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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Pecos lifters get first, second in opening meet

The Pecos Eagle girls placed first in their division, while Pecos’ boys finished second in a 10-team field at their own powerlifting competition, held at the old Pecos High School gym. Almost all the teams scheduled to compete were able to make the trip to Pecos, despite icy conditions to the north and east of town. Pecos’ girls scored 47 points to win their division by 17 points over Kermit, with McCamey third with 27 points. Monahans won the boys division with 47 points to 41 for the Eagles, with Kermit taking third with 34 points.

“I was pleasantly surprised,” said Eagles’ coach Fred Howard. “We had several kids step up, which I was glad to see, because we didn’t just have to relay on our seniors. We had some sophomores and juniors step up for us, and we had one freshman place.”

Pecos’ girls had the top three lifters, based on lift totals and weight class, in both the 97-to-165 pound division and the 181 to superheavyweight class. Jessica Trujillo won the lower weight class with a 652.46 point total, while Priscilla Sotelo was second with 634.82 points and Ashley Ornelas third, with a 628.95 score. In the upper division, Marissa Lyles had the best score, with 764.14 points, to 728.78 for Kathryn Ramirez and 693.60 for Stephanie Galindo.

In the actual lift totals, Ornelas was first in the 114-pound weight class with a combined 535 pound total for her dead lift, bench press and squat thrust; Sotelo lifted 540 pounds to win the 148-pound weight class, and Trujillo was second to Crane’s Laura Garcia at 165 pounds, with a combined 555 pound total.

Ramirez was second at 181 pounds to Fort Stockton’s Andrea Warnock, with a 620-pound total for her three lifts. Lyles won a 220 pounds, with a 650-pound total, while Galindo was third, with a 590-pound total. Also winning her division in the superheavweight class was Chantel Mazone, with a combined 620-pound lift.

Other Top 5 finishes for the girls included a fourth by Catherine Moore and a fifth by Doni Marquez in the 165-pound weight class, with 465- and 450-pound lifts respectively, and a fifth by Tiffani Rodriguez in the 148-pound class, with a combined total of 445 pounds. The boys scored wins in four of the divisions on Saturday. Returning regional qualifier Ruben Salgado took first in the 242-pound weight class, with combined lifts of 1,255 pounds, while Mason Baeza was second with a 1,150-pound total. Chris Navarette lifted that same combined amount to win first in the 275-pound weight class, Elias Valenzuela won at 132 pounds with a 740-pound total, while Ernesto Jaramillo was second with a 690-pound total. The Eagles also got a first from Aaron Navarette, with a 970-pound combined lift in the 181-pound weight class.

Other Top 5 finishes for the Eagles included a fourth by Josh Jackson in the 114-pound weight class, with a 455-pound combined total; a second by Stephen Apolinar at 123 pounds, with a 665 total; a fifth by Hector Ramirez at 181 pounds, with a 825 pound lift total; and a fourth by Levi Cobos at 220 pounds, with a combined lift total of 940 pounds. The next meet for the Eagles will be in Monahans on Saturday, Jan. 27. The regular season meet results in January and February will determine the qualifiers for regional boys and girls competition, set for early March.

Girls’ cold spells on offense costly against Rankin

Another cold stretch on offense for the Pecos Eagle girls’ basketball team translated into another loss on Friday night, as they dropped a 48-37 decision at home to the Rankin Red Devils.

“The last time we played Rankin, we lost by 28 (at the Oil Patch Tournament in Wink), so I think the girls did improve,” said Eagles’ coach Debbie Garcia, though she said her team still had problems dealing with the Red Devils.

“They’re extremely quick, and shot very well from the outside. “We were not able to press the way we can with some teams, because they’re so quick.”

Rankin jumped out to a 6-0 lead and never trailed in the game, while the Eagles went nearly 14 minutes without a field goal, after a basket by Chantel Mazone in the first quarter cut the Red Devils’ lead to 12-8. That’s the way the quarter would end, as neither team did well on offense in the final two minutes, but by the time Pecos would hit from the field again, on a Gabby Garcia jumper with 4:12 left in the third period, Rankin had gone out to a 15-point lead, at 28-13.

“I think the biggest problem we had was telegraphing our passes,” the Eagles’ coach said. “We let them know exactly where we were going to pass the ball. We have to work harder on disguising our passes.”

The Eagles did cut into the Rankin lead after Garcia’s basket, which started a 10-1 run over the next three minutes. Mazone and Jasmine Rayos would follow with jumpers, and then Claire Weinacht and Garcia would hit from the foul line. That made it a 29-23 game, and Pecos would trail by a 31-24 score at the end of the third period, but then saw the Red Devils take control again as the fourth period opened.

Rayos picked up her fourth foul four seconds into the period, and five seconds after that Garcia would foul the Red Devils’ Dana Feathers on a 3-point attempt, one of three times in the game Pecos fouled Rankin players on 3-point tries. She made all three of her free throws, and after a Pecos miss, Katie Schmitz hit a lay-up to put the Red Devils back up by 12 points.

