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


Wednesday, February 25, 1998

Bears overcome fouls, Red Devils, 84-68

Staff Writer
IMPERIAL, Feb. 25 -- Midway through their bi-district
playoff game against the Rankin Red Devils Tuesday night,
the Balmorhea Bears had a two-point lead. They also had a

Balmorhea starters Debiasie Mendoza ad Arturo Miranda went
in at halftime with two fouls, Kevin Castillo had three
fouls and Manny Mendoza four, while the Red Devils had just
one player with more than one foul at the half.

Add to that the fact the Rankin was rotating a dozen
players in and out of the game with little noticable
difference, and the loss of a couple of Balmorhea reserves
to grades in the past week, and it looked as though the Red
Devils might either wear out or foul out the Bears in the
second half.

Instead, Balmorhea came out and didn't commit a foul until
there were 34 seconds left in the third quarter. Then, after
the Bears did lose Castillo to fouls midway through the
final period, they proceeded to pull away from Rankin the
rest of the way, outscoring the Red Devils down the stretch,
22-12, to win by an 84-68 final score.

The Bears will now play Valentine in the area round of the
Class A basketball playoffs. The Pirates won their
bi-district game Tuesday night over Fort Davis, 63-44.

"They were scared to move," coach Adolfo Garcia said of his
team ni the first half, which ended with the Bears holding a
35-33 lead. "Every time they did they were called for a
foul. But I told them at halftime to just come out and play
and forget about the refs, and they did."

Zane Rhyne led a strong inside game for the Bears,
finishing with 20 points, most of those off second-chance
shots. He also picked up six assists, half of those on
length of the court passes for lay-ups.

"No one is going to stop Zane if he drives in all the time.
He could score whenever he wants to, but we've started
playing team ball, and he's passing it so well," Garcia said.

Balmorhea kept trying to build a lead in the first half,
but Rankin kept coming back, mostly off a series of short
jumpers, while the Bears got the bulk of their points on
lay-ups. Rankin led once in each of the first three quaters
quarters, two of the leads off 3-point baskets by Brandon
Smith, who led Rankin in scoring with 12 points.

They got their second quarter lead at 19-17 on a Tomas
Castillo lay-up, before a rebound basket by Rhyne sent the
Bears on an 10-0 run and a 27-19 lead.

Mendoza, Travis Woodruff and Debiasie Mendoza also had
lay-ups in the run, but by the time it was over both Mendoza
and Castillo had three fouls, and Mendoza would get his
fourth moments later, as Rankin ran off eight of the next
nine points to cut the lead to one. Scott Acala and Frankie
Rodriguez, two of the Red Devils' reserves, led the comeback
and wound up scoring 10 and nine points respecetively on the

Rankin got their last lead at 36-35 on Smith's 3-pointer as
the third period opened, but Woodruff found Arturo Miranda
underneath for a lay-up, and Debiasie Mendoza drove in and
scored the next time downcourt, and the Bears were back up
by three. Castillo, who was shut out in the first half,
heated up as the quarter ended, banking home a 3-pointer,
then scoring off a rebound as the Bears built a seven-point

It was cut to five following his fourth foul as the quarter
wound down, but after a brief rest, Garcia opted to put the
senior back in the game, and Castillo responded with two
more lay-ups and another 3-pointer for a 60-52 lead.

Tomas Castillo hit a pair of free throws on the foul that
sent Kevin Castillo to the bench with 4:59 to play, but
Rhyne responded with a rebound lay-up. Woodruff then
rebounded a miss by Manny Mendoza, scored and was fouled by
James Gaines. His foul shot made it an 11-point game, and
after a Rankin foul shot, Mendoza hit from 3-point range to
give the Bears a 70-57 lead.

Mendoza would also make the key defensive play less than a
minute later to end thew Red Devils' comeback hopes.

Smith scored and was fouled, and Alaniz scored off his
missed foul shot to get the lead back 70-61. The Red Devils
then stole a full court pass by the Bears and worked the
ball to Alaniz in the corner for a 3-point shot.

