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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide for Reeves County, Trans-Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas


Tuesday, January 6, 1998

Eagle girls open 4-4A play; boys in Alpine

PECOS, Jan. 6 -- District 4-4A basketball play opens for the Pecos Eagles girls tonight in Fort Stockton, as they face the Prowlers while going for their seventh straight victory this season.

District play is still a week off for Pecos' boys, who'll try to extend their win streak to four games with a road victory over the Alpine Bucks.

The girls play junior varsity and varsity contests at 6 and 7:30 p.m. against Fort Stockton, whom they've beaten twice in pre-district play this season. Pecos' boys will open with 4:30 p.m. freshman contest, followed by the JV and varsity at 6 and 7:30 p.m., as they also seek their third victory of the year over the Bucks.

The girls' wins have both been on the road, by a 51-19 score in early December at the West Texas Shootout at Crane, and this past Saturday by a 58-29 margin, in the Prowlers' own tournament. The Eagles also downed Alpine and Fabens in the round-robin tourney, to improve to 10-7 on the season after a 3-6 start.

Despite their two easy wins over the Prowlers, Eagles' coach Brian Williams doesn't want his team to relax tonight against Fort Stockton, which is 2-13 on the year.

"Fort Stockton is scrappy, and it's tough to beat people like that four times in a year," Williams said. "I just want to remind them we beat them twice last year (in pre-district) and then spilt with them in district. So we just have to go down there and take care of business."

Lorie Marquez had 17 points in last week's victory, while five other Eagles had at least three baskets in the win.

Pecos' lone loss in their current run was to district rival San Angelo Lake View, the only other 4-4A team they've played so far. The Maidens open district against defending champ Big Spring tonight, while Andrews takes on Sweetwater in the other 4-4A game.

Williams will be without two of his players again tonight, though he said Annette Marquez could return from her fractured finger injury as early as Friday against Sweetwater.

Coach Mike Sadler will have a lot more players available tonight, after going with a skeleton lineup at last week's Reagan County Tournament. Pecos won consolation with three victories after dropping their opener to Wall. That included a 55-51 win in the finals over Greenwood, avenging an earlier loss to the Rangers.

"We did a real good job. I was real impressed with them," said coach Mike Sadler, though he added, "Right now our highs are too high and our lows are too low. We play bad one game against Greenwood and then against Wall, then come back and play three good ones, including against Greenwood."

"I think we're starting to peak out before district starts. We've got two games to go and we've got to start getting after it," he added.

The Eagles were up and down in their two earlier meetings in Pecos against the Bucks. They had an easy time in their first meeting with the Bucks, winning by a 60-37 final score, but then had to survive a couple of Alpine comebacks in the West of the Pecos Shootout two weeks later, holding on for a 47-44 win.

Jacob Chavez and Omar Hinojos had 18 and 17 points in the first win, while Fernando Navarette had 18 in the tournament victory. Alpine was led by Adam Llanez' 18 in their Nov. 24 loss, while Cougar McBride's 14 topped the Bucks in the second meeting.

Stars' owner reportedly ready to buy Rangers

Associated Press Writer
DALLAS, Jan. 6 -- A group led by Dallas Stars owner Tom Hicks is bidding to purchase baseball's Texas Rangers, a spokeswomen for the businessman confirms.

``The only thing I can say is to confirm that discussions have been under way for some months,'' Hicks spokeswoman Lisa LeMaster told The Associated Press Monday night.

``It's a done deal. It should be announced by Wednesday or Thursday,'' a source described as knowledgeable about the negotiations told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The newspaper said in today's editions that the sale price is approximately $150 million.

A deal would have to be approved by three-fourths of the 29 other major league baseball teams.

Hicks headed a group last August that paid $1.7 billion for LIN Television, the production company that owns the rights to the Rangers' broadcasts. A source close to Hicks said he looks at the Rangers as a way to enhance his broadcast interests, the newspaper reported.

Asked if a deal was imminent, Ms. LeMaster said she could not speculate.

``There are a whole lot of people involved,'' she said, listing current owners, Hicks' group and Major League Baseball owners among them. ``There's nothing to announce.''

Dallas television station WFAA first reported the talks Monday night, citing a spokesperson for Hicks and a current investor in the team.

Rangers president and general partner Tom Schieffer declined to confirm the talks.

``From time to time, people have approached the Rangers about their desire to own the team, and we have never discussed any of those approaches publicly,'' Schieffer said. ``I don't think it would be appropriate to do that now.''

The Rangers are now owned by a group of 28 limited partners, including Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

The investors' group led by Bush and Edward W. ``Rusty'' Rose purchased controlling interest of the team in 1989 from Eddie Chiles, who bought the Rangers in 1980.

Chiles sold controlling interest for an estimated $46 million, but the asking price now is bound to be much steeper.

The Rangers opened a new $189 million stadium in 1994, and a club-record 2.9 million fans went to The Ballpark last season despite the team's losing record.

Hall call goes out to Sutton

NEW YORK, Jan. 6 (AP) -- Don Sutton needed 23 years to amass 323 wins. He needed five to gain election to the Hall of Fame.

``I had tears and goosebumps when I found out, but I didn't have the anticipation for it,'' Sutton said Monday after his election by baseball writers. ``I revere Cooperstown. It is a sacred place where the holy grail of baseball is.''

Sutton, who fell nine votes short of the required 75 percent last year, was listed on 386 ballots this time (81.6 percent), 31 more than the 355 needed for election. Tony Perez was second with 321; no others appeared on more than half the ballots cast by 10-year members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

``There have been a lot of tears shed and before this night is over, there will be a lot more,'' Sutton said from Marietta, Ga. ``I'm proud that this has allowed me to enjoy a little different life than maybe the son of a sharecropper in south Alabama should enjoy.''

Sutton, tied with Nolan Ryan for 12th place on the career victory list, had a 324-256 record in 23 seasons. He compiled a 3.26 ERA and finished with 3,574 strikeouts, fifth on the career list.

Sutton and Ryan, a shoo-in to be elected next year when he appears on the ballot for the first time, are the only pitchers not inducted into the Hall among the 20 with 300 wins.

Sutton received news of his election when a cell phone rang while he was at the 14th tee of the White Columns Golf Course.

``I was having a good day, and then I got the call and it was even a better day,'' he joked.

Sutton was 1-under par when he received the news. He bogeyed No. 16 and finished at even-par 72.

``It cost me a fistful, too,'' he said.

Last year, fellow 300-game winner Phil Niekro was elected, also after missing his first four times.

``It diminished the anticipation; it didn't diminish the thrill,'' Sutton said.

When balloting was announced last year, Sutton was at a hospital with his infant daughter Jacqueline, born 16 weeks prematurely on Nov. 3, 1996. She has improved significantly and is well these days.

``A lot of things pale in comparison to what we've gone through with Jackie,'' Sutton said. ``Her odds were 1 in a 100. And I think last year on this night I don't think that it ever dawned on me until the next morning that somebody said `Hey, you didn't make it into the Hall of Fame,' because there was too much else going on. ...''

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