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Wednesday, February 23, 2000

Turnovers help Indians skin Bears

Staff Writer
PECOS, Feb. 23, 2000 -- The turnover bug bit the Balmorhea Bears hard Tuesday night, as their 1999-2000 basketball season came to an end at the hands of the Fort Davis Indians.

The Bears threw the ball away often due to pressure by the Indians' defense, and lost it several more times on unforced errors, as Fort Davis used a 19-6 third quarter to break open a three-point game and score a 59-40 victory over Balmorhea, in their Class A bi-district playoff game at the Pecos High School gym.

"We had way too many turnovers. I can't emphasize that enough," said Bears' coach Adolfo Garcia, who added that the Bears also let the Indians control play inside after halftime.

"We out-rebounded them in the first half, but after that we could only get one shot at a time, and that hurt us."

Phillip Prude and Aaron Liddell found openings inside in the first quarter to help the Indians race out to as much as a seven-point lead. They would go up by eight with three minutes left in the second period, before some bad foul shooting allowed Balmorhea to rally to within three points, at 27-24, by halftime.

But guard Orly Sanchez led a third quarter run that got the margin up to nine in the first three minutes of the period, and Prude then nailed his team's only 3-pointer as part of a 9-2 run that left Balmorhea trailing 46-30 by the end of the period.

"My main guards turned the ball over so many times when the pressure was there," said Garcia, whose team did cut a 50-30 deficit down to 50-39 with just under two minutes to play, but then lost Mendoza and Kevin Rodriguez to fouls and saw Fort Davis go to the foul line for 16 free throws, hitting eight of them, to close out the game.

The last lead for Balmorhea was at 6-5, on a lay-up by Billy Lozano, who led the Bears with 17 points. The Bears started off the game well, with Mendoza scoring on a lay-up off the opening tip. The Indians would take a 4-2 lead before Balmorhea tied the game on a rebound lay-up by Isaiah Rodriguez. But Rodriguez would then pick up two fouls in a span of 27 seconds, and wound up fouling out of the game late in the third quarter.

"Our game plan was to attack them and take the two point shots," Garcia said. "But then we started getting kids into foul trouble and we got scared to drive it in. Then my main man taking the ball inside Isaiah fouled out in the third quarter, and that really hurt."

Fort Davis managed to hit just 14 of their 35 foul shots in the game, and the Bears took advantage in the first half, hitting eight of their 13 free throws to get back into the game by halftime. But the Bears were only 5-for-10 from the line in the fourth quarter, when they had a chance to cut into Fort Davis' lead back down to single digits. Sanchez, who led all scorers with 18 points, then broke the Bears' run with a foul shot, and after a Lozano free throw, the Bears were unable to score again the rest of the way.

The loss end the Bears' season at 14-9, while Fort Davis improved to 20-6 and will face Rankin, 68-51 winners over Grandfalls on Tuesday, in the area round of the Class A playoffs.

"We've got a lot of potential coming up," Garcia said, looking towards next season. "Of our starters, I only had two seniors out there, and we've got some good freshmen and sophomores coming up, who have a lot of potential."

B. Lozano 5 5-9 16; M. Mendoza 3 3-4 9; K. Rodriguez 1 0-0 2; A. Rodriguez 0 0-0 0; R. Lozano 0 1-2 1; Barragan 1 0-2 2; Js. Mendoza 0 2-4 Jr. Mendoza 1 0-0 2; Lethco 0 0-0 0; Matta 0 0-0 0; Is. Rodriguez 2 2-2 6. Totals 13 13-23 40.

Sanchez 6 6-12 18; Reinberg 5 0-0 10; Evans 0 0-0 0; Prude 6 1-4 14; Martinez 0 2-10 2; G. Hernandez 3 1-3 7; Liddell 2 4-6 8; Cotton 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 14-35 59.

Balmorhea              11    13     6    10 - 40
Fort Davis              15    12   19    13 - 59
Three-point goals: Balmorhea 1 (B. Lozano), Fort Davis 1 (Prude). Fouled out: Balmorhea, Is. Rodriguez, M. Mendoza, K. Rodriguez. Fort Davis, Prude, Reinberg. Total fouls: Balmorhea 26, Fort Davis 23.

JV golfers second at Andrews

PECOS, Feb. 23, 2000 -- The Pecos Eagles' junior varsity girl's golf team took second place last week, in a one-round tournament in Andrews.

The JV girls were in action, while Pecos' varsity squad skipped tournament play last weekend, and instead played a practice dual meet in Monahans against the Loboes.

