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Wednesday, January 31, 2001

Eagles miss chances, fall to Canutillo

PECOS, Jan. 31, 2001 -- The Pecos Eagle girls had a chance to pretty much sew up a  trip to the playoffs Tuesday night in Canutillo. Instead, the Eagles  will have to battle it out over the next seven days to see if they can end  their 10-year playoff drought.

Pecos lost to the Canutillo Golden Eagles by a 45-37 final score, as poor shooting finally caught up to the Eagles in the third quarter of Tuesday night's game.

"They did not play well at all," said coach Veronica Valenzuela. "Shooting-wise it definitely was not our night. I think in the first half we missed 22 little jump shots and lay-ups."

Even with those problems, the Eagles still managed to take a 21-17 lead into the locker room at halftime. But in the third quarter, Canutillo outscored Pecos by a 13-5 score, and maintained their lead during the final period.

Pecos went into the contest with a one-game lead over Canutillo in the race for the final District 2-4A playoff berth with three games to play. A win would have put them two games up with two to play, but Valenzuela said, "I think the girls put too much pressure on themselves, because they knew they would be in the driver's seat if they won.

"They were talking about it at practice on Monday about how important this game was, and it may have made them a little nervous," said Valenzuela, who added that bus trouble on the 220-mile trip to Canutillo might not have helped matters.

"We had a blowout, and the bus overheated twice before that," she said. "We had to ride from Van Horn with the boys."

Marisela Arenivas led Pecos with 15 points, while Dee Dee Molinar and Philly Fobbs had eight apiece. Canutillo was led by Diana Gonzalez, who scored most of her 13 points in the second half.

Both teams are now 4-4 in district, a game up on San Elizario and a game behind El Paso Mountain View, who host Pecos this Friday night. The Eagles then close their season next Tuesday by hosting San Elizario, while Canutillo faces first place Clint and last place Fabens in their final two games.

Clint beat Mountain View 35-29 on Tuesday to clinch the District 2-4A title, while San Elizario downed Fabens, 51-43.

Pecos suffers cold shooting in 58-35 loss

PECOS, Jan. 31, 2001 -- The Pecos Eagles haven't been shooting well in most of their recent games and they have never shot well in their trips to Canutillo. Put the two together and the result it a 58-36 road loss Tuesday night to the Golden Eagles.

"We played good enough defense to win and had a good enough effort, we just didn't score," said Eagles coach Tino Acosta. "That's our main impediment right now. When we find it, we'll be on our way."

Jose Rodriguez put in 19 points and while no other Canutillo player had more than eight, all 12 Golden Eagles scored on the night, while Ezra Varela led the Eagles with 16 points, including four 3-pointers, and Cesar Coria added nine points, while getting Golden Eagles' post Eddie Hita into foul trouble.

"Hita wasn't a factor because we got him into foul trouble," said Acosta. "Cesar gave the fits."

Canutillo took control early, going up 18-7 after one period and grabbing a 34-17 lead at the half before playing the Golden Eagles even over the final two periods.

While the loss dropped Pecos to 0-6 in district, Acosta said, "The thing that made me happy last night was for the last few years we've gone into the second half of district and laid down and died. Last night the kids played their hearts out."

Canutillo's win kept them tied for first in the District 2-4A standings with Fabens, 72-56 winners over San Elizario on Friday.

The Eagles will now travel to El Paso to face the Mountain View Lobos this Friday. Mountain View is 1-5 in district after their 42-32 loss to Clint on Tuesday.

Bears pull out wins over Fort Davis

PECOS, Jan. 31, 2001 -- The Balmorhea Bear boys clinched a bi-district playoff spot Tuesday night, and Balmorhea's girls moved to within a game of clinching a playoff spot of their own thanks to a pair of home court victories over Fort Davis.

Balmorhea's girls used a 30-point second half to come away with a 43-37 victory over Fort Davis, while the Bears struggled with their shooting for the second straight home game through three periods, before breaking out for 26 points in the fourth quarter to down the Indians, 60-52.

Coach Adolfo Garcia was unavailable, but girls coach Gary Gallego said, "I talked to coach Garcia and he said it was one of their worst shooting nights of the season. No one shot well other than Isaiah (Rodriguez)," who finished with a game-high 29 points.

Unlike their last home game, when the Bears broke out early in the fourth quarter to put away Dell City, Gallego said this game was close until the final minutes. The Bears had to rally from 14-12, 23-20 and 38-34 deficits after the first three quarters, and secured the victory after the Indians got into big foul trouble.

"Their big post, Josh Evans, fouled out with about two minutes to go, and Fort Davis only brought six players and one of them had already fouled out, so they had to finish with four," Gallego said.

Reggie Lozano and Jerry Mendoza had 10 points apiece for the Bears, who moved to 6-0 in district and 14-3 on the season in clinching a post-season berth.

The girls were led by Terry Hernandez' 15 points, while Celina Rodriguez added 12, though Gallego said both players also struggled shooting the ball.

"Celina had about nine points in the fourth quarter, but she only shot 3-for-10 from the foul line, or it would have been a wider gap," Gallego said. "Terry Hernandez had another good game, but her shooting also was off. They were again playing her box-and-1 and Fort Davis did a good job double-teaming her."

The teams were tied a 13-13 at the half, before Balmorhea outscored Fort Davis 15-10 in the third period. Gallego said the Maidens got as close as two points in the final period before the Bears held on for the win.

Julia Garlick had 16 rebounds, and Gallego said Joanna Garza and Chela Arredondo also played well in the win, which gave the Bears a 5-1 district record and 12-8 overall mark. Balmorhea can clinch a playoff berth on Friday with a win at Sierra Blanca. The Bears then close out their regular season the following Friday with a trip to Dell City.

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