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Monday, Nov. 25, 1996
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By MAC McKINNON
PECOS, Nov. 25 -- Balmorhea's Bears emptied the magic hat of rabbits in
the waning moments of Friday night's game, as they exited the playoffs
courtesy of a very stubborn Southland Eagle team in the area round of
playoffs in Stanton.
It has often been said about teams in 6-man competition that the last
one who has the ball will win. That was almost the case this time, as
Southland was the last one to have the ball with any time. They scored
to go ahead 60-52, and only left the Bears with 38 seconds on the clock.
Even though Balmorhea had achieved miracles twice in the fourth quarter,
they didn't have enough time left for another one.
So, as the saying goes, they didn't lose, only ran out of time.
The Bears, second place team in District 8-A six-man competition,
finished the year 9-2 and will lose only three seniors, Scott Clark,
Ryan Stieg and Damon Mellard. It was the third straight year in the
playoffs for the Bears and it looks on paper like they can anticipate a
The only team that beat them in district competition,
Grandfalls-Royalty, won Saturday over Highland, 48-32 to stay alive in
the playoffs. They'll face Chillicothe in the six-man quarterfinals this
Southland, located southeast of Lubbock on the South Plains, was a very
methodical team that lost only their first game of the year, that loss
being to No. 1-ranked Whitharral, their opponent this week in the
Southland took the opening drive and moved from their own 26 to move
down the field, mostly on runs by the speed of Billy Salone and the
brawn of Jimmy Gatica. The Bears were so consumed by stopping these two
that they and the crowd were faked out when the quarterback, Jaime Anaya
kept the ball and passed 29 yards to Eric Hernandez for the score.
Fabian Sigala added the PAT to make the score 8-0 with 6:38 left in the
The Bears were undaunted, as they came right back and moved from their
own 33 to score, with Arturo Miranda going over from the one. However,
the PAT was no good and the Bears trailed 6-8 with 6:04 left in the
Balmorhea's defense simply could not stop the Eagles in the first
quarter and the early part of the second period. The Eagles moved from
their own 33 on their second drive to score with, Gatica going the final
yard and Sigala adding the PAT, giving Southland a 16-6 lead with 2:22
left in the period.
Then the Eagles stopped the Bears and moved from their own 26 to score,
with Salone going the final 9 yards and Sigala adding the PAT with 8:42
left in the second quarter.
The next Eagle score came easy as the Bears were stopped and the punt
snap was over the head of punter Zane Rhyne. It was recovered by
Southland on Balmorhea's 4 and on the next play, Gatica scored. The PAT
was no good but the Eagles had a 30-6 lead with 7:17 left in the first
half. Things didn't look good for the Bears.
However, Balmorhea doesn't know the meaning of the word quit. They took
their next possession and moved quickly to score, with the big ground
gainer coming on a long pass from Debaisie Mendoza to Josue Mendoza to
the Southland 5. Roger Lopez went scored two plays later from four yards
out. The PAT was no good and the Bears trailed by 18 with 4:57 left in
Balmorhea tried an onside kick, well executed by Kenyon Roman, that
almost worked. Then the Bears got more aggressive on defense, as they
caused a fumble recovered by Lopez at the Southland 27, and turned it
into their third touchdown.
Debaisie Mendoza went the final 8 yards to score. Rhyne added the PAT,
closing the gap to 30-20 with 3:05 left in the half.
Again the Bears tried an onside kick that almost worked then they
blitzed and created another fumble, again recovered by Lopez, this time
at the Southland 17. However, like several other opportunities, the
Bears couldn't capitalize and didn't score with the first half ending
soon after that.
The Bears moved from their own 20 to score to open the second half. A
long run by Lopez was called back, but the Bears still were able to
convert, with Miranda going the final seven yards and Rhyne adding the
PAT, narrowing the Eagle lead to 30-28 with 8:01 left in the third
The teams traded possessions before Southland scored, this one on a
drive starting on their own 23 with Gatica going the final yard on a
long time consuming drive. The try for PAT was no good, leaving the
Bears within striking distance at 36-28 at the end of the third quarter.
