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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Pecos LL still in search of president for 2004

The Pecos Little League is still in search of a president to run operations during the 2004 season, and will hold another meeting next week in an effort to find a volunteer.

Officials met on Monday to make plans for the 2004 season, and did select some officers, but the positions of president, treasurer and supervisor of umpires remain unfilled, according to Pablo Briones, was chosen as safety officer for this season.

The other positions filled were vice-president for the Pecos Little League, which will be handled by Linvel Mosby; vice-president for the Senior League, which will be filled by Tony Reyes, and Little League secretary, which will be handled by Vaughn Garnto.

Briones said the exact time and location for next week's meeting has not been determined. Little League in recent years has begun play in early April, while Senior League teams have started their seasons at the beginning of May.

Eagles get split of softball season openers

Staff Writer

Early scores in two short games worked for and against the Pecos Eagles softball team, as they opened up their new softball field by playing two of six round-robin games Tuesday afternoon and evening.

The Eagles scored three early runs in their 55-minute game against the Alpine Bucks and won by a 3-0 score, then gave up three early runs to the Crane Golden Cranes and ended up losing by a 3-2 final score.

The Eagles scored three runs in the first inning off Alpine pitcher Hannah Dodson, and Stephanie Herrera made that stand up by allowing just one hit in three innings, before the mandatory 55-minute time limit expired. But against Crane, Hillary Hinojos gave up three first inning runs, and the Eagles missed two chances to tie the score before the time limit expired.

"We had two outs and Stephanie on third and couldn't get her home," said coach Tammy Walls of the loss to Crane. "That's one of those things with the drop-dead stops. Hillary did a good job once she got behind, but with the 55 minute time limit it's tough to come back."

Aside from standing Herrera on third, the Eagles' other missed chance was more costly. Jessica Florez sprained her ankle sliding into home plate on a grounder to first by Bre'Ann Windham, and then was called out on an interference call against Windham.

"She was in the baseline, but bumped into the first baseman, and they called her out and then said Jessica was out," Walls said. The Eagles had gotten their two runs on an RBI single by Herrera, following singles by Amalie Herrera and Jenny Palomino.

Hinojos allowed several walks and a pair of RBI hits in the first inning to give Crane their runs. In the opener, she played first base while Herrera pitched, allowing only one hit, a single off Hinojos' glove in the third inning.

Cariza Mendoza and Morgan Collier then fouled off a series of Herrera pitches before earning walks to load the bases, but Herrera got clean-up hitter Emily Morrow to ground out to Palomino at second base to end the inning.

In the first inning against Alpine, the Eagles got their first run on singles by Brittany Lobstein and Palomino, two stolen bases and a passed ball by Collier.

Herrera then singled home Palomino, and she later scored on Kelsey Flores' single.

Walls said she was happy with the hitting of both Palomino and Amalie Herrera, two of the freshman the Eagles looked at during Tuesday's games. "They hit the ball well every time they were up," said Walls, who'll be looking for a new third baseman this weekend in the Andrews Tournament, while Florez recovers from her ankle injury.

The Eagles face Greenwood in a 55-minute pool game to open the tournament at 9 a.m. on Friday. They will then face the El Paso Burges Mustangs in their first bracket game, at 12 noon, and will either face the host Andrews Mustangs or take on Greenwood again in semifinal or consolation semifinal play at 5 p.m. on Friday.

Eagles close season with win at Fort Stockton

The numbers are certainly not spectacular. But given the dire straits of Pecos Eagle basketball over the past decade, Tuesday night's season-ending with over the Fort Stockton Panthers was something to make coach Joe Flores happy.

The Eagles avoided a 20-loss season, won their first road game in district play in five years and won their third district game in a season for the first time in nine years, as they defeated the Panthers by a 43-34 final score.

Coming off a 72-62 loss to Monahans than ended Pecos' hopes for a playoff berth, the Eagles might have been down going into the Williams Center to face Fort Stockton, which was in need of a victory to avoid going winless in District 4-3A play. The Eagles had needed double overtime last month to beat Fort Stockton at home, but on Tuesday they were able to hold the Panthers to three points in the third period, then pull away in the closing minutes of the game.

"I've got five seniors on the team, and in the time I've been head coach over the last two years, they've done everything I asked of them," Flores said. "In two years they're improved tremendously and it showed in the fourth quarter. It was a one-point game and they beared down and played tremendous defense."

Two of the seniors, Oscar Parada and Jose Reyes led Pecos on Tuesday with 15 and 13 points, most of those coming in the second half, when the Eagles rallied from a 21-18 halftime deficit.

"One of the things that changed was they started going to a half-court press, but once they went to a halfcourt press we actually got better shots inside than when we were going against their 2-3 (defense)," Flores said.

Reyes had three of Pecos' four 3-point baskets in the game. Fort Stockton hit just two from 3-point range, and Flores said, "They just pounded it inside in the first period. They were really beating us down low and really bringing it to us at the start of the game. We got into a little foul trouble, but we were able to stay out of foul trouble in the second half."

Adam Garcia was the lone Fort Stockton player finishing in double figures, as he scored 12 points.

Pecos' win allowed them to end the season with a 10-19 record and a 3-7 district record, their best since going 6-5 back in the 1994-95 season. Fort Stockton ended up 0-10 in district and 5-22 overall.