But it was blocked by Mendoza, who was not only able to
keep the ball in bounds, but found Woodruff racing downcort
for a lay-up and a foul. It put the Bears back up by
double-digits with 2:38 left, and the Red Devils wouldn't
get closer than 11 points the rest of the way.

"Their kids were very fast, but our hustling came through
for us," said Garcia, whose team improved to 23-2 on the
season. Rankin ended its year with an 18-11 mark.

Miranda, who capped the game off with a lay-up at the
buzzer, was next behind Rhyne in scoring for the Bears with
17, while Debiasie Mendoza had 15, Castillo 12 and Woodruff
11 in the victory.

The Bears-Pirates playoff game will be held either in
Alpine or Van Horn. Valentine won Tuesday in Van Horn,
outscoring the Indians, 34-13 in the decisive final period.

Guadarama 3 0-0 6; Smith 5 0-2 12; Sifuentez 3 0-2 6; T.
Castillo 2 2-3 6; Gaines 2 3-4 7; Watson 1 0-0 2; Loftin 3
2-4 8; Alaniz 4 2-3 10; Rodriguez 4 1-2 9; Alexander 1 0-2
2; Dean 0 0-0 0; Sanchez 0 0-0 0; Stanland 0 0-0 0; Gaines 2
3-4 7. Totals 28 10-21 68.

Miranda 6 5-6 17; M. Mendoza 3 1-2 8; D. Mendoza 6 2-2 15;
K. Castillo 5 0-0 12; Rhyne 8 4-7 20; Woodruff 5 1-3 11;
Rodriguez 0 0-0 0; Scripps 0 1-2 1. Totals 33 14-21 84.

Rankin 15 18 13 22 --68
Balmorhea 15 20 16 33 --84
Three-point goals: Rankin 2 (Smith 2), Balmorhea 4 (K.
Castillo 2, D. Mendoza, M. Mendoza). Fouled out: Balmorhea,
K. Castillo. Total fouls: Rankin 21, Balmorhea 20.

Girls' second softball game delayed

PECOS, Feb. 25 -- The Pecos Eagles' second-ever varsity
girls softball game will have to wait a couple of more days,
though some of the varsity players did get into action on
Tuesday in Fort Stockton.

Eagles' coach Tammy Walls said Fort Stockton's varsity went
to Kermit yesterday, and Pecos wound up playing only a
junior varsity game against the Prowlers who rallied in the
fifth and sixth innings for a 20-13 victory.

"We were ahead most of the way. It was 13-10 in the middle
of the fifth when they scored five runs," she said.

"We had some critical errors, which will improve with
experience. We had one girl on first and another on third,
and tried to steal a base, and the hitter swung at the first
pitch and popped up, and we had another girl overrun second
base," Walls said. "We did hit the ball, and I can't
complain about that."

"Nicole Payne had a really good game. I think I'll probably
move her up to the varsity," Walls said. "Ashley Salcido did
a good job pitching, and Philonicus (Fobbs) came in and did
a good job."

Fobbs and Payne were at the Comanche Relays last week and
didn't play in the JV's opening 16-1 loss to Alpine, but
they did get in just at the end of Pecos' varsity opener,
when Alpine scored 13 times in the final inning on Friday
for a 19-4 victory, in the Eagles' inaugural varsity contest.

One player that did get in the entire game was sophomore
Katrina Quiroz. she played first base that night, and was
pressed into action Tuesday as the JV catcher, Walls said,
when grades cost the JV their regular catcher.

"She threw out about four people last night and did a great
job," Walls said.

Quiroz will be back with the varsity this weekend, when
Pecos competes in the Midland Softball Tournament. However,
Walls said due to a cancellation, the Eagles' opener, set
for Thursday, has been moved back to 3 p.m. Friday. They'll
face the winner of one of Thursday's opening round games.

"I'm hoping we can bring home a trophy," said Walls, who
plans to start the same lineup as in last week's opener at

While the girls wait until Friday for their tournament
opener, Pecos' boys will begin baseball tournament play in
Monahans on Thursday morning.

