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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Monday, January 18, 1999

Eagles survive losing lead to beat Wildcats

PECOS, Jan. 18 -- New district, new results.

The Pecos Eagles have lost a lot of late leads in district
basketball games over the past few years and missed a lot of
late free throws over that stretch as well.

On Friday night, in the first game in their new district,
the Eagles saw a 17-point lead disappear in the fourth
quarter against the Fabens Wildcats. But unlike in the past,
this time the Eagles came back after losing their lead to
regain a five-point advantage in the closing minutes. They
then hit their foul shots down the stretch, while the
Wildcats missed their chance to tie the game from the free
throw line giving the Eagles a 61-57 road victory in the
boys' District 2-4A opener for both schools.

"Oscar (Luna) hit a couple of shots, Cruz (Hector Garcia)
had about four steals and hit those big free throws and Fern
(Navarette) had those baskets down the stretch," said
Eagles' coach Mike Sadler. Navarette had a couple of key
baskets late, after Fabens came from a 49-32 deficit to tie
the score at 53-all and Garcia clinched the game in the
final 10 seconds with a pair of free throws, after Cesar
Estrada missed two of three foul shots moments earlier, when
he was fouled from 3-point range with Pecos leading, 59-56.

Manny Solis led Fabens' comeback hitting three from 3-point
range in the Wildcats' 25-point final period. Fabens had
jumped out to an early lead, only to see Pecos outscore them
42-17 in the middle periods.

"We got down by at least nine points and I put the second
team in and left Mark (Marquez) in there and we started
doing better," Sadler said. "I put Hector on Solis and we
started pushing the ball up and preventing them from getting
into their set defense."

The Eagles' cold start was a leftover from their previous
game, a 25-point performance in losing to Fort Stockton a
week earlier. This time, Sadler said, "We had a great third
quarter. We scored 28 in the third and only had 25 in the
whole game against Fort Stockton.

"Our defense was the big reason for that. We kept putting on
the pressure and picking off the passes, getting some steals
and then going down and scoring," said Sadler, whose team
ended a 14-game district losing streak, dating back to
January of 1997.

Luna led the third period run and finished with 17 points,
while Navarette led Pecos with 21 points and Garcia had 10
for Pecos, which improved to 9-11 with their victory. Aside
from Solis, who led all scorers with 24, Frank Rosas had 11
for the Wildcats, who are 5-11 on the season.

Pecos also won Friday's junior varsity game by a 50-37 final
score. The Eagles will play their 2-4A home opener on
Tuesday against Clint, which defeated San Elizario in their
district opener by a 57-49 final score.

PECOS (61)
Weidner 0 0-0 0; Perea 3 0-0 7; S. Garcia 1 0-0 2; Luna 6
1-3 17; A. Garcia 1 2-2 4; Navarette 7 5-6 21; Matta 0 0-0
0; H. Garcia 2 4-4 10; Marquez 1 1-3 3. Totals 21 13-19 61.

C. Estrada 3 2-5 9; Solis 8 3-6 24; R. Estrada 2 0-1 4;
Salazar 0 0-0 0; Loya 1 0-2 2; Orona 0 0-0 0; Casillas 2 0-0
4; Gomez 0 0-0 0; Villegas 0 0-0 0; Garcia 2 0-0 4; Rosas 3
5-7 11; Erskine 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 9-20 57.

Pecos 7 15 28 12 --61
Fabens 15 5 12 25 --57
Three-point goals: Pecos 6 (Luna 4, Perea, H. Garcia),
Fabens 6 (Solis 5, C. Estrada). Fouled out: None. Total
fouls: Pecos 21, Fabens 13.

Bears take down sickly Longhorns, 55-27

Staff Writer
BALMORHEA, Jan. 18 -- It's not district basketball season
yet, so the Balmorhea Bears' basketball game Friday night
against their longtime rival Buena Vista was not a district
contest for the first time since the early 1990s. But it is
cold and flu season, and that was bad news for the Longhorns.

