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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
February 21, 2001
Injury clouds Bears' win over Mustangs
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, February 21, 2001 - The Balmorhea Bears showed Tuesday night
they can win a playoff game even when their leading scorer is having an
off night. Now they're hoping they won't have to find out if they can win
one with him completely out of the lineup on Friday.
The Bears won their Class A-Division II bi-district playoff game against
the Marathon Mustangs by a 58-43 score at Sul Ross State University in
Alpine. Balmorhea got the victory despite getting only eight points out
of leading scorer Isaiah Rodriguez, as Billy Lozano and Jourmain Matta
put in 16 points apiece for the Bears.
But it was Rodriguez' final two points that may come back to haunt
Balmorhea on Friday, when they travel to McMurry University in Abilene
to face Westbrook, 57-44 winners Tuesday over Trent, in a sectional semifinal
game at 6 p.m. on Friday.
Rodriguez stole the ball and drove in against Marathon's Carlos Salmon
for a lay-up, but came down wrong and injured his left knee, forcing him
to sit out the remaining five minutes of the game. He's scheduled to go
to Odessa today to have the injury looked at by a doctor.
"Hopefully it isn't anything serious," said Bears' coach Adolfo Garcia,
whose team used an 8-0 run at the end of the first period to turn a 7-6
deficit into a 16-7 lead. They would widen that margin to as many as 14
points in the second period, then kept the lead at no less than nine points
the rest of the way, despite what Garcia called an off night for the Bears.
"We didn't play well the whole game. We had too many turnovers," Garcia
said. "Hopefully, we'll cut down on that before Friday."
What did help the Bears was the return of guard Chris Barragan and
the play of Lozano, who had 12 of his 16 points in the first half. "They
were working good at times. Chris did a good job creating chances for Billy
and Jourmain, and this was the first game he's gotten back since injuring
his ankle," Garcia said.
Barragan found Lozano for a couple of lay-ups in the first half, while
Lozano would later find Matta open underneath the basket for a couple of
easy baskets in the second half, as the Bears tried to maintain their lead.
Johnny Samudio led all scorers with 18 points, and came up with a couple
of rebound baskets of his own in the opening period, before the Bears began
to do a better job on the defensive boards. Jorge Samudio did find his
way inside for several baskets in the second half, and led a Mustang comeback
that cut a 40-25 Bears' lead to 42-33 at one point. He finished with 14
points, while no other Marathon player scored more than five points on
The Mustangs also went to the foul line 18 times compared to only 11
for Balmorhea, but it was Marathon who lost starting forward Isaac Paredez
to fouls during their third period rally, and Balmorhea's Jerry Mendoza
came back moments later to score and get fouled by Salmon. His three-point
play stopped the streak with 11 seconds left and widened the Bears' lead
back to 12 as the fourth period began.
"We're very young. We still don't know how to put teams away, and eventually,
that's going to come back and hurt us," said Garcia, whose team took its
biggest lead of the night, at 53-37, on the steal and lay-up that ended
with Rodriguez injuring his knee.
It was his second basket off a steal in the game, but overall, Rodriguez
missed several chances inside before leaving with the injury. "He's never
shot that poorly," Garcia said. "Isaiah's never scored just eight points
in a game, he's been averaging 21 points a game this season."
The win improved the Bears' record to 17-3 going into the sectional
tournament this weekend. "If we win (against Westbrook) more than likely
we'll face D'Hannis. They're a real good team," Garcia said. The sectional
finals are Saturday and the winner will advance to the regional tournament
Lozano 7 2-2 16; Barragan 1 0-0 3; Mendoza 3 2-4 8; Matta 8 0-0 16;
Is. Rodriguez 4 0-0 8; Muniz 0 1-2 1; M. Rodriguez 0 0-0 0; Baeza 0 0-0
0; Dominugez 0 0-0 0; A. Rodriguez 0 0-0 0; Garcia 1 0-0 2; Iv. Rodriguez
1 0-3 2; Humphries 1 0-0 2. Totals 26 5-11 58.
Jo. Samudio 8 2-6 18; Salmon 1 2-2 5; Paredez 0 2-2 2; Gonzales 1 0-2
2; Jg. Samudio 5 4-6 14; R. Hernandez 0 0-0 0; Estrada 1 0-0 2; Martinez
0 0-1 0; H. Hernandez 0 0-0 0; Aguilar 0 0-0 0; Ramirez 0 0-0 0; Gonzales
0 0-0 0. Totals 16 10-18 43.
Balmorhea 16 15 15 13 - 58
Marathon 9 12 12 10 - 43
Three-point goals: Balmorhea 1 (Barragan), Marathon 1 (Salmon)
out: Marathon , Paredea. Total fouls: Balmorhea 18, Marathon
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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