The closest the Eagles would come the rest of the way was nine, both at the finish, and with just under five minutes to play, on a jumper by Amalie Herrera. But Feathers would hit a lay-up and Katie Self and Andi Aguilar also followed with lay-ups to up the lead to 15 again, at 46-31.

Feathers, Aguilar and Self accounted for all but six of Rankin’s 48 points, with Feathers topping all scorers with 23. Mazone’s 11 led the Eagles, who had just nine field goals on the night, but were 19-for-30 from the line.

“Rankin doesn’t play volleyball, so they’re in the gym all the time,” Garcia said. “Number 3 (Feathers) was the one that killed us, but I told the girls what we’re working for is Presidio. That’s who we have to get ready to play.

The loss dropped Pecos to 5-11 on the season going into their final pre-district game, on Tuesday night against Greenwood. Pecos then opens District 2-3A play at home against Presidio on Friday.

The Ragerettes defeated the Eagles back on Jan. 5 by a 41-31 final score. Garcia had 15 of the Eagles’ 31 points in that game, while Greenwood was led by Ashley Unger, with 11 points.

Pecos did win Friday’s junior varsity game, by a 48-28 final score. Veronica Tarin’s 16 points led the Eagles in scoring.

Red Devils burn Eagles with buzzer basket

Leaving too much time on the clock - even if it was only 5.4 seconds - turned out to be a fatal mistake for the Pecos Eagles on Friday night at home against the Rankin Red Devils. Pecos’ Lucas Macha hit a game-tying 3-pointer for Pecos, but a time-out gave Rankin 5.4 seconds to respond, and Chase Epley would come down to the other end and hit is own 3-pointer from the left side at the buzzer, giving Rankin a 62-59 victory over Pecos, their second win of the season against the Eagles.

“We played hard, and it hurts to end like that,” said Eagles’ coach Chaun Brooks, who was minus three of his players on Friday, including starting post Vance Mondragon, and reserve Zack Morton, who were involved in this weekend’s Reeves County Junior Livestock Show. That left a little more room inside for Rankin’s Jacob Schmitz, who got open for a series of lay-ups and finished with a game-high 29 points.

“We’re used to having Vance in the middle, and we’re used to having Zack, but Joseph Rodriguez had a good first game, and Pops (Francisco Ornelas) and Justo Dominguez had their best games on offense this season,” Brooks said. “Joseph was brought up from the junior varsity and rebounded and played defense well, so he’ll probably stay on the varsity.”

While the 3-pointers would help Pecos rally in the closing minutes, they also got the Eagles out to an early 10-4 lead. Daniel Reyes hit twice from behind the line in the opening minutes, while Ornelas and Dominguez had lay-ups, the second coming off a steal. But Pecos’ 3-point shooting would cool down after that, while Rankin would catch up and eventually pass the Eagles on closer-in shots by Schmitz, plus a couple of outside jumpers from Garrett Avalos.

He would give the Red Devils their first lead, at 20-18, while two foul shots by Epley, after four straight misses, would allow Rankin to go in at halftime with a 29-28 lead. “Daniel and Lucas started shooting 3s, and the other guys started shooting from the outside,” Brooks said. “We made some bad shot choices, but we played hard right up until the final buzzer.”

Pecos would have only brief leads in the second half a couple of times, and trailed by as many as six points early in the third period. A rebound lay-up by Rodriguez, foul shots by Reyes and Macha and a 3-point shot by Mark Molina gave the Eagles a 37-36 lead. Baskets by Avalos would then put the Red Devils back in front before the third period was over, and he and Macha would swap 3-pointers to start the fourth period.

The last lead for the Eagles was at 49-48 on a Dominguez lay-up. Rankin took the lead at 51-49 on a three-point play by Schmitz, and was up by four after another Schmitz lay-up, before Macha hit from 3-point ranked to make it a one-point game.

Rankin then went up by five with 50 seconds to play, on lay-ups by Epley and Schmitz. But Chris Garnto then hit a lay-up, and followed that with two free throws with 27 seconds left, after Avalos missed the front end of a one-and-one. Avalos was fouled again with 24 seconds left, and this time hit both free throws to give Rankin a 3-point lead, before the Eagles tied the score as Macha threw up a shot under pressure from the right side that banked off the backboard and through the net.

The loss was the third straight for Pecos and dropped their season record to 6-12 going into Tuesday night’s home game against former district rival Fabens. The Wildcats come into the game with a 19-2 record after a 54-46 win over District 1-3A rival Clint. Fabens was are ranked 16th in last week’s state Class 3A basketball poll, and are led by senior post Chris Salazar, who is averaging over 20 points per game.

Pecos did win Friday’s junior varsity game over Rankin, by a 66-24 final score. Paul Zubeldia led the JV with 18 points. The JV will play at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, while the varsity will play at 7:30 p.m.

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