A long kick-off return gave Balmorhea the ball at the Southland 31 and
they went on in to score on a six-yard run by Miranda. Rhyne added the
PAT to tie the game at 36 with 9:01 left in the game.
Southland was not to be outdone, as they moved from their own 32 to
score with the TD coming on a 21-yard pass from Anaya to Loren Jones.
Sigala added the PAT, giving the Eagles a 44-36 lead with slightly more
than six minutes left in the fourth.
The only problem the Bears had in the closing minutes was that the
perhaps scored too quickly, leaving time for the Eagles to come back and
score, and such was the case on their next possession as Rhyne passed 55
yards to Debaisie Mendoza, then added the PAT to again knot the score,
this time at 44 with 4:11 to go in the game. The large Balmorhea crowd
was going wild.
Southland came back to score again, this time on a 36 yard run by Gatica
on a fourth down play where he had been stopped at the line and then got
away. Sigala added the PAT to give the Eagles a 52-44 lead with 3:09
Did the Bears have any more rabbits left in their hat. The answer was
yes, a 47-yard pass from Rhyne to Miranda and Rhyne added the PAT to
once again tie the score, this time at 52 with 2:49 left in the game.
That was enough time for the Eagles to move from their own 21 and score
with Salon going the final two yards and Sigala adding the PAT, making
the score 60-52 at the 38 second mark.
There was no more magic left for the Bears. A long pass was intercepted
to end the challenge and the Eagles ran out the clock.
Bears Coach Mike Barrandey noted after the game that the contest was
similar to the only other Balmorhea loss, that one to Grandfalls, where
mistakes not normally made by the Bears proved costly.
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By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Nov. 25 -- Fabien Adame's point total was a little lower than the
last time he faced the Greenwood Rangers, and Neil Boecking's was a
little higher Friday night than the last time he went up against the
But Adame still had a good night, and overall, the Eagles had a better
one than they did a year ago against Greenwood, overcoming Boecking's
29-point performance to post a 56-49 victory over the Rangers.
It was the second home win over a District 3-4A team for the Eagles,
who'll try to get a road win over a District 4-3A opponent tonight, when
they take on the Alpine Bucks in Alpine at 4:30, 6 and 7:30 p.m.
Adame put in 30 in last season's loss to Greenwood, in which Boecking's
23 led the Rangers. Going into Friday's game, Adame had put in only four
points in two games, but the junior was able to find openings inside and
finished with 18, including a kep three-point play with 4:10 remaining,
after Greenwood cut a 41-30 deficit to 48-46.
"He's been sick, so he hasn't been more into it, said Eagles' coach Mike
Sadler said. "He started slow tonight, but my philosophy is it's not how
you start, it's how you finish."
The Eagles finished the game doing a good job killing the clock, after a
bad pass on the delay led to Omar Hinojos fouling out with 2:54 to play.
Boecking hit one of two free throws to make it 53-49, and the Rangers
would get another steal after that. But Calef Montes missed twice from
the foul line, and this time, the Eagles were able to run 90 seconds off
the close before Moses Martinez hit a lay-up at the 55 second mark. Eric
Abila would then hit one of two from the line seven seconds later, after
the last of a series of steals the Eagles came up with off the press.
"I was real impressed with the way at the end we were able to hang onto
the ball and not force it. We put it in the deep freeze," Sadler said.
"Eric Abila's been talking all we that we've got to be paitent, and he
did a good job. He made some mistakes earlier, and I pulled him out of
there, but he came through like a real leader."
Baskets by Martinez and Hinojos gave Pecos an early 4-0 lead, before
Montes and Boecking led Greenwood on an 11-2 run that gave them their
biggest lead of the night. Adame' first baskets, off a rebound tip and
pass from Hinojos, cut the lead to 11-10, while the Rangers' John
Settles hit a lay-up lay-up as the first period ended to give Greenwood
a 14-12 lead.
A Hinojos rebound lay-up tied the game, and five straight points by
Adame midway through the second period gave Pecos a 21-16 lead. They
would lead 24-20 at half off an Oscar Luna 3-pointer, but Boecking
heated up in the third period, scoring nine points, including the first
of his three 3-pointers, which gave Greeowood its last lead, at 29-27.
