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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Monday, January 19, 2004

Scoring fails Eagles at start, finish of game

After getting blanked in the first quarter of their game Friday night against the Greenwood Rangerettes, the Pecos Eagles didn't figure to have much of a chance to come back and win their District 4-3A match-up at the Pecos High School gym.

But the Eagles would hold Greenwood to just 17 points over the next 19 minutes of the game, and were down by just eight points with 5:16 left to play, after a free throw by Danielle Garcia. That cut the lead to 33-25, before Pecos' scoring problems returned, as they went without a point over the next 4 1/2 minutes, which allowed the Rangerettes to regain control and come away with a 44-29 victory over the Eagles.

"I think it comes down to pressure and a lack of mental toughness," said Eagles' coach Veronica Valenzuela. "That's the only way to explain it. We did a good job coming back, but we don't have the momentum to follow through. The same thing happened in Fort Stockton. We make a mistake and it dominoes."

Valenzuela said Garcia sat out the first quarter of Friday's game due to unspecified problems, and her absence at guard helped Greenwood keep the Eagles from getting over all but a handful of shots in the opening eight minutes of play. Katie Howard had a couple of baskets and a free throw and Ana Ruegers had a pair of baskets inside for Greenwood, while Candace Johannsen scored directly off a steal during the opening period.

Vanessa Garcia finally got Pecos on the scoreboard with 7:28 left in the second period on a short jumper, and the teams swapped baskets over the rest of the period, which ended with Greenwood still ahead by 15 points, at 27-12.

Garcia had a couple of baskets to open the third period, and Pecos would finally get the lead back into single digits with 1:55 left in the period on a pair of foul shots by Adriana Armendariz. The Eagles also benefited from 2-for-9 foul shooting by Greenwood during the third period and the early part of the fourth quarter. That helped narrow the margin to eight, but with a chance to cut the lead down to six Pecos turned the ball over and Howard hit a jumper to give the Rangerettes a 35-25 lead.

Johannsen then hit a pair of free throws after a missed Pecos shot, and Kim Smith followed with a lay-up off another Eagle miss, and the lead was back up to 12 with just under four minutes to play. Jaymie Flowers and Amy Hopper followed with rebound baskets, before Leslie Rodriguez finally broke the string with a lay-up with 35 seconds remaining in the game.

"We were standing there watching and not helping out," Valenzuela said of the Rangerettes' late rebound advantage. "It's the same thing I've told them since the start of the season. Every time the other team gets a rebound second shot, they're going to have to run to motive them.

The loss left Pecos with a 0-3 record in district and a 3-14 record for the season, while Greenwood improved to 2-1 in district and 9-12 on the season. The Eagles' next game is Tuesday night in Presidio against the Blue Devils. Presidio is also 0-3 on the season and lost at home to the Eagles in a non-district game the opening week of the season.


Ruegers 2 0-0 4; Etheridge 0 0-0 0; Lopez 1 1-2 3; Smith 3 1-3 7; Howard 3 2-4 8; Flowers 2 0-3 4; Presley 3 0-0 6; Johannsen 3 3-4 9; Mitchell 0 0-2 0; Hopper 1 1-4 3. Totals 18 8-22 44.

PECOS (29)

Rodriguez 6 1-3 13; Carrasco 0 0-0 0; D. Garcia 3 2-6 8; M. Mendoza 0 0-0 0; Valdez 0 0-0 0; O. Mendoza 0 0-0 0; V. Garcia 1 1-3 3; Armendariz 1 3-3 5; Mazone 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 7-14 29.

Greenwood 16 11 6 11 44

Pecos 0 12 10 7 29

Three-point goals: None. Fouled out: Pecos, None. Total fouls: Greenwood 18, Pecos 17.

Greenwood rolls over Pecos in 4-3A opener

Staff Writer

If only the Pecos Eagles could have gotten the Greenwood Rangers to try and dunk a little more, the Eagles might have had a better chance in Friday night's District 4-3A opening basketball game. But the fact the Rangers had any chances to dunk at all was part of the Eagles' problems against the third-ranked Rangers.

Greenwood's size inside got the Rangers off to a strong start, and despite clanging both their dunk attempts off the rim, the Rangers hit enough lay-ups and jumpers against Pecos to more than make up for those mistakes, as Greenwood also took advantage of a series of Eagle turnovers to score an east 70-27 win at the Pecos High School gym.

"We were scared out there and we played scared," said Eagles' coach Joe Flores. "We played like an elementary team out there."

Pecos didn't have the size to match up with Greenwood's 6-foot-6 post Shane McNeely, who had two of his three of his baskets in the game in the opening period. Forward Jimmy Brooks and post Matt Bass also were able to get inside several times for baskets, while Brooks also scored from the outside as well as part of a game-high 17 point night.

But it was the baskets off turnovers that Flores was the least happy about. In a game similar to the Eagles' season-opening loss to Lovington, N.M., Pecos' players threw too many soft passes, while other Eagle players failed to move toward the ball on passes, with the result being a series of turnovers that led to uncontested lay-ups.

"When you play the No. 3-ranked team in the state, if you can't take care of the ball you're not going to have a happy ending," Flores said.

"Our game play was to spread it out and get the ball to Oscar (Parada), but we just couldn't handle the pressure enough to get the ball in there," he added.

Parada took about as much of a beating on the court Friday as he did playing quarterback against Greenwood back in November. That included getting poked in the eye by a Rangers' player just over two minutes into the game, and getting thrown to the floor on rebound battles several other times on the night.

The senior did return from his eye injury late in the first period to hit a 3-point, which helped keep the Eagles in the game for a while. They trailed 16-7 after one period, and Parada then hit a lay-up to open the second period and narrow the gap to seven. But Ky Smith then hit a jumper and McNeely followed with a lay-up, and the Rangers went on an 18-0 run that didn't end until Parada hit another lay-up just before halftime.

Greenwood then scored the first 12 points of the second half, all by Smith and Brooks, before the Eagles would score again, off a Justin Lara lay-up. The Rangers ended the quarter up by 40, and would get their largest lead of 43 points twice in the final period, including at the end on a couple of baskets by Brian Zachary.

"The one thing I told them is we're not going to play anyone better in district than Greenwood," said Flores. "I think we can beat those other teams, but we've got to get better at making our shots and passing the basketball."

Parada ended up as the only Pecos player in double figures with 13 points. The loss dropped Pecos to 7-13 on the season, while Greenwood improved to 14-3. The Eagles go on the road Tuesday night to take on Presidio, then return home on Friday against Kermit.

Greenwood also won Friday's freshman game, by a 54-38 score, and took the junior varsity contest, 32-22. Chris Garnto and Lucas Macha led the ninth graders with 11 points apiece and Javier Mendoza led the JV with eight.


Smith 4 1-1 10; Hatley 3 0-0 6; Zachary 3 0-0 7; Valencia 3 2-2 10; Caver 2 0-0 4; Gasser 0 0-0 0; Woolfolk 0 0-0 0; Brooks 8 0-2 17; McNeely 3 2-2 8; Bass 4 0-0 8. Totals 30 5-7 70.

PECOS (27)

Parada 6 0-0 13; Morales 0 1-2 1; Pina 0 0-0 0; J. Reyes 1 0-0 3; Licon 0 0-0 0; Lara 3 1-2 7; V. Reyes 1 1-2 3; Mendoza 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 3-6 27.

Greenwood 16 11 6 11 44

Pecos 0 12 10 7 29

Three-point goals: None. Fouled out: Pecos, None. Total fouls: Greenwood 18, Pecos 17.

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