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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, February 13, 2006

Herrera named to preseason all-WAC squad

Former Pecos Eagle Stephanie Herrera was one of two New Mexico State University players named to the pre-season all-Western Athletic Conference team.

Herrera is in her third year with NMSU. As a sophomore second baseman in 2006, Herrera finished ninth in the WAC in batting with a .328 average and tied for the conference lead in stolen bases with 12. She had 42 hits, four doubles, two home runs and 12 RBI.

Herrera was moved over to shortstop for the 2007 season and this past weekend was named to the all-tournament team for the Aggies’ own Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces Invitational Tournament, going 3-for-4 in the championship game, won by Colorado State, 9-7. She had a .529 average for the weekend’s games, with nine hits, one home run, seven RBI and six runs scored.

Herrera played four years on the Eagles’ varsity, earned all-district honors at pitcher each season. The Eagles advanced to the playoffs three of those four years, and reached the Region I-3A quarterfinals in her senior season.

Pecos opens softball play on road against Maidens

Pecos Eagles’ softball coach Tammy Walls has a game on Tuesday, but wouldn’t know until about 8:30 p.m. Monday what type of team she’d have for the Eagles’ season-opening game against the Seminole Indians.

Weather permitting; Pecos was to face Seminole in a 5 p.m. game on Tuesday. But the Eagles coach won’t know if she’ll have most of her returning starters until Pecos finishes is bi-district playoff game in Van Horn on Monday night against the Tornillo Coyotes.

Amalie Herrera, Gabby Garcia, Claire Weinacht, Jenny Palomino and Brittany Palomino are returning members of last year’s team that missed the playoffs by one game. But all five are also members of the Eagles’ varsity basketball team. A win on Monday over Tornillo would put Pecos into the area round of the Class 3A playoffs this weekend against Snyder, and Walls already has cancelled the Eagles’ scheduled appearance in the Andrews Tournament this weekend due to the possible conflict.

Seminole also will be in the bi-district round of the playoffs, facing Andrews on Tuesday night. But the Maidens have far fewer members of their varsity softball squad in basketball. Last season, when the teams were both in District 3-3A, the Eagles won both their games over the Maidens, but had to go 12 innings in their second match-up before winning by a 3-2 score.

Pecos is seeking to end a two-year playoff drought, after placing fourth in district play each of the past two seasons. The Eagles were 20-12 a year ago, and lost four starters to graduation. Of the five returning starters, only outfielder Cassandra Terrazas and Bianca Baeza have available for practice for the past two weeks.

Golfers take 6th in Austin tournament

The Pecos Eagles girls golf team got a look at the site of this year’s Class 3A state golf tournament, as well as a look at some of their Region I-3A rivals in Austin over the weekend, while placing sixth in a nine-team invitational tournament at the Morris Williams Golf Course.

Andrews staged the tournament, in order to give teams who have qualified for state in recent years at the Jimmy Clay Golf Course a look at the new course. And the Mustangs ended up winning the tournament with a 331-335-666 score, though defending state champion Snyder made a second day run, making up 13 strokes of a 20-stroke deficit to finish with a 351-322-673 score.

Pecos also cut its second day total, shooting a 379-371-750, though coach Tina Doan was a little disappointed her team finished just behind district rival Monahans, which also shot a 379 in the opening round.

“The second day they stepped up and let them beat us by four strokes,” Doan said. “We’re off this week before we go to Fort Stockton, so we’re going to work on our course management, and see if we can lower our scores at Fort Stockton.”

Carolina Briones shot a 91-89-180 for the low round of the tournament for the Eagles, while Eleanor Mason shot a 94-88-182; Stephanie Galindo had 96s both days for a 192 total; Rica Pino shot 98s in both rounds and finished at 196; and Kayla Natividad shot a 115-119-234.

“They’re improving. I’ve just got to build their confidence that they can compete with those other teams,” she added. “Carolina improved on the second day, and that was our goal, to learn the course the first day and then improve on the second day. Eleanor also cut her score, but I’ve got to get more out of her, Rica, Carolina and Stephaine.”

Doan said the weather was cloudy and cold both days in Austin, and that the Morris Williams course played differently from the Jimmy Clay layout, which Mason, Briones, Pino and Galindo played last year, when the Eagles placed third at state in Class 3A.

“Morris Williams is more of an up and down course. It’s rolling and you never really have a flat lie,” she said. “The roll of the greens also gave them some trouble. Jimmy Clay is a tighter course. Morris Williams is not as intimidating as Jimmy Clay just looking at it, but playing it, it is.”

Wall, the only Class 2A team entered in the tournament, placed third overall, with a 344-363-709 total, while last year’s Class 3A runner-up, Yoakum, was fourth, with a 349-361-710 total. Bastrop (391-382-773), Lubbock Christian (391-385-776) and Spring Hill (394-392-786) were the other teams entered the in tournament.

While the varsity Eagles will be off this weekend, Doan said she’ll be taking her three junior varsity players to Andrews on Thursday, for a one-day tournament.