Buena Vista had enough players out sick to keep them from
fielding a junior varsity team Friday, and the ones they had
on the varsity were picked clean by the Bears' defense, as
they held the Longhorns to nine first half points and led by
as many as 35 points in the second half, before settling for
a 55-27 homecourt victory.

The Bears had gotten a late start to their season after
reaching the six-man football state semifinals, and were
without their 6-foot-4 post Kris Natividad. But Balmorhea's
guards came up with a series of lay-ups off turnovers, in
what coach Adolfo Garcia said was a turnaround from their
earlier games.

"We played a lot better today, without so many turnovers,"
said Garcia, whose team had lost five of their six games
this season by three points or less.

"Getting started late hurt us a little. We were not in synch
and playing like a team," Garcia said. "Manny (Mendoza),
Arturo (Miranda) and Travis (Woodruff) have been my main
guys, but I need one more guy to step up for us, and so far
I haven't been able to find that fourth guy."

Matthew Sanchez contributed to the Bears' 18-3 third quarter
run that broke the game open, scoring three fast break
baskets off steals by Mendoza and Kevin Rodriguez.
"Matthew's starting to contribute more. This is his first
year as a starter," Garcia said.

Mendoza started the game with a steal and basket, a 3-point
jumper and a rebound side jumper that lifted Balmorhea to a
7-1 lead. The Bears then held the Longhorns without a point
for nearly eight minutes, from a basket by Cody Cooper with
2:01 left in the first period to a 3-point jumper by Matt
Brown with 2:18 to play in the half.

The third period was just as bad for Buena Vista. Rodriguez
began it with a steal and lay-up and after a Longhorn free
throw Mendoza scored on a three-point play, hit another foul
shot a minute later, then fed Sanchez for a fast-break
basket. Rodriguez did the same off a steal, Sanchez would
add another free throw with three minutes left in the
quarter, and Mendoza finished off the 14-0 run by setting up
Sanchez for another basket off a steal, then by hitting a
3-point shot from the right side.

Mendoza led all scorers with 16 points, while Travis
Woodruff was next for Balmorhea with eight. Mark Gaines led
Buena Vista with 11 points, but the 6-foot-5 post got eight
of those in the final period, after the game was decided.

The win lifted Balmorhea's record to 3-6 going into their
final pre-district game, on Tuesday in Alpine against the
Bucks. The Bears' District 1-A opener is Friday night, in
Dell City against the Cougars.

McLaren 1 1-5 3; Marquez 1 2-4 5; Cooper 1 1-3 3; Braden 0
0-0 0; Brown 2 0-2 5; Gains 5 1-3 11; McDowell 0 0-0 0.
Totals 10 5-17 61.

Miranda 3 0-0 6; M. Mendoza 6 2-3 16; Rodriguez 1 0-2 2;
Sanchez 3 1-2 7; Barragan 3 0-0 6; J. Mendoza 1 0-0 2;
Woodruff 4 0-2 8; Beltran 1 0-0 2; Tarin 2 0-0 6. Totals 24
3-9 55.

Buena Vista 5 4 3 15 --27
Balmorhea 16 8 18 13 --57
Three-point goals: Buena Vita 2 (Marquez, Brown), Balmorhea
4 (M. Mendoza 2, Tarin 2). Fouled out: None. Total fouls:
Buena Vista 9, Balmorhea 17.

Balmorhea girls can't catch up to Longhorns

BALMORHEA, Jan. 18 -- The Balmorhea Bear girls basketball
team were just a little bit behind the Buena Vista Longhorns
for 3½ quarters of their game Friday night at the Balmorhea
High School gym, then couldn't find the range down the
stretch, as the Longhorns turned a six-point lead into a
63-48 victory.

Balmorhea trailed only by a 48-42 score midway through the
final period, before allowing Buena Vista to get inside for
a series of short jumpers and lay-ups. Up until that point,
the Bears had stayed close, trailing by just two after one
period and by a 32-29 score at the half.

