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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Wednesday, January 7, 2004

Eagle errors at half's end boost Cranes

Staff Writer

It only took a few minutes of sloppy play for the Pecos Eagles to see a small deficit against the Crane Golden Cranes turn into a big one Tuesday night, in the team's first home game of the 2003-04 girls basketball season.

Crane scored 10 straight points in the final 31/2 minutes of the first half to turn a 19-15 lead into a 29-15 advantage, and would add as many as 10 points to that margin in the second half, before finishing with a 53-39 win over the Eagles at the Pecos High School gym.

Sophomore Amanda Baker worked inside for a game-high 15 points for Crane, but the Eagles were hurt more by guard Destri Schal, who scored six of her 14 points during the late second period run, including a steal and bank shot at the buzzer, after a length of the court drive with time running out.

The Eagles had lost to the Cranes in Crane last Friday by a 49-29 score, and going into Tuesday's rematch, Eagles' coach Veronica Valenzuela said, "Defensively we worked on packing it in and not letting the big girl (Baker) score. The game plan was to make them shoot from the outside, and I felt we did a good job in the first quarter.

"But in the second quarter with about four minutes left we started running around like there was one minute left in the game and that's when the bad things started," she said

The Eagles threw the ball away several times while trying to bring the ball upcourt, including a couple of times directly off the inbounds play.

"They weren't running that tough a press, but we made some bad passes," Valenzuela said. "and our shooting percentage was just as low as when we went over there. In the second quarter we started throwing the ball around and just throwing the ball up, and that's when it started getting out of hand."

Pecoos only led once in the game, at 6-4, after a rebound basket by Danielle Garcia and a side jumper by Leslie Rodriguez. A three-point play by Baker put the Cranes ahead to stay, but the Eagles were still within four points after a basket by Adriana Armendariz before Pecos' problems began.

Neither team scored for over 21/2 minutes in the third period, until Garcia hit a lane jumper. But Crane then scored 10 of the next 12 points, capping the run with a 3-point basket by Marissa Henderson that put the Cranes ahead, 39-19.

The Eagles scored six of the final eight points in the period to get the margin back down to 16, but Henderson opened the final period with a steal and lay-up and Crane would eventually widen their lead to 53-29 on Baker's final basket of the night, before Pecos scored the final 10 points of the game in the last 21/2 minutes of play.

Rodriguez scored 10 points to lead Pecos in scoring, while Armendariz and Vanessa Garcia had eight for the Eagles, who fell to 3-12 on the season going into their District 4-3A opener on Friday, at home against Monahans. Crane improved their record to 7-11 on the year.

The Cranes also won Tuesday's junior varsity game, 43-29. Ashley Dunn led the Eagles in scoring with nine points.

CRANE (53)
Gonzales 1 1-4 3; Henderson 3 0-0 7; Frymire 3 0-2 6; Schal 4 6-8 14; Crumrine 1 0-0 2; Bagwell 1 0-0 2; Sandoval 1 0-2 2; Baker 5 5-10 15; Chisum 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 12-26 53.

PECOS (39)
Rodriguez 3 4-7 10; Carrasco 1 1-2 3; D. Garcia 3 1-4 7; M. Mendoza 0 0-1 0; O. Mendoza 0 3-5 3; V. Garcia 2 4-4 8; Armendariz 3 2-4 8; Mazone 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 15-27 39.

Crane 12 17 12 12 53
Pecos 8 7 10 14 39
Three-point goals: Crane 1 (Henderson). Fouled out: Crane, Chisum. Pecos, Rodriguez. Total fouls: Crane 23, Pecos 20.

Third quarter woes cost Eagles in loss to Steers

Pretty much everything, including the scoreboard, went against the Pecos Eagles in the third quarter of their boys basketball game in Big Spring on Tuesday night, as the host Steers were able to turn an nine-point halftime deficit into a six-point victory.

Leading 22-13 at the half, the Eagles were outscored 20-6 - or 18-6, according to coach Joe Flores - in the third period to fall behind by five, and were unable to catch up in the final period, losing to the Steers by a 46-40 final score.

"They put a lot of pressure on us in the third quarter, and we made what I still call 'unforced errors'," Flores said. "We would be going in transition from defense to offense and had a lot of break opportunities but we just couldn't connect."

Brandon Hughes scored all seven of his points in the third period for Big Spring, and Jordan Cobb scored all of his game-high 11 points in the second half, while Wes Smith had 10 points for Big Spring.

Flores said Cobb, Hughes and Smith did most of their scoring from inside. "They got a lot of rebounds in the third quarter that helped them out, and we gave them a lot of turnovers as well," the Eagles' coach said. "They were much bigger than us and they kind of beat us up in the third period."

Grade problems also left Flores short of bodies on Tuesday - the Eagles suited up only seven players - but Pecos was able to score 11 points in each of the first two periods, before managing only six in the third.

Flores also had problems with the officials both on the court and at the scorer's table. "They gave Big Spring two extra points, and then we were down two possessions with about a minute left and they kicked the ball out of bounds. I called time out thinking we had the ball, but when we got back onto the court, they did," he said.

Oscar Parada, Ricardo Morales and Daniel Medina all had nine points to lead the Eagles, who fell to 6-11 on the season. The game was the sixth straight on the road for Pecos, a streak which will end on Friday when the Eagles host Crane.

PECOS (40)
Parada 4 0-0 9; Morales 4 1-4 9; J. Reyes 4 0-0 9; Licon 1 0-0 2; Lara 2 0-0 4; V. Reyes 2 3-4 7; Medina 0 0-2 0. Totals 17 4-10 40.

Gross 0 0-0 0; Lowery 4 0-0 8; Ornelas 3 0-0 6; Teeters 0 0-0 0; Hughes 2 3-5 7; Smith 4 2-3 10; Cobb 4 2-2 11; Flenniker 2 0-2 4; Creel 0 0-0 0; Partel 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 7-12 46.

Pecos 11 11 6 12 40
Big Spring 8 5 20 13 46
Three-point goals: Pecos 2 (Parada, J. Reyes), Big Spring 1 (Cobb). Fouled out: Pecos, Lara. Total fouls: Pecos 17, Big Spring 14.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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