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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Tuesday, April 4, 2000

Pecos golfers open big leads at district

PECOS, Apr. 4, 2000 -- The Pecos Eagle varsity and junior varsity golf teams appear headed towards regional berths for the second year in a row, following the first round of the District 2-4A golf tournament on Monday at Vista Hills Country Club in El Paso.

The boys led a field of eight teams on Monday by shooting a 345 over the first 18 holes of the 36-hole tournament, while the Eagles' JV team was 35 shots in front of Clint in the race for the second Region I-4A Tournament berth. The JV had a round of 376, while the Lions shot a 411 at Vista Hills.

"Everything's going all right," said coach Kim Anderson, who also had his varsity and JV teams earn regional berths a year ago.

Coach Tina Hendricks' girls had a little easier field, with only one other school, Fabens, able to field enough golfers to post a team score. They also had a much bigger lead, with their JV squad coming in 124 strokes ahead of the Wildcats, while the varsity Eagles shot a 368 on the first day of tournament play.

Round two of the tournament began at 10 a.m. CDT today at Emerald Springs Golf Course, and Anderson said the weather was improved over Monday's conditions.

"It's beautiful today. It was kind of windy yesterday," he said, which may have added a few strokes to the final scores. No golfer on the boys' side broke 80 Monday, and only one golfer, Pecos' Amanda Stickels, was able to break 90 at Vista Hills.

Stickels shot an 88 to lead the medallist race, and was followed by three of her teammates, Candace Hilliard at 91, Salem Mitchell at 94 and Lauren Martinez with a 95. Cassie Foster shot a 102 to round out the varsity totals.

Canutillo's Maggie Jimenez was fifth in the medallist race with a 96, and was followed by Brandi Bradley, who led the JV golfers with a 99 score. Rounding out the JV totals were Dena Dutchover at 105, Kattie Davis with a 106, Brandi North with a 109 and Kelsey Riley with a 117.

The JV ended up at 419 overall, while Fabens stood in third place with a 543 total.

Hendrick also took three other golfers, Amanda Armstrong, Jacqueline Marquez and Vanessa Hernandez, who shot 112, 118 and 129 respectively on Monday.

The boys had eight of the top 10 scores in the first round of play, though Clint's Clinton Moore leads the medallist race after a round of 80. He was followed by Tye Edwards who shot an 82. Cortney Freeman had an 86, Michael Baca an 88, John Granado an 89 and Clay McKinney a 94 for the other varsity team scores.

Jack Stickels shot an 89 to lead the JV at Vista Hills. Austin Alvarez was next at 93, followed by Casey Breiten at 96, David Bradley at 98 and Trey Perkins with a 110. Pecos' other golfer, Jake McKinney, stood tied for fourth with Baca in the medallist race, following a round of 88 on Monday.

After the two Eagle teams and Clint, Canutillo was fourth with a 426 score, Fabens was fifth at 440, El Paso Mountain View sixth with a 458, Fabens' JV was seventh at 485 and Clint's JV was eighth with a 493. San Elizario did not field a golf team.

Struggling teams face Eagles today

PECOS, Apr. 4, 2000 -- The Pecos Eagles will take on a couple of struggling teams today, in the Fabens Wildcats and San Elizario Eagles, and will hope to add to those teams' problems in a pair of afternoon games.

Pecos' girls play their next-to-last regular season softball game at 4 p.m. at Martinez Field against Fabens, a team they beat last month by a 28-6 score. The boys, meanwhile, wrap up the first half of their District 2-4A schedule with a 5 p.m. game at San Eli. It's the only game of the week for both Eagle squads, due to the District 2-4A track meet, also in San Elizario, this Friday and Saturday.

After opening district play with a tie against El Paso Mountain View and a one-run loss to Canutillo, San Elizario has given up 48 runs in their last two games, losing to Fabens 22-5 a week ago and to Clint, 26-5, this past Friday. Rene Solis took the loss against the Lions, who scored 25 runs in their first three at-bats against San Eli.

The Eagles remained a game behind Clint in the district standings, rallying for a 7-5 win at home over Canutillo. Josh Casillas' second home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth inning, gave the Eagles the lead for good, while Capi Magana struck out eight and allowed just four hits in improving to 4-0 on the season.

"We didn't play good defense behind him," said Eagles' coach Bubba Williams "He hit a batter and walked a batter and gave up a run (in the first inning), and then we dropped two fly balls," which allowed Canutillo to take 2-1 and 5-4 leads in the game.