The Longhorns upped that lead to 46-39 after three periods
but were held to just two points over the first three
minutes of the final quarter, before Carla Grant and Crystal
Stickler led the late 15-6 run that clinched the victory.

"The whole night we weren't able to get our shots to go in,
and we just couldn't hold onto the ball," said Bears' coach
Ennis Erickson. "We'd pass the ball and just have it slip
out of our hands."

Amy Garcia led Balmorhea with 16 points, while Celina
Rodriguez and Terry Hernandez also were in double figures
with 11 and 10 points. Stickler's 26 points led all scorers,
while Grant and Choate each had 12 for the Longhorns, who
will host Balmorhea on Tuesday, in the Bears' final
pre-district game.

Till 0 0-0 0; Graham 5 1-2 11; Sanchez 1 0-0 2; Stickler 11
0-2 26; Grant 6 0-4 12; Choate 6 0-2 12. Totals 29 1-10 63.

Dutchover 1 2-4 5; Rodriguez 4 2-8 11; Dominguez 0 0-0 0;
Lozano 3 0-0 6; Hernandez 4 0-0 10; Garcia 8 0-0 16;
Portillo 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 4-12 48.

Buena Vista 15 17 14 17 --63
Balmorhea 13 16 10 9 --48
Three-point goals: Buena Vista 4 (Stickler 4), Balmorhea 4
(Hernandez 2, Dutchover, Rodriguez). Fouled out: None.
Total fouls: Buena Vista 12, Balmorhea 11.

Fabens' FTs clinch win over Pecos

PECOS, Jan. 18 -- Close, but not quite enough, was the way
to describe the Pecos Eagles' 51-45 loss Friday night to the
Fabens Wildcats.

Both teams were seeking their first wins in District 2-4A
girls' basketball play, and playing at home the Wildcats
were able to take an early lead and then hold off the Eagles
in the final period from the foul line.

"it got down to the fourth quarter and we still had a
chance to take the lead," said Eagles' coach Brian Williams.
"But Philonicus (Fobbs) missed a put-back, and then missed
two free throws, and we turned it over a couple of times at
the end."

Pecos his just one of their first 12 shots, but were down
by just six at halftime, then outscored the Wildcats in the
third period, 14-10, to cut the lead to 31-29. "We went
7-for-9 in the third quarter, which is the first good third
quarter we've had in a while," Williams said.

Shaye Lara led Pecos with 22 points, while Lindsey Hathorn
added 12. "Shaye went 5-for-7 in the third quarter and had
nine steals for the game," said Williams.

"Lindsey played a good game, but she got tired," the
Eagles' coach added. "I believe that's the first time we've
had two in double figures all season."

Pecos actually scored more points in the final period (16)
than they did in the third quarter, but Williams said the
Eagles were only 3-for-14 from the field in the final eight
minutes, and the Wildcats' late success from the foul line
allowed them to score 20 points in the fourth quarter and
hold on for the victory.

Cynthia Cardona had 14 points and Joann Martinez 12 for
Fabens, which improved to 1-2 in district play. The Eagles,
0-3 in district and 3-17 overall, will now come home for a
Tuesday game against district-leading Clint. The Lions are
3-0 so far, but had to struggled through the middle periods
on Friday before finally defeating San Elizario, 35-27.

Broncos keep season, Elway's career, going

AP Football Writer
DENVER, Jan. 18 -- As he took a Mile High victory lap, the
cheers and chants of ``One More Year'' cascading from the
stands, John Elway had the appearance of a triumphant king.
The only things missing were trumpets and a chariot.

Maybe after the Super Bowl in two weeks, the faithful from
Denver will break those out, too.

``I got a chance to see the fans and look into their eyes
and I had a chance to really concentrate on them,'' Elway
said after a 23-10 AFC Championship victory over the New
York Jets on Sunday gave him his fifth trip to the NFL title
game. ``Usually, I'm so involved in the football game, it's
hard to concentrate on them. So it was nice to be able to do

And it was very nice to have Terrell Davis with him against
the bumbling Jets. If this was Elway's farewell performance
at home, let the memories of the celebrations suffice. His
play (13-for-34 for 173 yards) wasn't all that special.

