbock may not be the same ones they swim in two weeks, when the District 4-4A meet takes place in Monahans. “I don’t want to give away what I’m going to do, but some will swim in different events, while some of the others will be in the ones they’ll swim at district.”

One change on the boys’ side will be due to an extra event at this weekend’s meet. Morse said Hector Roman would skip one of his swimming events to compete in the 3-meter diving competition, which will be held following Friday’s preliminaries. The normal 1-meter diving event will open the meet, at 9 a.m. on Friday.

“Hector’s doing both, because we felt he could score more points there than he could in swimming. But he’ll still be doing the relays,” Morse said.

This weekend’s meet is the second of three trips to Lubbock this season for Pecos. They were there for a relay meet to open the season, and will return in February for the Region I-4A meet. Morse said the meet will start at 1 p.m. both days, and teams from as far away as Houston would be entered in the meet.

“Everybody from our district but Wylie and Big Spring will be there,” she said. Other Class 4A schools from Amarillo and Pampa who the Eagles will see at regionals will also be in the field at Lubbock.

Late mistake costs Pecos in 45-44 loss at Ozona

The Pecos Eagles girls’ basketball team had a disappointing start to the new year on Tuesday night in Ozona, as they gave up a late lead and dropped a 45-44 decision to the Lions.

“I think inexperience and youth cost us the game,” said Eagles’ coach Debbie Garcia, as the Lions were able to get a turnover and score just before the final buzzer.

“We had the lead with three seconds left in the game, and had the ball under our basket,” said Garcia. “I told them when they inbounded the ball to immediately call a time-out, so that when play resumed the ball would be near midcourt and closer to me, but one of my young players didn’t call the time out. She had the ball and got bumped and thought it was a foul, but it wasn’t called and they took it and scored.”

Pecos fell behind by six after one period, as Ozona was hot early and grabbed a 17-11 lead. But the Eagles were able to tie the game at 23-all by halftime and led 33-29 going into the final period.

Pecos got most of their points from their front line players, as Adrianna Armendariz led all scorers with 19 points, while Chantel Mazone added 10 before fouling out late in the game. “Adrianna had a very good game,” Garcia said. “It shouldn’t have been as close as it was, but we got into a little foul trouble with Chantel early in the fourth quarter.”

“Jenny Palomino came in and did an excellent job defensively,” the Eagles’ coach said. “I also thought we got some good looks and passed the ball extremely well inside, but we didn’t make enough baskets. We rebounded well, but we couldn’t get the second shot in.” Ozona was led by Meagan McDaniel with 14 points, while Alysha Lara had 10 for the Lions.

The loss was the fourth straight for Pecos, and dropped the Eagles to 4-9 on the season going into their Friday night game in Greenwood against the Rangerettes. Greenwood is 4-15 on the season and come into the game off a 47-40 loss on Tuesday night at Monahans. Ashley Unger led the Rangerettes with 14 points in the loss.

Pecos did come away with a 59-48 win over Ozona in Tuesday’s junior varsity game. Crystal Ikeler and Veronica Tarin had 12 points apiece to lead the Eagles.

Eagles offense has cold start to new year

Two weeks of rust made the Pecos Eagles look like a pretty slow team on Tuesday afternoon against the Andrews Mustangs, who had their own problems in their early going of the teams’ first game of 2007. But the Mustangs were able to start finding the range by late in the second period, while it took the Eagles until the fourth quarter to finally get going, and they saw a comeback try fall short in a 53-41 loss.

“They didn’t look like a shadow of the team that went to Fort Stockton,” said Eagles’ coach Chaun Brooks, whose team routed Wink in their final pre-Christmas game on Dec. 16. “We’re still out of shape. This is not the same team that beat Wink by 27 points.

“We shot badly today. We waited until the fourth quarter to finally wake up, and we’ve got to work on that,” said Brooks, who took advantage of the early start on Tuesday to hold a post-game workout following the loss.

The Eagles were able to cut a 19-point deficit late in the third period down to five, at 41-36 midway through the fourth quarter. But the missed a chance to get the game even closer and Andrews’ Bradley Miller then hit the second of his two 3-pointers, as part of a game-high 18 points, and the Mustangs were able to regain control of the game after that.

Neither team looked good in the first period, during which only four points were scored in the first six minutes of play. Lucas Macha hit a side jumper on the Eagles’ first possession of the period, and Chris Garnto would hit a 3-pointer in the closing seconds, which turned out to be enough to give Pecos a 5-4 lead entering the second quarter.

But the Eagles were having problems moving the ball upcourt against the Mustangs’ press, which continued in the second period. A Jeremy Rodriguez basket midway through the quarter and a jumper by Macha just prior to halftime were the only points for Pecos.

Andrews’ main problem was throwing cross-court passes out of bounds, but guard Craig Lee finally got his team on track, coming up with three baskets while Aaron Quencedo had a pair of assists and a foul line jumper for the Mustangs, who took a 19-9 lead at halftime. Quencedo and Lonni Madrid would nail three-pointers to start the second half, widening the lead to 16. Macha hit a 3 after that but the Eagles didn’t start making a dent in Andrews’ lead until the end of the third period.

A basket by Macha closed the quarter and made it a 36-19 game, and the Eagles would start the final period with a 17-5 run. Garnto and Rodriguez hit 3s at the start of the run, and Mark Molina would hit twice from behind the line to make it a 41-33 game Macha then hit one foul shot and would score off a rebound lay-up, but after Miller’s 3 the Eagles’ outside shooting went cold again, while the Mustangs shifted their defense to take away the 3-point chances.

The lead was just seven with 2:18 to play, but Andrews then scored off consecutive back-door lay-ups by Quencedo and Miller, both of which also drew fouls and widened the lead back to 12 with 1:06 remaining.

Macha tied Miller for high-point honors with 18, but no other Pecos player was in double figures, while Andrews’ Madrid ended up with 11 points. Aside from their problems shooting from the field, Pecos also struggled at the line, hitting only three of their 12 foul shots.

“That’s just a lack of practice. Everybody wants to shoot 3s, but they don’t want to work on their foul shots, so that’s what we’re going to do,” Brooks said.

The loss gave Pecos a 6-10 record going into their Friday afternoon game against the Jal Panthers at the Pecos High School gym. The varsity game is set for a 1:30 p.m. start, while Pecos’ JV will take on the Panthers starting at 12 noon. The teams met back in November at Jal, with the Eagles coming away with a 56-38 win, and then again in December during tournament play at Wink, with Pecos coming out on top by a 37-26 score.

Andrews also won Tuesday’s ninth grade and JV games, by scores of 44-30 and 48-34. Sammy Sandoval led the freshmen with 13 points and J.R. Lujan’s 11 topped the JV in scoring.

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