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Tuesday, November 28, 2000

Eagle girls open hoop play against Loboes

Staff Writer
PECOS, Nov. 28, 2000 -- The Pecos Eagles will find out tonight what two extra weeks of preseason practice means, when they open their 2000-2001 girls basketball season at home tonight, against the Monahans Loboes.

New coach Veronica Valenzuela takes over a team that won just one game a year ago, but has over half its players returning. However, she said for tonight’s game, “I’ll only have nine players, because two of them haven’t made up their practices.”

Pecos dropped a couple of early games from their schedule, then lost what was supposed to be their season opener on Monday in Alpine due to a conflict. That gave the team two extra weeks to get ready for the season, and Valenzuela said, “I think it helped, up until we got out for Thanksgiving. I only had half the team show up Saturday for practice. The other half was out-of-town.”

Valenzuela will have three returning starters tonight in posts Philly Fobbs and Kalyn Lara and point guard Maricela Arenivas. All are seniors while two juniors, Jessica Rodriguez and Kathy Maldonado, will start at the other guard positions.

Fobbs was out for a couple of weeks after the end of volleyball season due to a knee injury, but was able to work out starting last week. Valenzuela said she’s hoping that will make a difference tonight against the Loboes, who the Eagles did scrimmage back on Nov. 11 at Odessa Permian.

“They had one big girl that hurt us in the scrimmage as far as size went. They just lobbed the ball into her, but having Philly in there will help,” she said.

Monahans lost their first two regular season games, but played longtime Class 2A state power Ozona close on the road a week ago before falling by a 49-36 final score. “They’re pretty quick. In the scrimmage, they were a lot tougher than Permian,” Valenzuela said.

As far as Pecos goes, Valenzuela said she’d probably have the team pressing less tonight than in recent years, with only nine players available. “I’m afraid we may get a little run down if I try to do that, but I may try it for about a quarter.

“We worked on it in practice when we were working on our press break. If I feel like it’s going to hurt us more than help us I’m not going to do it,” she said.

Tonight’s game is the only one of the week for the Eagles, who’ll face Odessa Permian in their road opener next Tuesday. Pecos’ boys are off tonight after ending their long losing streak this past Saturday in Presidio, and will return to action on Thursday, at the Gym Bice Tournament in Andrews.

Rodriguez places 35th in NJCAA championships

PECOS, Nov. 28, 2000 -- Former Pecos Eagle distance runner Billy Rodriguez placed 35th and was part of a South Plains Junior College cross country squad that placed third overall on Nov. 21, at the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Cross Country Championships, held on the Texans’ home course at Levelland City Park.

Rodriguez had the fifth best time on the South Plains squad, covering the 8,000-meter (five-mile) course in 28:08.1. That was 2:15 behind winner Jeff Davidson of Ricks College in Idaho, which won the NJCAA Division I title for the second year in a row with 42 points. Central Arizona JC beat out South Plains for second in the race, which was run in the snow at Levelland.

Finishing ahead of Rodriguez on the South Plains squad were Juan de Bastos, who was sixth overall with a 26:15.9 time, and Josephat Keino, who was seventh in 26:19.6. Miguel Lira was 15th for the Texans with a 26:45.5 time, Allen Kipchoge was 21st in 27:09.0, Josh Selfridge was 47th with a time of 28:47.7, and Jason Sepeda, who ran against Rodriguez as a member of the Sweetwater Mustangs in high school, was 65th with a 29:36.9 time.

South Plains also placed third in the women’s division of the NJCAA championships, where Ricks College also took first, with Utah Valley State College second.

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