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Wednesday, November 20, 2002 

Iraan runs past Pecos in girls' season opener

The season-opening game for the Pecos Eagles girls' basketball team may have been a good advertisement for cross-country running, based on the results of Tuesday night's game in Iraan against the Braves.

Iraan jumped out to a 40-19 halftime lead on Pecos, on the way to a 67-42 win over the Eagles. However, despite that, and some foul shooting problems of their own, Valenzuela said she found some bright spots in the loss.

"All things considered the girls did OK," she said. "I saw some good things out there, and I told the girls if they continue to improve in some areas, we'll be all right."

"The main thing is we're not in playing shape right now. They got a few easy baskets by beating us down the court, and when we tried the same thing, we threw the ball away," Valenzuela said.

Iraan came into the game off season-opening loss to Reagan County and Big Spring, but had the advantage on endurance, since five members of the team were part of the Braves' cross country team that won the Class A state title on Nov. 9. That included Rikita Urias and Rachel Green, who both scored 16 points for the Braves. Urias also had two of Iraan's five 3-point baskets, as Valenzuela said her team was slow to cover the Braves outside shooters in the first half.

For Pecos, their lone girls' cross-country runner this past season, Leslie Rodriguez, also ended up as the leading scorer with 15 points, including one of the Eagles' two 3-point baskets, while Danielle Garcia added 10.

Defensively, Valenzuela said Iraan pressed Pecos for the entire game. "They ran a full-court press, and if they were not doing that they ran a half-court trap," she said, while adding that the press didn't hurt the Eagles as much as in some games last season. "In the second half they ran traps on the sides, and all we did was run our half-court press break and we had opportunities to score."

The Eagles also had chances to score from the foul line, but despite taking 14 more free throws than Iraan, managed only one more point than the Braves.

"We missed 23 free throws, and I think a lot of that has to do with not being able to concentrate and shoot free throws when we're tired," Valenzuela said.

The Eagles' next game will be their home opener on Friday night against Van Horn, with the games scheduled for 5 and 6:30 p.m. Pecos' boys, who saw their scheduled home game on Tuesday against San Elizario canceled, will go to Van Horn on Friday for 5 and 6:30 p.m. contests.

Iraan also won Tuesday's junior varsity game over Pecos, 39-15. Kristi Contreras led the Eagles with six points.

PECOS (42)
Rodriguez 5 2-5 15; Franco 1 0-0 2; Ornelas 1 2-8  4; Mendoza 0 0-4 0; Arreguy 0 0-0 0; Herrera 1 1-4  4; Regelman 0 2-2 2; Martinez 2 0-0 4; Garcia 3 4-10  10; Baez 0 0-0 0; Terry 0 3-4 3. Totals 13 14-37 42.

IRAAN (67)
Duran 2 0-1 4; Smith 2 0-0 6; Holmes 1 4-4 6; Jerrigan  1 2-7 4; Green 8 0-2 16; Callahan 3 2-2 8; Urias 6 2-2  16; Alexander 1 1-2 3; Malone 1 1-4 3. Totals 25 12-23 67.

Pecos 7 12 11 12 _ 42

Iraan 17 23 12 15 _ 67

Three-point goals: Pecos 2 (Rodriguez, Herrera), Iraan 5 (Smith 2, Urias 2, Holmes). Technical foul: Iraan, Urias. Fouled out: Iraan Holmes, Jerrigan. Total fouls: Pecos 24, Iraan 30.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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