Eagles slip on 2nd day at Pecos River tourney

The Pecos Eagle boys golf team had a little tougher time under Saturday’s cold and cloudy conditions on their home course than they did in warmer and windier weather on Friday, and placed fourth overall in the inaugural Pecos River Invitational at the Reeves County Golf Course.

The Eagles shot a 325 on Friday and were second, behind El Paso Cathedral after the opening round, but went up to a 334 on Saturday and were passed in the final standings by Lamesa and Odessa Permian. Pecos finished with a 359 score while Cathedral won with a 304-295-599, Lamesa shot a 327-328-655 and Permian finished with a 333-323-656.

The Eagles played one golfer short on the varsity level in order to have enough players to compete in the team standings in the junior varsity division, head coach Pat Gent said.

“I had eight boys and chose to split them four-and-four,” he said. “I wanted to give us a chance to get team awards in both divisions, but unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way.” Drake Bradley ended up placing fourth in the varsity division, with a 73-76-149 score, while Joseph Tarin was 10th overall, with a 79-78-157. Richard Dutchover finished third for the Eagles, with an 89-86-175, while Nathan Duke shot an 84-94-178.

“We had two rounds in the 70s by Joseph and Drake, and good rounds by Nathan and Richard,” Gent said. “Drake shot three strokes more than on Friday, but I told him not to get his head down. The boys were a little upset, because they were hoping to get something in both divisions.”

The split may have cost the Eagles a shot at second place, as JV golfer Heath Armstrong finished with the 12th best score overall in the tournament and the second best in the JV division, shooting an 83-75-158.

The JV ended up fourth in their division, with a 358-360-717 score, while Sammy Sandoval was next with an 89-87-176; Lomas Gonzales shot a 92-98-190; and Mateo Tarango had a 94-100-194 for Pecos’ other scores.

“There were a few people who were upset, but we qualified on Monday and Tuesday for spots 1 to 8, and that’s how I lined them up and who went where,” he said.

Gent said Pecos was able to finish two strokes in front of District 2-3A rival Fort Stockton. The Panthers, who also played with only four players, shot a 336-325-661 to finish fifth in the nine-team field. Cathedral ‘B’ was sixth, with a 340-337-677 score, while Kermit was seventh, at 350-353-703, Greenwood eighth, at 369-368-737, while Alpine shot a 403 on Friday, and was one player short of a team score on Saturday.

In the JV division, Permian won with a 342-324-666, and was followed by Midland High, with a 343-336-679, and Greenwood, with a 359-354-713.

This was the first invitational tournament at the Reeves County Golf Course in a decade. Pecos has only hosted district tournaments in recent years, and Gent said the help of local groups and businesses, including the Pecos Valley Country Club, Colt Chevrolet,

TransPecos Banks and the Reeves County Teacher’s Credit Union, helped out with the tournament in providing food for the players and coaches on Friday and Saturday.

“Every coach I talked to said this was a well-run tournament,” Gent said. “They all worked together to show our hospitality, and when it was all said and done they all asked me to keep them on the list for next year.”

After opening the spring season in Monahans and playing on their home course, the Eagles will get a look at the other course they’ll play in the District 2-3A Tournament this coming weekend, when they go to Fort Stockton for a two-day tournament.

Problems with lay-ups leave Eagles facing Coyotes after loss

The chances were there for the Pecos Eagles to win their game against the Monahans Loboes for a first round playoff bye. But the shooting wasn’t, and instead, the Eagles were headed for Van Horn on Monday for a bi-district match-up against the Tornillo Coyotes. Pecos took a six point lead after one period, but then missed a series of lay-ups in the second and third periods, while Monahans was hitting enough shots from the outside to take the lead, and eventually go on to a 36-28 win over Pecos at the Williams Center in Fort Stockton. The win leave Monahans awaiting the winner of the bi-district round game between Lamesa and Lubbock Cooper, while the winner of Monday’s Pecos-Tornillo game will take on Snyder in the area round of the Class 3A playoffs.

“We missed too many scoring opportunities and had far too many turnovers,” said Eagles’ coach Debbie Garcia. Pecos got the ball inside for a series of shots, but only post Adrianna Armendariz was able to find the range with any consistency, finishing with 12 points on the night.

Monahans was led by Lauren Fuentes, who kept her team close in the early going by hitting a couple of 3-point shots and finished with 13 points, while Catherine Cutbirth was also in double figures with 12.

“I thought we did a good job stopping Dina (Ortiz) from scoring, but No. 11 (Fuentes) did a good job shooting the ball,” Garcia said. “We stopped Dina and Jordan Latham, but No. 11 and Catherine Cutbirth stepped up.”

Fuentes opened the game with a 3-point, but the Eagles came back with six straight points, on lay-ups by Amalie Herrera, Armendariz and Chantel Mazone. Armendariz then hit a foul line jumper and Jasmine Rayos hit from 3-point range after a Cutbirth basket to give Pecos an 11-6 lead.

It would take the Eagles over 4 1/2 minutes to finally score in the second period, though Monahans wasn’t much better, as their first points came on a Cutbirth basket 4:18 into the period. But by the end of the quarter, Cutbirth and Fuentes had gotten the Loboes to within one, at 17-16, and Monahans regained the lead at 17-16 on a Latham basket to open the second half.