The JV shot a 427 in the Feb. 16 tournament, finishing 36 shots in back of Andrews, which won with a 391 total on their home course. The Eagles finished four strokes ahead of third place Monahans, who were followed by Lamesa at 447, Andrews JV `B' at 448, Midland Trinity and 492 and Seminole at 519.

Coach Tina Hendrick said Dena Dutchover had the low round of the day for the Eagles with a 101, and was followed by Brandi North at 105, Kelsey Riley at 110 and Amanda Armstrong with a 111 total.

Hendrick said no team scores were officially kept for Saturday's 18 holes of golf at the Ward County Golf Course. "It was just a dual meet, and we took all our girls," she said.

Unofficially, the Eagles' varsity golfers shot a 358 on the day, led by Candace Hillard at 85 and Salem Mitchell at 86. Cassie Foster shot a 93, Amanda Stickels a 94 and Brandi Bradley a 94 for the other Pecos scores.

Hendrick said she would be taking her varsity squad, along with two medallists, to Fort Stockton this Friday and Saturday for the Blue Ribbon Invitational. Along with the host Prowlers, all of Pecos' former district rivals _ Andrews, Big Spring, San Angelo Lake View, Snyder and Sweetwater _ would be at the tournament, and while none of the Eagles' current District 2-4A opponents will be there, the tournament will also feature four El Paso area schools, Irvin, Montwood, Hanks and Eastwood, along with Odessa High, Midland High, Seminole and Hereford.

Pecos' boys also had this past weekend off. They'll return to action on Friday and Saturday competing at the Tall City Invitational in Midland.

Failed test may be end of Strawberry's career

AP Sports Writer
TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 23, 2000 - Darryl Strawberry might be out of second chances.

The New York Yankees designated hitter tested positive for cocaine on Jan. 19, it was revealed Tuesday, and could be facing his third suspension from the major leagues.

A high-ranking baseball official, speaking on the condition he not be identified, said the commissioner's office is investigating. A decision whether to take disciplinary action likely would be made by Thursday at the latest.

The official did not detail what action the sport was likely to take against Strawberry. But given his past penalties, a suspension that would last most - if not all - of this season appears likely.

Rich Levin, the spokesman for commissioner Bud Selig, declined comment.

Strawberry, an eight-time All-Star, came back from colon cancer surgery in October 1998. He hit .333 with two home runs and four RBIs in the postseason last year in helping the Yankees to their second straight World Series sweep.

The Yankees were counting on Strawberry, who turns 38 next month, to be their primary DH this season following the retirement of Chili Davis.

On Tuesday, before the problem became public, Yankees manager Joe Torre gave a hint that something was up.

"I have a sense something will happen here that will stir the pot," he said.

Strawberry is tested two or three times a week as part of his no-contest plea on May 26, 1999, to charges of cocaine possession and soliciting a prostitute. He was sentenced to 18 months of probation and 100 hours of community service.

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and general manager Brian Cashman declined comment on the news, first reported by WTVT in Tampa and WLWT in Cincinnati. WLWT obtained the three-page report on the probation violation from the Florida Department of Corrections and made it available to The Associated Press.

Strawberry, who has been working out at the Yankees complex, could not be contacted after positive test became known. He lives in a gated community, Cheval, just north of Tampa in the suburb of Lutz.

He already has served two drug-related suspensions.

The first, for 60 days, was in 1995 after he tested positive for cocaine. The second, from April 24 to Aug. 4 last season, came after he was arrested in Tampa last April 4 for possessing 0.3 grams of cocaine.

Strawberry didn't rejoin the Yankees until Sept. 1, but hit .327 with three homers and six RBIs.

The Feb. 8 report by correction probation specialist Shelley J. Tomlinson, which was approved by deputy regional director Nancy L. Ham and signed by Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Florence Foster, said Strawberry did not make a statement about the violation on the advice of his lawyer.

The report did not ask that Strawberry's probation be revoked or modified. It recommended Strawberry "remain under supervision with enhanced treatment sanctions and continued urine monitoring 2-to-3 times per week."

In addition, the report said Strawberry should receive "updated substance-abuse evaluation" and have weekly counseling and continue to attend Alcoholics Anonymous-Narcotics Anonymous meetings.

Dr. Joel Solomon, the medical adviser to the players association, recommended "an enhancement of his aftercare program consisting of regular individual therapy sessions while in Tampa and also once he moves to New York," according to the report.

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