The Eagles will take on the Kermit Yellowjackets in the
first round of the Monahans Sandhills Tournament, starting
at 11 a.m. The Eagles will try to bounce back from Monday's
season-opening game, in which Monahans rallied from an 8-2
deficit to down the Eagles, 9-8. The winner of Thursday
morning's game will play again Friday evening, against the
winner of the Monahans-Alpine first round game.

March softball tournament set

PECOS, Feb. 25 -- The Pecos Men's Softball Association will
hold their Third Annual Open Softball Tournament on March
28-29 at Maxey Park.

Entry fee is $100 per team, with a deadline to enter of 8
p.m. on March 25. The tournament will be held under ASA
rules, with the exception that no home run limit will be in

For further information, call either Keith Windham or Lupe
Herrera at 447-9652 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., or call
445-4413 and leave a message.

Little League registration starts

PECOS, Feb. 25 -- The Pecos Little League has begun signing
up boys and girls ages 8-12 to compete in the 1998 season,
which will begin in April.

League president Tony Aguilar said Little League
registration forms are available at the local elementary
schools, as well as at Gibson's True Value Hardware on West
Walthall Street, Big A Auto Parts on South Cedar Street, and
at the Reeves County Sheriff's Office. Completed forms can
be returned to Gibson's, Big A or to the sheriff's office.

Tryouts for the 1998 Little League are scheduled for the
weekend on March 28, Aguilar said.

Hull demands room trashers confess guilt

AP Sports Writer
ST. LOUIS, Feb. 25 -- Brett Hull is ready for an Olympic
version of ``To Tell the Truth,'' in which the real room
trashers would please step forward.

The St. Louis Blues star says the U.S. players who trashed a
suite at the Olympic village should apologize for what he
called a ``deplorable'' act. Otherwise, he said, all the
players are tainted.

``There comes a point in time where you have to stand up and
be a man,'' Hull said. ``It's up to the people who did it
... to come forward and have respect for the other players
and say, `It was me. I apologize. It was a stupid thing to
do.' There's nothing that can be harder, but bigger, to

Hull was blamed in initial reports, along with suitemates
Chris Chelios, Gary Suter and Joel Otto. Upon returning from
Nagano, Japan, Hull angrily denied it, vouched for his
suitemates and threatened to sue those ``slandering'' him.

On Tuesday, he blamed media in Canada, contending they
resent his decision to play for the United States and not
Canada in international competition. Hull, who has dual
citizenship, said there will be no problem for the 2002
Olympics in Salt Lake City.

``We don't have to worry about that anymore because I'm
finished,'' said Hull, 33. ``There won't be any more
Olympics for me. I don't even know if I'll be playing

Hull said he has a ``pretty good'' idea which players caused
$3,000 in damage to rooms and furniture. The suite in
question was on his floor.

U.S. coach Ron Wilson, who coaches the Washington Capitals,
also called for the guilty players to come forward. He also
said those players should never again be involved in
international play.

``It is an unfortunate incident and I'm embarrassed by it,''
Wilson told the Washington Post. ``It is inexcusable what
they did. It shows no class at all. Unfortunately, everybody
is guilty by association.''

Hull said an NHL official gave him the names. But league
spokesman Arthur Pincus said Tuesday the league has not
finished its investigation and does not know which players
are involved.

Hull isn't sure how the guilty parties should be punished.

``That's not up to me,'' he said. ``But I think the
humiliation or whatever comes with that is probably

Hull was critical of some media coverage of the team in
Japan, particularly reports that some players, including
Hull, were out late two days before their game against
Canada. CBS taped Hull and Chelios singing at a karaoke bar.

``We went out and had a few beers. What's the big deal?''
Hull told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. ``It wasn't the night
before a game. Why was it blown so out of proportion?
Whether we were at a strip club or a bar, whether we were
singing or we weren't, it had nothing to do with anything.''

U.S. players also were criticized for not attending the
women's gold-medal game against Canada. Hull said players
wanted to attend but were ushered to a team dinner.

``We're just cattle,'' he said. ``We go where we're told.''

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