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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Monday, February 2, 2004

Pecos again plagued by first quarter problems

The story line for the Pecos Eagle girls basketball team is getting pretty familiar by now.

The Eagles fell behind early for the fourth time in as many District 4-3A home games on Friday night, then played the Fort Stockton Prowlers fairly even the rest of the way. But that was not enough to make up for their opening period woes, as the Prowlers defeated the Eagles by a 58-39 final score.

"It was just like with the Greenwood game. It's kind of hard to come back whe you get down after the first period by a 16 points," said Eagles' coach Veronica Valenzuela. "we were down 21-5, and we outscored them in the second and fourth quarters, but it was too much to make up."

As with Pecos' other district opponents, the Prowlers took advantage of the Eagles' early giveaways to build their big lead.

"We just had a lot of turnovers off the press. It really wasn't that tough a press, but we just panicked at the start, Valenzuela said. "When we actually ran the press we did a good job, but we also didn't shoot the ball very well."

Leslie Rodriguez ended up leading the Eagles with 23 points, but the rest of the team managed only 16 points combined. "Leslie shot about 50 percent, but when one girl has over half your points, that's not a good thing," Valenzuela said.

Ruby Bernal led the Prowlers on offense. "She got most of her points off steals, but she also hit a couple of good shots," said Valenzuela.

The win put Fort Stockton at 4-3 in district, 14-11 on the season and kept them tied for the third and final playoff spot in District 4-3A with Greenwood, who'll host the Eagles on Tuesday. Pecos falls to 1-6 and 4-17 overall.

Eagles use late foul shots to beat Panthers

Ahead after three quarters and behind in the closing seconds Friday night, the Pecos Eagles were able to get their first district victory of the season and keep themselves in the District 4-3A playoff race Friday night, with a 56-51 home court victory over the Fort Stockton Panthers.

Ricardo Morales hit two free throws with one second remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime, and the Eagles rallied to tie the first extra session before Oscar Parada and Victor Reyes took over scoring in the second overtime period.

"It was a hard-fought game. It didn't look like anyone really gained momentum," said Eagles' coach Joe Flores. "Both teams fought hard, but we happened to make some big free throws at crunch time."

Morales' foul shots came after the Panthers had outscored the Eagles, 15-5 up to that point in the final period, turning a 35-27 deficit after three periods into a 42-40 lead. Darin Tavarez, Adam Garcia and Zack Howard led the Panthers in their comeback.

In the extra session, Flores said. "Victor Reyes hit some key free throws in the second overtime and Oscar Parada came up big in overtime as well." Reyes and Parada ended up leading all scorers with 19 points apiece, including 7-for-10 from the foul line for Reyes, most of that at the end of the game.

"We also had a great defensive effort. When you hold a team to 51 points in double overtime you're doing a good defensive job," Flores said.

He added that despite Pecos' relatively low point total in regulation play, "We shot the ball well. We probably had our best shooting performance in district, and we only had nine turnovers in the ballgame, and that was a big key to our victory."

Howard led Fort Stockton with 16 points, while Garcia and Tavarez both had 14. The win gave Pecos a 1-4 record in district, 8-16 overall, while Fort Stockton ends the first half of their 4-3A schedule with an 0-5 mark, and 5-17 overall.

The Eagles will start the second half of their district schedule on the road Tuesday night against second-ranked Greenwood.


Tavarez: 6 2-2 14, Rainwater: 1 0-0 3, A. Garcia: 7 0-1 14, Howard: 7 0-0 16, J. Gonzales: 2 0-1 4. Team totals: 23 2-4 51.

PECOS (56)

Parada: 8 2-5 19, Morales: 2 2-4 6, Pina: 1 0-0 3, J. Reyes: 1 1-6 3, Lara: 2 2-5 6, V. Reyes: 6 7-10 19. Team totals: 20 14-30 56.

Fort Stockton 11 8 8 15 6 3 - 51 Pecos 12 8 13 9 6 8 - 56

Three-point goals: Fort Stockton 3 (Rainwater 1, Howard 2), Pecos 2 (Parada 1, Pina 1). Fouled out: Fort Stockton: Vebaquez, Tavarez, Gonzales.

Total fouls: Fort Stockton 22, Pecos 9.

