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Tuesday, December 21, 1999

Slow start on offense costs Eagles

Staff Writer
PECOS, Dec. 21, 1999 -- Coach Tino Acosta is maintaining his optimism, even as the losses continue to grow for his Pecos Eagles basketball team.

"People may call me crazy, but when we play our last game against Canutillo, I expect it to be for a playoff spot," said Acosta, after his team's Monday evening loss to the Sonora Broncos.

The Eagles saw their season record fall to 0-9 with a 57-42 loss at home to the Broncos. This afternoon, Pecos was scheduled to play the team they lost to in their season opening game, the Monahans Loboes, as the Eagles headed to Monahans for their final pre-Christmas game.

As usual, the Eagles were at a size disadvantage, and that kept them from doing much on offense inside in the first half. Sonora's 6-foor-5 post Russell Dempsey scored all of his eight points in the opening six minutes and forced several altered shots on defense by Pecos.

Combined with problems hitting from the outside, the Eagles managed just five points in the first 12½ minutes of the game and found themselves trailing by 18 points after a lay-up by Jason Elliott.

That string was finally broken by a Chris Natividad steal and lay-up with 3:04 left in the half. The Eagles would manage two more baskets in the quarter and left trailing by 13. The teams then traded baskets in the third period, before Pecos was able to cut the margin down to 10 midway through the fourth quarter, at 44-34, off baskets by Daniel Terrazas and Adrian Rayos and a 3-point jumper by Natividad.

Pecos then had two chances to cut the lead to under 10 points, but Jacob Weidner missed a 15-footer and the Eagles lost the ball on an unforced turnover on their next trip downcourt. Isaac Ramos then hit three foul shots, then would add a lane jumper with 3 ½ minutes left, after Rayos missed a chance to complete a three-point play to cut the margin back to 10.

"We played a full game. There's no making excuses," said Acosta. "Everybody's playing hard. We just got beat by a better team."

"I think we're playing better now than we did at the start of the season," he added. "We actually ran a half-court offense today, and our defense looked real good. We've just got to final some scoring."

Natividad led the Eagles with 12 points, while Terrazas had 10. Sonora didn't have a single player in double figures, but all 11 of the Broncos scored, led by Anthony Luna, Ernie Perez and Elliott, each with nine points.

The Eagles freshman team won their game over Sonora by a 46-38 final score, while the Broncos' junior varsity edged Pecos, 48-43. Jason Carrillo led the JV with 13 points.


Ramos 1 3-6 5; Williams 2 0-0 4; Luna 3 1-2 9; Cramer 0 1-2 1; Perez 4 1-2 9; Gonzalez 1 4-4 6; Holley 2 0-0 4; Crain 0 1-2 1; Elliott 2 5-6 9; Dempsey 4 0-2 8; Mayfield 0 1-2 1. Totals 19 17-28 57.

PECOS (42)

Weidner 1 2-2 4; Salazar 0 2-4 2; Rayos 3 0-3 6; Natividad 4 3-4 12; A. Garcia 0 0-0 0; Chavez 2 0-0 5; Tarin 0 0-0 0; S. Garcia 1 0-1 3; Terrazas 4 2-3 10; Cervantes 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 9-17 42.

Sonora             13     12     13      19 - 57
Pecos                 5        7    12       18 - 42

Three-point goals: Sonora 2 (Luna 2), Pecos 3 (Natividad, Chavez, S. Garcia). Fouled out: Pecos, Terrazas. Total fouls: Sonora 18, Pecos 24.

Brown faces surgery, suspension for attack

AP Sports Writer
BEREA, Ohio, Dec. 21, 1999  - As Orlando Brown cupped his injured right eye, the Cleveland Browns offensive tackle was overwhelmed by pain and thoughts of his father's blindness.

Brown remained hospitalized with blurred vision today. The reason he shoved a referee to the ground became much clearer.

On Monday, it was revealed that Brown might have permanent damage in the eye that was accidentally hit by referee Jeff Triplette's weighted penalty flag during Sunday's game between Cleveland and Jacksonville.

Brown, who pushed Triplette down after being struck by the flag, was being treated for impaired vision at the Cleveland Clinic.

Brown said his family's medical history is what drove him to storm onto the field and confront Triplette. Brown's father, Claude, lost his sight to glaucoma in 1993.

"His family history has him very concerned," said Browns coach Chris Palmer, who spent an hour visiting with Brown at the hospital. "He sees his dad not being able to see his children and things like that."

Triplette's 3-ounce flag - weighted with BBs - struck Brown directly in his right eye.

In a statement released by the Browns, Brown apologized to Triplette, his teammates and Cleveland fans.

"My actions yesterday were based upon an incredible amount of pain, which affected my judgment," Brown said. "This situation was very scary due to my father's blindness and having to deal with that for many years.

"My injury and those facts still do not justify pushing an official. I regret what happened a great deal. Nothing like this will ever happen again."

News that Brown's injury was serious changed the focus of the story from condemnation of the player's actions to concern for his future.

The NFL is considering disciplinary action, which could include a fine and suspension. The minimum fine for physical contact with an official is $10,000.

Brown was expected to remain under a doctor's care for at least two more days.

"It's not good," Palmer said. "He is concerned about losing his eyesight."

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Pecos Enterprise
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