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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Pecos netters capture top spot in own tourney

The Pecos Eagles tennis team took first place in two divisions and first overall in their own tournament, held Friday at the Pecos High School tennis courts.

Francisco Ornelas won the boys singles title and Amber Pando and Kristal Ikeler won the girls doubles for Pecos, which edged out Monahans and Wink for the team title.

“I thought it was an excellent weekend for a lot of our kids, who pulled it through,” said Eagles’ coach Bernadette Ornelas, whose team goes to the Region I-3A tournament in Levelland this weekend.

Francisco Ornelas scored a 6-4, 6-1 win over Fort Stockton’s Natividad Salmanca in the finals of boys’ singles, after beating Monahans’ John Witucki by the same score in the semifinals. He opened with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Everardo Fierro of Fort Stockton in the quarterfinals.

Pando and Ikeler won their finals match from Hillman and Schaltze of Midland Trinity, 6-4, 6-3, after a 6-3, 6-1 win over Kerley and Kerley of Wink in the semifinals, and a victory over Martinez and Alvarez of Fort Stockton in the quarterfinals, 8-3.

Pecos’ other singles player on the boys’ side, Paul Zubeldia, placed fourth, winning his first round match over Jay Sanchez, 9-7, then falling to Salmanica, 6-2, 6-2, and to Witucki, 6-2 6-1. In doubles, the No. 2 team of Doni Marquez and Janette Perea lost their opening match, but came back to win twice in the consolation bracket to win that division title.

“There were three teams tied for first but our No. 2 girls doubles team pulled out first by winning the consolation title,” Ornelas said.

In girls’ singles, Priscilla Sotelo finished third, beating Fort Stockton’s Laura Casas, 8-2, then losing to Monahans’ Madison Murray, 6-2, 6-2, before beating Trinity’s Susan Strange, 6-3, 6-4. Pecos’ other girls’ singles player, Hope Mora, lost her two matches on the day.

In boys’ doubles, Ornelas said Jerris Rayos and Jesse Hanks placed fourth, winning their opener before falling in the semifinals and in the third place match to Thomas and Ray of Wink, 6-2, 8-6 (10-3). In mixed doubles, Rojelio Alvarado and Yesina Munoz placed fourth, losing to Andrew Orona and Chris Richardson, 6-2, 6-3 in the third place match.

Ornelas said the Eagles won’t know until Thursday night who their opening round opponent will be at the Region I-3A Tournament, which will be held at South Plains College.

Pecos sixth over weekend tournament

The Pecos Eagles softball team placed sixth over the weekend at the El Paso Jefferson Silver Fox Softball Tournament, going 2-0-1 in pool round play and 1-2 in their games on Friday and Saturday.

Pecos defeated El Paso Chapin, 4-0, and Cobre, N.M., 7-3, while tying Amarillo Caprock, 3-3, in their pool round games, which moved them into the championship bracket of the 16-team tournament. There, the Eagles lost in the quarterfinals to Alpine, 8-3, then beat El Paso Bowie in the consolation semifinals, 20-0, before falling in the consolation finals to El Paso Bel Air, 3-1.

“Overall I was pleased with how we played,” said head coach Tammy Walls, as the Eagles went without senior pitcher Amalie Herrera, who injured her hand during practice last Monday. “I thought Gabby (Garcia) pitched well, and I thought Brittany (Palomino) came in and pitched well.

“With Amalie out, we had Aileen Rayos, a freshman, at shortstop, and she did a good job and made a couple of really good plays,” Walls said. “Hitting, with Jenny Palomino and Brittany Palomino batting 1-2 seems to be good or us. If we can get them on, we seem to find a way to get them around the bases and score.”

She said in the losses to the Bucks and Highlanders, errors hurt the Eagles.

“Bel Air’s pitcher was good. She had some speed and movement on her ball, and we just make some typical mistakes for a young team,” Walls said. “They got some baserunners on, and we tried to make a play and forced a throw and let some runs score.”

“We hit the ball against Alpine. It was tied going into the bottom of the fifth, and the wind was blowing and we had some mistakes in the outfield. It was also the same as against Bel Air. They’d get some people on base and we’d try to make something out of nothing and would throw behind runners,” she said. “That’s the kind of mistakes you expect with a young infield, and we had five sophomores and a freshman out there.”