Pifi Montoya, 4-2, figures to start on the mound this afternoon. He took the loss in relief of Casillas last week at Clint, allowing eight runs (four earned) in five innings. Last year, he pitched a one-hitter at San Elizario in the Eagles' final regular season game.

The girls are still trying to get their hitting untracked at home, though they've outscored their district opponents in Pecos, 32-6, despite collecting just 13 hits in those games. They did get four extra base hits in last Friday's 10-0 win over Canutillo, including a pair of triples by Rebecca Wein.

The Eagles scored 17 times in the third inning three weeks ago at Fabens on the way to their victory. Alexa Marquez picked up the win, with Ashley Salcido also seeing action on the mound for the Eagles. Pecos comes into the game with an 7-1 mark in district, tied for first with Clint, who they host to end regular season play a week from today.

Cleaves hobbles Gators as Spartans capture title

AP Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS, Apr. 4, 2000 - With every basket, every glare, every pump of his fist, Mateen Cleaves carried Michigan State.

So, when it came time to carry away the championship trophy, Cleaves wasn't about to give it up - even with a crutch under each arm.

"He has the heart of a lion," said his coach, Tom Izzo.

Cleaves scored 18 points in the NCAA championship against Florida before tumbling to the court with a grotesquely sprained ankle. After a quick tape job, he returned to play 11 more minutes in his college finale, the Spartans' leader right to the end - even though he was barely able to make it up and down the court.

"It was a lot of pain," Cleaves said. "I had to suck it up and play on it."

Later, he had the perfect painkiller.

Tears were rolling down his cheeks as he hobbled on crutches and his Michigan State teammates cut down the nets after their 89-76 victory Monday night.

They put one of the nets around his neck, and Cleaves then helped carry off the trophy.

The championship came 21 years after Magic Johnson led the Spartans to their first national title. And Magic was on hand to see this one, too.

"I knew that foot wouldn't keep him down," said Johnson, adorned in a green sweatshirt of his alma mater but merely a fan these days.

The victory over Florida certainly wasn't a one-man show.

Morris Peterson finished with 21 points and A.J. Granger had 19. Cleaves was 7-for-11 from the field - including 3-of-4 from outside the 3-point arc - even though he didn't take a shot after his injury.

Many thought Cleaves would be playing in the NBA this year, following Michigan State's loss to Duke in the Final Four last season.

Instead, he returned for his senior season, delaying the inevitable millions for the chance to win a championship for his school. Even when he missed the first 13 games with a broken right foot, he never second-guessed his decision to come back to the Spartans.

"This is a wonderful message for all the kids out there," said Frances Cleaves, his mother. "Stay in school, stick to your goals, work hard. That will make you a winner."

Cleaves was impressive in the first half, breaking Florida's press with his passing and ballhandling as Michigan State built a 43-32 lead. The margin had been cut to 50-44 when he rolled his right ankle on a drive to the basket with 16:18 to play.

A lot of teams might have folded after losing their leader. Not the Spartans, with a team full of seniors and juniors.

Mike Chappell, taking Cleaves' spot on the floor, immediately hit a 3-pointer, prompting Izzo to take such a vigorous punch at the air that he nearly lost his jacket. Michigan State was up 58-50 by the time the point guard returned 4:29 later.

"I think it took a little bit out of Florida seeing him come back," Chappell said. "We lose Mateen, we build on what we had, and to have him come back to take the reins, I mean, I know if I was on the other side seeing that it would take some of the wind out of my sails."

Even though Cleaves didn't score another point, he helped the Spartans push the lead even higher against the younger, less experienced Gators.

His long pass to Peterson for a layup made it 60-50. Cleaves was leveled while setting a screen a few minutes later, but it was enough to spring Granger for a 3-pointer that started a 16-6 run and put the game away.

"Mateen Cleaves is a great point guard. He showed it tonight," Florida's Mike Miller said. "Senior leader, been through a lot of things. I think he did a good job of running his team and he knocked down shots."

The Spartans' victory in 1979 - Magic vs. Larry Bird - is the one that hooked the nation on the NCAA tournament. This one may not have had the same significance, but it had the drama thanks to Cleaves and his bum ankle.

"I told the trainer they'd have to amputate it to keep me out of this one," he said.

The Spartans (32-7), the only top-seeded team to reach the Final Four, finished 33-for-59 from the field (56 percent), the best against Florida's frantic pace in the tournament. The previous best was 43 percent by top-ranked Duke in the regional semifinals.

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