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Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Basketball teams hope shorter trips net better results

The long trips are almost completely gone from the Pecos Eagles' 2002-03 basketball schedules, and both teams will be hoping to bring home a few more wins from their shorter trips when regular season play gets underway at home on Nov. 12.

The Eagles, who have struggled in basketball for most of the past decade and especially in the past four seasons as a member of District 2-4A, will drop down into District 4-3A this Janaury, eliminating the 175- to 220-mile trips to El Paso they've endured in district since 1998.

The only long trips this year for the Eagles come late in the season _ a Jan. 31 visit to new district rival Presidio, though for coach Joe Flores' boys squad, the move down to Class 3A comes with a move up in the level of pre-district competition, after finishing last season with a 4-23 record, 1-7 in District 2-4A play.

Pecos will start off its season on Nov. 12 at home against former District 4-4A rival Andrews, and will face one of their 2-4A rivals, San Elizario, at home a week later. Two other former district foes, Snyder and Big Spring, also will make trips to Pecos this season, while the Eagles will start off December with a trip to the Chaparral Center in Midland to face the Midland High Bulldogs.

"I think it will be a good experience for the kids playing in front of all those people there," said Flores, whose team will also play in three tournaments, in Andrews, Monahans and Fort Stockton, before opening 4-3A play on Jan. 10 at Midland Greenwood.

Pecos' girls went winless in district last season and 2-18 on the season. Both wins came at the expense of Presidio, who the Eagles will play three times this season _ a non-district game at home on Nov. 26, followed by their 4-3A match-ups on Jan. 14 and Jan. 31.

The girls also open their season at home on Nov. 12 against Crane, the first of seven doubleheaders on the home schedule for the Eagles, four of those in district play. They open their 4-3A schedule a week ahead of the boys, on Jan. 3 in Monahans, and play their district home opener on Jan 7 versus Fort Stockton. The varsity girls will play at 6 p.m. and the boys at 7:30 p.m. on doubleheader nights, while the junior varsity teams will play in the old Pecos High School gym those nights.

The girls have two tournaments scheduled in December, at Stanton on Dec. 12-14, and over the Christmas holiday in Iraan.

Regular season play wraps up for the girls on Feb. 4 at home against Kermit, and on Feb. 11 for the boys against Fort Stockton.

Eagles' play far from perfect despite practice

Staff Writer

What the Pecos Eagles do in practice and what they do in a game _ at least  in a game against the Monahans Loboettes _ are two different  things, according to coach Becky Granado.

"We have a game plan we work on in practice, but then they don't execute it," Granado said, after her team was swept at home Tuesday night by Monahans, 15-1, 15-3. "We don't bring it from practice to the game and that is the hardest thing to accept."

The Eagles actually scored the game's first point, on a spike by Danielle Garcia, and stayed even with the Loboettes through the first four rotations. But when Monahans got both Laura Crumrine and Brittany Hughes on the front line at the same time, the Eagles started falling apart, giving Monahans more points on unforced errors than the Loboettes earned on their own.

"I don't understand why we can't play the way we practice. I'm not going to take anything away from Monahans, they are good, but we just lost our focus on what we were going to do," Granado said.

Hughes put Monahans ahead to stay in the first game with a spike that was blocked out of bounds by Bre'Ann Windham, and she and Crumrine would add five more kills for points the rest of the way. But the Eagles also hurt themselves by failing to set up their own shots well, a problem that got worse in the second game.

In that one, a Crumrine missed tip allowed Pecos to tie the score at the outset, 1-1, before Hughes scored on a dink over Pecos' blockers and Crumrine then went over the shorter Eagles' front line for a kill. After that, though, nine of the Loboettes' final 11 points were on unforced errors, while the Eagles other two points came on Monahans errors.

The loss dropped Pecos out of a tie for second place in the District 4-3A standings with Midland Greenwood, which defeated Fort Stockton on Tuesday. The Eagles are 5-3 in district and 12-14 on the season, while Monahans improved to 28-6 and at 8-0 in district, the Loboettes clinched the district title and a first round bye.

Greenwood also clinched a playoff spot on Tuesday, while the Eagles are still two games up on 3-5 Fort Stockton, and can earn their seventh straight trip to the playoffs on Saturday with a win on the Prowlers' home court, something Granado said she talked to her players about following Tuesday's loss.

"They said they want to win, and they said they want to get to the playoffs. But I said you have to want to go out and do it. You need to let your actions speak for you," she said. "They all know what it is. We can clinch a playoff spot, and we practice to get better, but when it's game time we don't play the way we practice."

Monahans also won Tuesday's freshman and junior varsity matches. The Loboettes ninth graders defeated the Eagles, 3-15, 15-11, 15-7, while the JV lost to Monahans, 15-7, 9-15, 15-0.

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Pecos Enterprise
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