Another rebound basket by Adame tied the game, and a 3-pointer by
Hinojos a short time later would put the Eagles ahead to stay, at 33-30.
It also started an 11-point run by Pecos over a three minutes period
that didn't end until Boecking hit a foul shot at the 30 second mark.
However, he would hit two more before the period was over, then started
the third period with his other two 3s and a turn-around jumper in the
lane, and the Eagles' lead was suddenly 43-42.
"He's a real versitile athlete. He can shoot from the outside, and he's
hard to defense, because he can take you inside," Sadler said.
A Martinez lane jumper and a 3-pointer by Abila gave Pecos some
breathing room, before the Rangers rallied again. They cut it to 48-46
on another Boecking basket, when Hinojos was fouled by Montes at the
4:15 mark. He missed both his free throws, but Adame was able to grab
the second miss and hit while being fouled by Brandon Curry. The play
gave Pecos a five-point lead, and a Fernando Navarrete lay-up made it a
53-46 advantage, enough to offset the Eagles' problems with the delay on
their next two trips downcourt.
Hinojos was the other Eagle in doubles figures with 11. Boecking was the
lone Ranger to hit for 10 or more, but Greenwood was without their
leading scorer David Upton, who was at a wedding on Friday.
"When we go over there (on Jan. 3) I hope he's there, because that's
what's going to make up better, but playing against their best guys,"
said Sadler, whose team is now 2-1 going into tonight's game and
Friday's 12 noon game against Odessa Permian at the Ector County ISD
Basketball Tournament. The loss left Greenwood with a 2-2 season mark.
The Rangers did win Friday's junior varsity game, 41-35, while the
Eagles' freshman scored a 66-29 win over Greenwood. Joseph Contreras led
the JV with nine points, and Jacob Weidner had 10 to top the ninth
Wootan 2 0-0 4; Montes 2 1-4 5; Hunnicutt 0 0-0 0; McFadden 0 0-0 0;
Settles 3 3-8 9; Boecking 10 6-10 29; Miller 0 0-0 0; Curry 1 0-0 2;
Macias 0 0-2 0. Totals 18 10-24 49.
Flores 0 0-0 0; Montgomery 0 0-0 0; E. Abila 3 1-3 8; Carrasco 0 0-0 0;
Luna 1 0-0 3; Martinez 4 0-2 8; Celaya 0 0-0 0; Hinojos 4 2-4 11; Garcia
1 0-2 2; Adame 6 6-9 18; Marquez 0 0-0 0; Navarrete 2 0-0 5. Totals 21
Greenwood 14 6 13 16 -- 49
Pecos 12 12 17 15 -- 56
Three-point goals: Greenwood 3 (Boecking 3). Pecos 5 (Abila 2, Luna,
Navarette, Hinojos). Fouled out: Greenwood Montes, Hunnicutt. Pecos,
Hinojos. Total fouls: Greenwood 21, Pecos 21.
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PECOS, Nov. 25 -- The Pecos Eagles eighth grade gold team and the Alpine
Bucks seventh graders were the winners on Saturday of the junior high
`B' and `C' basketball tournaments, held at the Crockett and Zavala gyms.
The eighth grade gold team won their title with a 41-30 victory over
Crane, after a last-second 37-36 win over Andrews in the tournament
semifinals. Crane reached the finals with a 31-20 win over Pecos' eighth
grade white team, which then lost in the third place game to Andrews by
a 46-26 margin.
Alpine won consolation on the eighth grade side, with a 31-12 win over
Alpine's seventh graders won that division title by a combined 177-22
score in the three games they play. After a 55-8 win Thursday over
Andrews, they beat the Eagles' `C' team Saturday by a 68-6 margin, then
downed Fort Stockton in the finals, 54-8.
Andrews won consolation with a 24-10 win over Crane, after a 49-14 win
over the Eagles' `D' team. Fort Stockton defeated the Eagles' `B' team
by a 33-13 score in the other semifinal game, and the seventh grader `B'
and `C' squads did not play each other for third place.
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State and Regional Sports Pages--San Angelo Standard-Times
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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
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