No problem when Davis, the league's Most Valuable Player and
fourth 2,000-yard rusher ever, is around. Davis gained 167
yards on 32 carries, scored a touchdown and, once the
Broncos (15-2) stopped falling all over themselves to keep
things close, was the dominant player on the field.

``Terrell could've gotten 200 yards today,'' teammate
Shannon Sharpe said.

He might need to in the Super Bowl against the surprising
Atlanta Falcons and Dan Reeves, who coached the Broncos to
their AFC titles in 1986, '87 and '89. The Broncos are
8½-point favorites to win their second straight Super Bowl
against Atlanta, which won 30-27 in overtime at Minnesota.

It certainly is a juicy matchup set for Miami.

Denver coach Mike Shanahan was fired by Reeves as offensive
coordinator in 1992 because Reeves thought Shanahan had
taken some power and had too much influence on Elway. The
quarterback said after Reeves was fired following the '92
season that playing for him was ``hell.''

But after their 19th straight home win, the Broncos were
more in a mood for celebrating the beauty of their 33rd
victory in 36 games at Mile High under Shanahan than
recalling uglier times.

``At times, we were best friends,'' said Shanahan. ``He's
done a great job with that football team.''

Bill Parcells had done a great job with his team, taking
over a 1-15 squad and, in two seasons, transforming it into
a division winner. In pursuit of their first Super Bowl
appearance in three decades, the Jets even built a 10-0
lead, aided greatly by Denver's spotty early play.

Then they fell apart, committing six turnovers, making
defensive blunders and special teams mistakes.

``You can never feel you have a team beat,'' Pro Bowl
cornerback Aaron Glenn said. ``They just exploded in the
third quarter.''

First, however, New York (13-5) got John Hall's 32-yard
field goal to close the opening half -- the first time since
September 1993 Denver was shut out at halftime. Then, Blake
Spence blocked a punt early in the third quarter and Fred
Baxter recovered at the Denver 1. A play later, Curtis
Martin had his only fruitful run of a distressing day (13
rushes for 14 yards), a 1-yard score.

That's when the game turned. On the Broncos' first play, Ed
McCaffrey got wide open as safety Victor Green blew a
coverage. The 47-yard gain woke up the crowd and the home

``They were shutting down our short game, so we decided to
go for the bomb,'' McCaffrey said.

The touchdown came on an 11-yard pass to Howard Griffith.
Then Jason Elam's blooped kickoff into a 25 mph wind spun
back toward Denver territory and Keith Burns got it before
the Jets knew where the ball was. Elam nailed a 44-yard
field goal to tie it, then added a 48-yarder for the lead.

Davis broke it open with a 31-yard TD run just 18 seconds
from the end of the Broncos' 20-point third quarter.

``It was one of those games where we played a great second
half and wore them down,'' Davis said. ``The team came
together and made up our minds to do the things we've been
doing all year.''

Darrien Gordon had two late interceptions and Elam made a
35-yard field goal to secure a successful sendoff for Elway.

``I can't say enough about what John's done for the team and
the league,'' Davis said.

He didn't have to. The triumphant tour of the still-packed
stadium 30 minutes after the game ended said it all.

Vikes sent packing by Falcons' comeback

By DAVE GOLDBERGAP Football Writer
MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 18 -- Surprise.

Two weeks from now, it will be the Atlanta Falcons, not the
high-scoring Minnesota Vikings, who will be facing Denver in
the Super Bowl.

An improbable 30-27 overtime win over the Vikings set off
exultation among the Falcons' long-suffering fans and some
of their long-suffering players.

``All I can remember is the ball going through the
uprights,'' said Jessie Tuggle, who has played 12 seasons in
Atlanta, most of them for losing teams. ``I can't remember
one play I made.''