Pecos is paired with Seminole,Lamesa by UIL

Staff Writer
Two former district rivals of the Pecos Eagles from the 1970s and 1980s will be back in Pecos' district for the next two years, following the release of the bi-annual University Interscholastic League realignment this morning in Austin.

The Seminole Indians, who were last a part of the same district with Pecos in the 1970s, and the Lamesa Golden Tornadoes, who were in the same district back in the 1980s, will be joining the Eagles, Monahans, Fort Stockton, Greenwood and Presidio as part of the new seven-school District 3-3A that will be together for the 2004-05 and 2005-06 school years.

Seminole and Lamesa already are members of District 3-3A, while the Eagles and their four district rivals are now part of District 4-4A. Kermit, the other current 4-4A member, will be dropping down to Class 2A next year, while the UIL added a seventh team to the district to balance out the football schedule, after Presidio dropped their program completely last April.

Meanwhile, the Balmorhea Bears will see no change to their six-man football district, and only a small change to their basketball district, which will now include two more of their football rivals.

Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD athletic director and head football coach Patrick Willis was in Midland this morning along with Superintendent Don Love, assistant superintendent Gome Olibas and Pecos High School principal Danny Rodriguez to pick up the realignment packet at the Region 18 Service Center. Willis said last week he expected two schools to be added to the Eagles' district for next year, but wasn't sure about which two would be involved.

Snyder and Sweetwater were the other possibilities, but they were instead shifted into the new District 4-4A, which will also include Abilene Wylie, Clyde and Merkel. Those five schools are all within 100 miles of each other.

In contrast, Pecos now finds itself as one of the more centrally located schools in their new district, with Seminole 125 miles and Lamesa 145 miles to the northeast of Pecos, and Presidio 160 miles to the south. Lamesa and Presidio will face trips of over 300 miles to each others schools for all non-football and other UIL extracurricular events.

Before dropping down to Class 3A, the Eagles spent four years as a member of District 2-4A, where their nearest district rival was Fabens, 175 miles away, which significantly increased the cost of travel for UIL events.

There had been a possibility that Fabens, Clint and the new Horizon City High School would be included in Class 3A, but those schools petitioned to remain in Class 4A despite 3A enrollment, and were granted the right to remain in District 2-4A, which now includes 10 schools and will have only two pre-districts game per season in football. Along with Horizon City, that district will include another new school, El Paso El Dorado, which will only play basketball for the next two years.

Willis said last month he had a tentative pre-district football schedule drawn up, and today's realignment announcement will not affect that schedule. Pecos is tentatively scheduled to play Kermit in pre-district this football season, while Lamesa, who the Eagles had faced in pre-district each of the past two years, was not on the 2004-05 schedule.

Balmorhea's District 6-A six-man football alignment will remain the same for the next two seasons, though enrollment situations could change the number of teams actually participating in football. The Bears again will be paired with Sanderson, Fort Davis, Imperial, Grandfalls, Dell City, Sierra Blanca, Marathon and Buena Vista.

Marathon was unable to field a team last year due to a lack of students, while Buena Vista cancelled its season due to grades and injures midway though the 2003 season. Sierra Blanca was forced to do the same two years ago.

In basketball, the Bears' district number will change - they'll go from District 2-A to District 9-A - and they will also all football rivals Dell City and Sierra Blanca to the mix. Fort Davis and Sierra Blanca are the other teams that will be part of District 9-A in Class A Division II basketball.

Other area changes have Marfa going back down to Class A after petitioning to go into Class 2A the past two seasons. The addition of Van Horn and Fort Hancock will create a new far-West Texas District 8-A, which will also include Wink, Iraan and McCamey. Meanwhile, Kermit will be paired in District 1-2A with Alpine, Tornillo, Anthony and Crane.

The Anthony-Crane trip will rival the one for Lamesa and Presidio as the longest distance between two district teams in Texas. Crane dropped to Class 2A two years ago, but was paired in a district with San Angelo area schools the past two seasons.

The UIL held the top level cutoff between Class 3A and Class 4A schools at 900 students, but one school out of District 4-4A, Levelland, will be dropping down to Class 3A next year. Plainview will replace Levelland in that district, which includes Andrews, Big Spring, San Angelo Lake View, Lubbock Estacado and Frenship.

The Class 5A area districts will remain unchanged, with San Angelo Central remaining a member of District 2-5A for football, while playing with the Class 5A schools in Midland, Odessa and Abilene for all other sports.

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