Monahans lost their final game to Kermit, but clinched the third and final playoff berth on Tuesday when Greenwood defeated Presidio. Pecos (43)

Parada 6 2-6 15; Morales 0 0-0 0; Pina 2 0-0 4; J. Reyes 4 2-4 13; Lara 0 2-2 2; Bustamatnes 0 0-0 0; V. Reyes 3 2-4 9; Medina 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 9-16 43. FORT STOCKTON (34)

N. Garcia 0 0-0 0; Alvarez 1 0-0 3; Tavarez 3 1-1 7; Yancy 1 0-0 3; Rainwater 0 0-0 0; A. Garcia 5 2-3 12; Garvin 0 0-0 0; Howard 2 0-0 4; Gonzales 2 1-1 5; Martinez 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 4-5 34. Pecos 10 8 11 14 -- 43 Ft. Stockton 11 10 3 10 -- 34

Three-point goals: Pecos 4 (J. Reyes 3, V. Reyes 1), Fort Stockton 2 (Alvarez, Yancy). Fouled out: None. Total fouls: Pecos 14, Fort Stockton 18.

Bears block Cowgirls' late shot at victory

Staff Writer

The Balmorhea Bears weren't very happy when post Larissa Rodriguez picked up her third and fourth fouls in quick succession at the start of the second half of Tuesday night's Class A-Division II playoff game against the Grandfalls-Royalty.

Rodriguez' fouls came just after the Bears' other starting post, Amber Briceno, picked up her third and fourth fouls early in the third period. The combination allowed Grandfalls' Kristy Kester to roam free inside for the better part of the period, and the sophomore helped rally the Cowgirls from a 20-16 halftime deficit to a 26-23 lead late in the period.

But guards Trina Jurado and Savannah Matta were able to keep the Bears close, and in the end, both Rodriguez and Briceno were not only able to get through the fourth quarter without fouling out, but Rodriguez was able to foul out Kester, blocking her lay-up attempt with three seconds left and taking away the ball before being grabbed by Kester with 0.8 seconds to play. She then sank a pair of foul shots to give Balmorhea a 40-37 victory and advanced them to the area round of the playoffs on Friday.

"Fouls were what got us into trouble from the beginning, and they kind of shut down our offense," said Bears' coach Abel Garcia, who wasn't happy with the third period fouls on his two post players. "Kester was really tough for us to stop. She's a real good player for them."

Rodriguez went to the bench with her fourth foul two minutes after Briceno picked up her fourth foul, but didn't get back into the game until four minutes after Briceno returned. "Amber tends to foul a lot more, so I was afraid she would foul out, and I wanted to be able to go with Larissa at the end," Garcia said. "But she (Briceno) was able to stay in there all the way," he said.

Kester scored 22 points on the night, despite foul line problems. That included 6-for-17 shooting from the line, with her last two misses with 10.4 seconds remaining. The second miss resulted in a jump ball, which gave possession to Balmorhea, but on the inbounds play Amanda Martinez was able to grab the ball away from Trina Jurado. She passed it to Kester on the right side of the basket, but her lay-up attempt was knocked away by Rodriguez.

"We did get a good shot at the right time, we just couldn't get a break at the end," said Cowgirls' coach Lisa Lowery.

No other Grandfalls player besides Kester scored for the first 101/2 minutes of the second half, but she outscored the Bears by herself, 12-7, to turn a four-point halftime deficit into a one-point lead early in the fourth quarter.

Jurado and Matta scored enough at the end of the third period and the start of the fourth to keep the Bears within striking distance, with Jurado even giving Balmorhea a brief lead on a lay-up to open the final quarter. She would later tie the score at 32-all on a 3-point jumper.

With 1:40 left Kester broke a 34-34 tie with a basket and foul shot at the 1:40 mark, but Matta answered with a short side jumper and Jurado then scored on a steal and lay-up with 53 seconds left to give Balmorhea a 38-37 lead. Both teams then missed chances from the foul line before Kester's two missed from the line with 10.4 seconds left.

Balmorhea led for all but the opening minute of the first half, with their biggest lead coming just before halftime, at 20-14, on Jurado's other 3-pointer of the night. "We came out very fast, then all of a sudden they got back into the game," Garcia said. "We got into foul trouble and then they were able to stay with us and even take the lead."

Jurado finished with 15 points and Rodriguez ended up with 12 for Balmorhea, which improved to 17-8 on the season and will face either Water Valley or Lorraine in Odessa on Friday, in the area round of the Class A-Division II playoffs. The Bears, the District 9-A runners-up last went to the area round in 2001, which was also their last playoff appearance. Grandfalls, which won the District 10-A title and graduates only one senior, ends its season with a 15-10 mark. GRANDFALLS (37)

Kester 8 6-17 22; Acosta 0 0-0 0; Pesinia 2 0-0 4; Martinez 3 0-2 6; Hernandez 1 0-0 2; Pierce 0 0-0 0; Vasquez 1 1-4 3; Padilla 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 7-23 37. BALMORHEA (40)

Jurado 6 1-5 15; Lopez 0 0-0 0; Guebara 0 0-0 0; Matta 2 4-8 8; Garcia 0 0-2 0; Briceno 2 1-2 5; Rodriguez 5 2-4 12; Carrasco 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 8-21 40. Grandfalls 11 5 10 11 -- 37 Balmorhea 13 7 5 15 -- 40

Three-point goals: Balmorhea 2 (Jurado 2). Technical foul: Grandfalls, bench (illegal substitution). Fouled out: Grandfalls, Kester. Balmorhea, Matta. Total fouls: Grandfalls 13, Balmorhea 16.

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