The ball that went through the uprights was kicked from 38
yards away by Morten Andersen with 3 minutes, 8 seconds left
in overtime.

But this game, one of the best championship games ever, was
decided as much by a ball that didn't go through the
uprights -- the first miss this season by Minnesota's Gary
Anderson. It also came from 38 yards out and gave Atlanta
possession with 2:07 left in regulation.

That left it to another of Atlanta's heroes, Chris Chandler,
to drive the Falcons 71 yards in eight plays for the tying
touchdown, a 16-yard pass to Terance Mathis with 49 seconds
left in regulation. Another drive by Chandler, this one for
70 yards, set up Andersen's winning kick.

In many ways, Chandler is the archetypal Falcon -- he's with
his sixth team in 11 seasons and had never been to the
playoffs before this season. He was 27-of-43 for 340 yards
on Sunday.

``I had to overcome a lot and I never gave up, despite some
poor years,'' Chandler said,

``That drive when we tied the score ranks right up there
with any of the big-time quarterbacks,'' said coach Dan
Reeves. ``He's done it with the pressure on him, made some
big-time throws, hung in there.''

Still, Reeves may have been the one who went through the
most, taking over a team that was 3-13 in 1996, started 1-7
last season and turned it around to finish 14-2 this season
atop the NFC West. But the Falcons finished the regular
season without Reeves, who underwent quadruple bypass
surgery a month ago but has been on the sideline now for two
playoff victories.

``If I can stand today, my heart's got to be in good
shape,'' said Reeves, who coached the Broncos in three
losing Super Bowls a decade ago and joins Don Shula and Bill
Parcells as the only coaches to reach Super Bowls with three
different franchises.

For a while, it looked like things would go just as they
were expected.

The Falcons scored on their first possession. But Minnesota
tied it on a 31-yard pass from Randall Cunningham to Randy
Moss, then took advantage of two Atlanta turnovers to take a
20-7 lead.

But the game may have turned with 1:17 left in the first
half when Minnesota got the ball at its own 18.

Instead of running out the clock, Cunningham threw two
passes. On third down, he dropped back, Chuck Smith stripped
the ball and Travis Hall recovered at the Minnesota 14.

On the next play, Chandler threw a 16-yard TD pass to
Terance Mathis and suddenly it was 20-14 at halftime.

Andersen's field goal with 6:03 left in the third quarter
made it 20-17. Minnesota responded with Cunningham's 5-yard
TD pass to Matthew Hatchette that made it 27-17 as the
Vikings appeared ready to put it away again.

But it wasn't to be.

Minnesota, which scored an NFL record 356 points this year
in going 15-1, never really got going. Neither did its crowd
-- Atlanta never had an illegal procedure penalty, so common
for Vikings' opponents at the Metrodome.

``Our offense was supposed to have been so explosive, but we
just couldn't make it happen in the clutch,'' said Randy
Moss, who had five catches for 75 yards, but just one catch
for 4 yards in the second half and overtime.

``They were prepared for the noise,'' Minnesota cornerback
Jimmy Hitchcock said of the home-field advantage. ``In
certain situations where they made plays, they took the
crowd out of it.''

Now it's on to Miami and the defending champion Broncos, who
beat the New York Jets 23-10 on Sunday.

For Minnesota, which had such high expectations, it's wait
until next year.

Anderson, whose 418 career field goals are the most in NFL
history -- 17 ahead of Andersen, may have said it best when
he talked about his miss in the context of Minnesota's Super
Bowl expectations.

``Maybe in some respects that makes it even more
disappointing,'' said Anderson, struggling to contain his
emotions in the Vikings' tomblike locker room. ``We had such
tremendous expectations, that makes it 10 times more

Second-year cornerback Michael Booker summed it up for the
long-downtrodden Falcons.

``We deserve the same amount of respect that they did,''
Booker said.

``But when we got here, we found they were already selling
tickets for the Super Bowl. We came here to spoil a lot of
trips. If they're coming to the Super Bowl now, they're
going to have to come see the Falcons.''

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.

324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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