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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Monday, November 24, 2003

Eagles suffer Wildcat mauling in opener

Staff Writer

Assuming no one in District 4-3A or on the rest of the Pecos Eagles boys basketball schedule has a guard being recruited by Bob Knight or Lute Olson, things should be looking up for the Eagles after their opening night game against the Lovington Wildcats.

Lovington guard Jawaan Payne, who is being looked at by both the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Arizona Wildcats, put on a show along with his Wildcat teammates on Friday night at the Pecos High School gym. The 5-10 Payne scored twice on fast-break dunks off steals in the first half, then slammed down a one-handed rebound dunk in the final period, putting an exclamation point on Lovington's 104-38 win over the Eagles in the season opener for both teams.

"Those guys just shoot the ball real well. They're straight basketball players," said coach Joe Flores, whose team will hope for better results tonight when they travel to Alpine for their first road game of the season, against the Bucks at 7:30 p.m.

Lovington, which was minus two players who were participating in the Wildcats' Class 3A state playoff game in New Mexico Friday night, became the first team to score 100 points on Pecos at home since the Eagles began playing in the new PHS gym 20 years ago. But three minutes into the game the score was tied at 1-1, and Pecos was the team that had missed the best scoring chances in the early going.

But all that changed when Tydoe Lewis hit the first of 10 3-point baskets on the night for Lovington and was fouled by Ricardo Morales. Lewis hit his foul shot, and that sparked an 18-0 run by the Wildcats over the next 4:15, until Saul Pina got Pecos' first basket of the night with 45 seconds left in the period. Three Wildcat baskets during the run came on steals off Pecos inbound passes.

"Our basketball minds are elementary, but we're getting better," Flores said. "We just have to keep working on those fundamental things, like being able to pass without staring a guy in the face."

Payne's dunks came early in the second period, as the Wildcats took advantage of their quickness and the Eagles' problems in telegraphing their passes while trying to run their offense in Lovington's end of the court. Ryan Hargrove and Jared Swenson also nailed 3-pointers in the closing minute of the half, as the Wildcats went into the locker room with a 56-15 lead.

That margin grew to 81-25 after three periods. Lovington's outside shooting cooled down a little in the final two periods, but the final one of the night, by Swenson, allowed the Wildcats to hit the triple digit mark.

Payne led all scorers with 26 points, while Swenson had 25 and Lewis 23 for Lovington. Jose Reyes hit the Eagles' only two free throws of the night and was the only Pecos player in double figures, finishing with 10 points.

Despite the losing margin, Flores said, "I saw a lot of good things, and our goal this year is to improve every game, and I think we already have improved since our scrimmage," he said, referring to last Wednesday's practice against the West Texas State School.

Lovington also scored an easy win in Friday's junior varsity game, 74-13. Jeremiah Jurado led Pecos with six points.


J. Payne 11 0-1 26; Lewis 10 1-1 23; Hargrove 3 0-0 8; Swanson 9 5-6 25; Morgan 2 1-1 5; Gonzales 0 0-0 0; Olivas 3 0-1 6; Corral 0 0-0 0; Evans 1 0-0 2; Black 0 0-0 0; McBee 0 0-0 0; T. Payne 3 3-3 9. Totals 42 10-13 104.

Pecos (38)

Parada 2 1-4 5; Morales 0 0-0 0; Pina 3 1-2 7; Reyes 3 2-2 10; Anchondo 2 1-2 5; Lara 3 3-4 9; Medina 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 8-14 38.

Lovington 23 33 25 23 104

Pecos 3 12 10 13 38

Three-point goals: Lovington 10 (J. Payne 4, Lewis 2, Hargrove 2, Swenson 2), Pecos 2 (Reyes 2). Fouled out: None. Total fouls: Lovington 14, Pecos 13.

Inside baskets get Pecos girls win in opener

Height is not something the Pecos Eagles' girls basketball team is blessed with this year, or pretty much any year.

That usually hurts the Eagles during the course of a season, but on Friday night, in their 2003-04 season opener, Pecos was the team doing most of the scoring inside, as they went to Presidio and came away with a 57-38 non-district victory over their District 4-3A rivals.

"We made most of our shots from inside," said Eagles' coach Veronica Valenzuela, as post Vanessa Garcia led all scorers with 18 points. "She made some good cuts to the basket or was in position to get the rebound and put it back up," Valenzuela said.

Leslie Rodriguez also was in double figures for Pecos with 12 points, even though Valenzuela said she and Mari Mendoza got into early foul trouble.

The Eagles took a 16-10 lead after one period, and then widened that margin to 21 points at halftime by outscoring the Blue Devils 17-2 in the second quarter. "We were ahead by 28 or 30 points in the second half, but then we started rushing things when we didn't have to," Valenzuela said.

"We did a lot of good things, but there are still some things we have to work on. We need to work on our blocking out and turnovers. We managed to win by 19, but we still had 37 turnovers," she added.

Presidio was led by Ivet Mendoza, who had 17 points. The loss dropped the Blue Devils to 0-2 on the season. Presidio did win Friday's junior varsity game, 38-21. Chantelle Mazzone led Pecos with 12 points.

The Eagles will be back in action, and back on road, today and Tuesday. They'll go to Wink tonight for 5 and 6:30 p.m. games against the Wildcats, and will go another 25 miles past there on Tuesday to Jal, N.M., for games against the Panthers.

PECOS (57)

Rodriguez 5 2-3 12; Carrasco 0 0-0 0; D. Garcia 3 1-2 7; M. Mendoza 1 0-0 2; Herrera 1 2-4 4; O. Mendoza 3 2-4 8; V. Garcia 9 0-1 18; Armendariz 3 0-0 6. Totals 25 7-14 57.


Mendoza 7 2-4 17; Carrasco 0 4-8 4; Rivas 1 0-2 2; Pantoja 0 0-0 0; Fassett 0 0-0 0; Tellez 0 1-8 1; Lowan 4 2-3 10; Velasquez 4 2-3 10; Seativo 0 0-0 0; Tavarez 1 0-0 2. Totals 13 11-27 38.

Pecos 16 17 10 14 57

Presidio 10 2 9 17 38

Three-point goals: Presidio 1 (Mendoza). Fouled out: Pecos, M. Mendoza. Total fouls: Pecos 23, Presidio 18.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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