Alpine ended up finishing third in the tournament, while El Paso Eastwood defeated El Paso Del Valle in the tournament’s title game.

The 6-2-1 Eagles will be in Kermit on Tuesday afternoon to face the Jackets, whom they beat at home this past Tuesday by an 11-9 score. Pecos then goes to the Lubbock Tournament, where they’ll face Lubbock Coronado’s gold team and Odessa High White in pool round play on Thursday.

Grandfalls rallies by Balmorhea in playoffs

The Balmorhea Bears’ basketball team saw its 2006-07 season end last Wednesday in the bi-district round of the Class A-Division II playoffs, with a 48-45 loss to the Grandfalls Royalty Cowboys.

The Bears used a 13-5 advantage in the second quarter to jump out to a 22-12 halftime lead, but the Cowboys would hit 3-point shots on three of their first four trips downcourt in the third quarter to wipe out almost all of the Bears’ lead. The 3s were part of a 16-1 run by Grandfalls to start the second half, which put them in a five-point lead, though the Bears were able to come back at take a 32-30 lead late in the period.

Grandfalls would tie the game going into the final period and took the lead for good at 39-36 on a B.J. Saintago 3-pointer. They would go up again by five in the final minute of play, 47-42, when Josh Rodriguez hit a 3-pointer for the Bears to cut the lead to two. Santiago would then miss the front end of a 1-and-1, but Brandon Mendoza missed on a tying shot with 15 seconds to play.

A foul shot made it 48-45 with 13 seconds left, giving the Bears one final chance to tie when Rodriguez was fouled from beyond the 3-point line with one second to play. But he was unable to convert on all three foul shots, and the Cowboys held on for the win.

Jonathan Carrasco led Balmorhea with 12 points, while Rodriguez and Ryan Woodruff had nine apiece for the Bears, who ended their season with a 12-14 record. Grandfalls, which lost in the area round to Sterling City, 79-49, and finished 12-12, was led by Boo Martinez with 18 points and George Brandenberg with 14.

Wind shortens weekend play for Pecos golfers

The Pecos Eagle boys golf team only got in one round of play this past weekend at the Tall City Invitational in Midland, as high winds on Saturday cancelled the final round of the 36-hole tournament.

Pecos’ girls, meanwhile, also couldn’t play in the 50 mph winds in Fort Stockton on Saturday, in the final round of the Blue Ribbon Invitational, and wound up with a fourth place finish in the weather-shortened event.

The boys ended up tied for eighth with Midland Christian in Division III, which included Class 3A and below schools, along with the junior varsity teams from Class 5A. The Eagles shot a 334 on Friday, led by Joseph Tarin, who placed second in the medalist race with a round of 72 on the Ranchland Hills course.

Boys’ coach Pat Gent said the teams played just one hold on Saturday before the tournament was cancelled. “Everybody was just having trouble. You couldn’t get the ball to stay on the green,” he said.

After Tarin’s round of 72, Drake Bradley was next for Pecos with n 85, followed by Heath Armstrong at 87, Richard Dutchover with a 90 and Nathan Duke with a 92.

“We had a couple of scores that could have moved up,” Gent said. “Our kids have shot two rounds of 325s this season, and I think we can get that down to around 310 by the time district arrives.”

Borger shot a 305 to beat Andrews for first by two strokes, with Graham third at 312. Lamesa and Snyder tied for fourth with 327 rounds, and were followed by Midland Trinity at 328 and Lee’s JV ‘B’ team with a 332 total. Trailing Pecos and Midland Christian were Monahans and Perryton at 342, while Pecos’ other district rival, Fort Stockton, shot a 359 and was 16th overall.

“We beat Monahans by eight strokes and beat Fort Stockton by 25, so that’s really good for us looking ahead to district,” said Gent, who was disappointed the winds kept the Eagles from playing a round on the Nueva Vista course, site of this year’s Region I-3A Tournament.

The girls played minus one of their varsity golfers this weekend and shot a 379 in Fort Stockton. Andrews won with a 328 score while Monahans was second at 349 and Midland Lee was third, with a 374 total.

“Team-wise, we played well and learned a lot,” coach Tina Doan said. “We were ready to tee it up again on Saturday, because we were five strokes behind Midland Lee and the girls wanted to get third place.”

