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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Foul problems cost Eagles in opener

Staff Writer

The 2002-03 basketball season started with a little more cause  for optimism for the Pecos Eagles on Tuesday night against the  Andrews Mustangs, though Eagles' coach Joe Flores knows there's still a ways  to go before Pecos is ready to compete against the area's top teams.

The Mustangs took advantage of a parade to the foul line in the first half to take a nine point lead on the Eagles, and would use a series of pick-and-roll plays to score off a series of lay-ups in the third period, widening their lead to 17 points before eventually winning by a 49-38 final score.

That doesn't sound like a great start for Pecos' season, but unlike their early-season match-up against Andrews last year, the Eagles weren't consistently victimized by the Mustangs' full-court press, and did have the advantage inside during the opening period, until their posts got into foul trouble in a first half that featured 41 free throws.

"I really believe once we get in shape, with our size up front, in the long run we can wear down a bunch of opponents," said Florez, who used 12 of his 14 players throughout Tuesday's game. But of the 12 only post Isaiah Armendariz and forward Justin Lara were not in football prior to this week, and Florez said the lack of time to work out hurt the Eagles.

"Our players were out of shape, so we were just a step slow on defense," he said. "They got a good run in the first half of about six to eight points and got a good run in the second half, and I attribute that just to being tired."

Armendariz wasn't tired, but ended up on the bench after picking up two fouls in the first 5:48 of the game. Before that, he had already scored one basket and hit one foul shot, as the Eagles went out to an early 4-1 lead. Joey Ortega replaced Armendariz at post, but he picked up two fouls over the next 2:15 and ended up spending most of the first half on the bench with Armendariz.

Despite the loss of their size advantage, the Eagles stayed close to the Mustangs in the opening period, as both teams struggled with their shooting from the field and from the foul line. Andrews would go ahead to stay in the final 10 seconds of the quarter, after two foul shots by Tyler Haygood and a lay-up off an inbounds steal by Kelvin Roberts.

It was the first of three steals and baskets off the press by the Mustangs in the game, but overall, the Eagles handed the press far better than a year ago, when Andrews jumped out to a 19-2 lead in the opening period.

Flores said starting guard Genaro Mendoza "surprised me. He used to be out of control, but he handled the pressure well today. He picked it apart himself and did a good job seeing people with the ball."

Mendoza hit a 3-pointer to open the second period, cutting Andrews' lead to one, but the Eagles would sent the Mustangs to the foul line 18 times in the period after that, while Pecos struggled to get open shots inside due to their foul problems. Jordan Willis, who led all scorers with 19 points, hit a lay-up and later added a free throw, and Roberts scored off another steal to give Andrews its first 10-point lead, at 22-12.

The margin stayed between eight and 11 points until late in the third period, when Andrews ran several back door plays to widen their margin to as much as 17, at 43-26. They lead 45-30 going into the final quarter, which was more than enough to offset a four-point fourth period, as Willis came up with the final two baskets after a 3-pointer and foul shot by Armendariz cut the lead back to 11 with six minutes to play.

Armendariz finished with 15 points for the Eagles, who shot only 6-for-17 from the foul line. Andrews didn't have a great night from the line, either, but did manage to get just over 50 percent, with 15-for-28 shooting.

The Eagles will have the next six days to get ready for their next game, at home next Tuesday night against the San Elizario Eagles, Pecos' District 2-4A rival for the past four seasons.

No junior varsity game was played on Tuesday, but Andrews won the freshman season opener by a 68-26 final score. Luis Nunez led Pecos with eight points.

Pecos' girls season opener against Crane scheduled for Tuesday was cancelled because of Crane's Class 2A volleyball playoff game, and coach Veronica Valenzuela said the Eagles' games against Alpine, originally scheduled for Friday and then moved to Thursday night, also has been canceled. Meanwhile, the ninth grade girls' season opener against Monahans, scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, has been pushed back to Thursday, because of the Loboettes' Class 3A playoff match against Lamesa on Tuesday. The girls' varsity and JV season openers are now scheduled for next Tuesday night, in Iraan against the Maidens.


Haygood 2 5-6 9; Fisher 0 3-4 3; Hooper 1 0-0 2; Paterlea 1 2-2 4; Willis 8 3-5 19; Roberts 4 1-8 9; Harvey 0 0-0 0; Alaniz 0 0-0 0; Benaviides 1 1-3 3. Totals 17 15-28 49.

PECOS (38)

Sanchez 1 0-1 2; Parada 0 1-2 1; S. Barrera 0 0-0 0; Armendariz 5 4-7 15; Mendoza 3 0-2 5; Reyes 0 0-0 0; Barreno 1 0-0 2; Hinojos 0 0-2 0; Lara 1 1-1 3; Parent 2 0-0 4; Ortega 1 0-0 2; Pina 0 0-2 0. Totals 15 8-17 38.

Andrews 11 18 16 4 — 49

Pecos 7 13 10 8 — 38

Three-point goals: Pecos 2 (Mendoza, Armendariz). Fouled out: None. Total fouls: Andrews 17, Pecos 25.

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Pecos Enterprise
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