Rayos and Armendariz would hit lay-ups in the middle periods to put Pecos back in front later, at 22-19, but the Eagles also missed a series of shots that could have added to the lead, and the Loboes took advantage, tying the game on a Bethany Willmon foul shot and a jumper by Latham, then going ahead on three foul shots by Ortiz who was hit on a 3-point try by Armendariz.

That was also the Eagle senior’s fourth foul, which put her on the bench for the next few minutes, until a 3-pointer by Fuentes and a lay-up by Ortiz off a steal gave Monahans a 30-23 lead. Armendariz hit a jumper just after returning and Danielle Garcia followed with a lay-up, cutting the lead to three. But those baskets came 2 1/2 minutes apart, and Monahans was then able to kill time off the clock before Latham hit from inside with 1:44 to play. A Brittany Palomino foul shot made it 32-28, but Willmon and Cutbirth would hit foul shots in the final 30 seconds of play to seal the victory.

“I think one thing Monahans had more than us was experience. You could see it with our girls, that they’re not used to being in playoff situations, while Monahans has the experience from this and other things like volleyball,” Garcia said. “I thought Adrianna did an excellent job keeping the girls together, and did a good job handling the ball.”

The loss dropped Pecos to 9-14 on the season going into Monday’s game against Tornillo, which placed third in District 1-3A this season with a 3-6 record. The game will feature most of the same players that faced each other three months ago in the bi-district round of the Class 3A volleyball playoffs, when Pecos defeated Tornillo in the bi-district round.

Playoffs on line for Pecos after 46-43 loss to Presidio

It’s playoff time for the Pecos Eagles and Monahans Loboes on Tuesday night, even though only one of the two teams will be heading for post-season play.

The Eagles and Loboes will face each other in Monahans with the final playoff spot out of District 2-3A on the line, after both teams fell to 1-4 on Friday with losses to the Presidio Blue Devils and Fort Stockton Panthers.

The Eagles let a first half lead slip away, fell behind by as many as nine points in the fourth quarter before coming back, but missed three chances to tie or take the lead in the final minute and fell to the Blue Devils, by a 46-43 final score. That clinched a playoff spot for Presidio, while Fort Stockton clinched the district title at home on Friday, using a big second half run to beat Monahans, 70-49.

Pablo Rodriguez’s 3-point jumper just before halftime gave Presidio a 20-19 lead, and the Blue Devils would then hold Pecos scoreless for nearly six minutes of the third period, while going out to a 32-23 advantage. The Eagles would get a lay-up just prior to the third period buzzer to cut that back to seven, but were down 39-30 less than two minutes into the final period on a three-point play by Jaime Ortega.

“We had them 19-13 and let them go on a run,” said assistant coach Art Wellborn, as he and head coach Chaun Brooks both said Pecos’ failure to run the press break correctly helped Presidio go on their 19-4 run in the middle periods.

“Until they decide to do it our way, they’re going to lose,” said Brooks. “They want to do things their way.”

“They would not do what they were supposed to do on the press, and we missed some crucial free throws,” Wellborn said. “They gave us chances to get back into the game, but we gave them right back.”

The margin was still seven with under three minutes left when Lucas Macha and Victor Mondragon hit 3s around a lay-up by Ortega, making it a 44-41 game with 1:04 to play. The Blue Devils then tried to stall, but Jeremy Rodriguez would come up with a steal and lay-up at the 35-second mark, making it a one-point game.

Edgar Ramirez was then fouled by Mark Marquez and hit one of two foul shots with just under 30 seconds left, for a 45-43 lead, but Macha then tried to force the ball inside on a drive and was called for charging, giving the ball back to Presidio. Again, Ramirez was fouled by Molina, but this time he missed the front end of a 1-and-1 attempt, and Marquez got the rebound. He was fouled by Ortega, but then missed the front end of his 1-and-1, with Presidio rebounding.

This time, Pablo Rodriguez was fouled by Jeremy Rodriguez and hit the first of his two attempts, to make it a 46-43 game with 13.9 seconds to go. The Eagles rebounded the miss and called time-out with 8.4 remaining, but after the inbounds Macha was pressured while trying for a game-tying 3-point shot from the top of the key and missed as the buzzer sounded.

Pablo Rodriguez and Ortega each had 13 points to lead Presidio, while Jeremy Rodriguez’s 13 and Mondragon’s 12 led Pecos.

The Eagles fell to 7-16 on the season going into Tuesday’s game at Monahans, which is 11-16 after their loss in Fort Stockton. Pecos’ only win in district play came at home two weeks ago against the Loboes, by a 62-48 final score, as the Eagles rallied in the second half behind some strong 3-point shooting. Monahans got their district win at home over Presidio last Tuesday by a 58-48 score.

The winner of Tuesday’s game will take on Clint in the bi-district round of the Class 3A playoffs next week. Clint already has clinched second place in District 1-3A, while Fabens won that district title and Tornillo placed third.

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