Eleanor Mason led Pecos with an 85 score, while Carolina Briones and Rica Pino shot 91s, Samantha Sparkman shot a 112 and Katrina Hinojos had a 114. “We had to play without Stephanie Galindo, because she had to go to the powerlifting meet on Saturday,” Doan said.

She added that the Eagles could again be shorthanded this weekend due to regional powerlifting competition, while the golf team plays in the girls division of the Tall City Invitational. “Hopefully we’ll get to play two days, so we can play on our regional site,” Doan said.

While the girls go to Midland, the boys will have a junior varsity tournament on Wednesday at Lamesa, while the varsity will go to Andrews on Friday and Saturday.

Eagle hitters club Wildcats for first victory of season

Throwing strikes was still a bit of a problem for the Pecos Eagles on Saturday, in their second game of the 2007 baseball season. But fielding problems and getting hitters out were even more trouble for the Fabens Wildcats, and the Eagles took advantage to score their first win of the season.

Pecos scored six times in the second inning to break open a 1-1 game, and went on to a five-inning, 16-5 win over Fabens, to even their record at 1-1 on the season going into Monday night’s game at Kermit against the Yellowjackets.

Saturday’s high winds almost ended up canceling the game, but coach Eric Garcia said after having Friday night’s schedule home game versus Snyder cancelled by the Tigers due to the Class 3A basketball playoffs, he wanted to get at least one game in this weekend.

“It wasn’t as bad as it was over here. It was only blowing at about 10-15 mph, so as it turned out, it worked out OK over there. The offense hit the ball really well and the defense played solid. We didn’t make any big mistakes, and we didn’t make any big baserunning mistakes.”

Back-to-back doubles with two outs in the first inning by Jose Chavez and Kenny Rayos got Pecos their first run, but control problems by Robert Nunez and a single by Ben Moya allowed Fabens to tie the score in the bottom of the inning. But in the second the Eagles would score twice thanks to control problems by Wildcat starter Eddie Cerna. Garnto and Nunez would both come in before Vincent Palomino would score on a throwing error by Moya on a Rocky Lozoya grounder, he scored when Timo Reyes reached on a wind-blown double over the head of Abel Hernandez in center field, and Chavez would then single him in and later score on an error by Herb Barrientos on Chris Garnto’s fly ball against reliever Carlos Garcia.

Nunez also didn’t make it out of the second inning, as he was replaced by Palomino after getting two quick outs, when he hit Enrique Nunez, then walked Garcia and Cerna before giving up a two-run infield single to Moya. Palomino came on after a walk to Barrientos, who was then picked off first base by Garnto. He was able to shut Fabens down in the third inning while Pecos was scoring three more times, then got out of jams in the fourth and fifth allowing just single runs both times, which let the Eagles end the game under the 10-run rule.

“Right now pitching is what we have to work on. We’re walking too many people and letting too many runners on base,” Garcia said. “Vincent came in and pitched well. He got into only one really big jam with the bases loaded, but got out of it with a double play. “Robert right now I think is lacking a little confidence. He doesn’t have a whole lot of control right now, but we can work on that. His velocity’s pretty good, but he’s just not getting it over the plate,” Garcia said.

Kenny Rayos would add a three-run homer in the fifth for the Eagles that allowed them to end the game early, and Garcia said Chavez had three hits on the day, while Isaiah Rayos was 2-for-4. “Robert also hit the ball well. He went 2-for-3 with a triple,” the Eagles’ coach added.

Pecos also swept a purple and gold junior varsity doubleheader from Kermit on Friday. The JV purple team was back in Kermit for a game on Monday before the varsity game, while the gold team hosted Fort Stockton.

All teams have long day at Pecos Junior Relays

Crockett Junior High’s seventh grade girls placed second overall, while the eighth grade girls took fourth on Friday at the season-opening West of the Pecos Junior Relays. The Eagle boys ended up third on the eighth grade side and sixth in the seventh grade division at the long meet, which began at 4:30 p.m. and ended almost 8 1/2 hours later.

High winds that were predicted for Friday and which cancelled Saturday’s Comanche Relays for Pecos’ high school track teams weren’t a factor for most of the meet. The wind held off until after midnight, affecting only the final couple of races on the day.

Monahans won three of the four divisions, taking both the eighth grade titles and the seventh grade girls’ title, while Midland Christian placed first in the seventh grade boys’ division.

The seventh grade girls earned four gold medals on Friday, two by Kebbeh Darpolar, who won the shot put with a 32-foot-5 throw and the discus with a throw of 69-foot-5 1/2. She also placed second in the 100-meter dash, with a 14.58 time. Emily Rodriguez picked up a first in the high jump, winning with a 4-foot-4 leap, and later placed second in the 800 meter run, with a 2:50.89 time, and third in the 400 meters, with a 1:11.78 time. Sabrina Moya had Pecos’ other first place finish, winning the 1600 meter run with a 6:03.76 time.

Also earning medals for Pecos were Annalisa Gonzales, second in the 200 meter dash with a time of 30.78; Annie Cerna, third in the 2400 meter run with an 11:30.85 time; and Valerie Madrid, third in the 300 meter hurdles with a 60.15 time, and the 800 meter relay team, which was second with a 2:04.72 time. Cerna also took fifth in the 1600 meter run, while Gonzales was sixth in the high jump. Others to score points by placing in the Top 6 in their events were Victoria Garcia, fifth in the 100 meter dash; Chelsea Ramon, fourth in the 800 meters; Jenica Tersero, fifth in the 2400 meter run and sixth in the 1600 meters; and Kristal Carrasco, fourth in the 2400 meters. The 1600-meter relay team was fourth and the 400-meter relay team fifth for the Eagles.

The seventh grade boys had only one first place finish, winning the 800-meter relay with a 1:54.03 time. Individually, Chase Price was second in the 110 meter hurdles, with a 19.93 time, and second in the high jump, with a 4-foot-10 effort; C.J. Gomez was second in the pole vault, with a 6-foot-7 jump; Luis Villescas was third in the 400 meter dash with a 1:06.28 time, and Mark Quintana placed third in the 2400 meters, with a 10:07.88 time. Other points for the boys included a sixth by Quintana in the 1600 meter run; a sixth by Gomez in the 2400 meters; a fifth by Ryan Salcido in the pole vault and a sixth by Zack Renshaw in the discus. In the other two relays the 400-meter team placed fifth and the 1600 meter relay was sixth.

The eighth grade girls also had one first place finish Friday, from Carissa Cerna, who won the 400 meter dash with a 1:06.87 time. Earning second was the Eagles’ 800 meter relay team, with a time of 2:03.30, while Dakota Long had Pecos’ other medal for the eighth graders, placing third in the 200 meter dash with a 31.06 time. Cerna also had a sixth place finish in the pole vault.

The other points for the Eagles came from Krystle Ramirez, fourth in the shot put and fifth in the discus; Destiny Simmons, fourth in the discus and fifth in the shot; a fourth from the 1600 meter relay team, a sixth from the 400 meter team and Gonzales, sixth in the 800 meter run.

The eighth grade boys picked up firsts in four events. Isaiah Patino won the 100 meter dash with a 12.48 time, Mundo Dominguez took the 110 meter hurdles with a 19.09 time, Arthur Navarette won the 300 meter hurdles with a 49.06 time and the 800 meter relay team won with a time of 1:45.77. The Eagles also picked up medals from Jerome Mazone, second in the high jump with a 5-foot effort, a second by Mark Martinez in the shot put, with a 41-foot-2 throw; a third by Dillion Garcia in the 200 meters, with a 27.06 time; and a second by the Eagles’ 400 meter relay team, with a 49.44 time.

Pecos’ other points were from Dominugez, sixth in the triple jump, and the 1600 meter relay team, which also placed sixth.

Monahans scored 178 points to win the eighth grade boys division, to 96 for Greenwood, 93 for Pecos, 89 for Fort Stockton, 86 for Midland Christian 40 for Kermit and 38 for Presidio. In the seventh grade division, Midland Christian had 131 points to 99 for Greenwood, 98 for Monahans, 87 for Fort Stockton, 70 for Kermit. 67 for Pecos and 65 for Presidio.

Monahans had 156 points to 126 for Pecos in the seventh grade girls division. Kermit was next with 123 points and were followed by Fort Stockton with 72, Greenwood with 69, Midland Christian with 30 and Presidio with 11. In the eighth grade girls division, Monahans had 165 points to 145 for Midland Christian, with 113 for Greenwood, 55 1/2 for Pecos, 55 for Fort Stockton, 51 for Kermit and 35 1/2 for Presidio.

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