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Pecos girls hoping for a higher seed in state tournament

Pecos girls basketball hoping for a higher seed in the 3A of the state tournament, with head coach Ron Drake aware that it could be a six or seven Panthers’ district is weak, but they own a 23-4 record, are unbeaten in 3-3A, and counting on this for a higher seed

By Arnie Leshin 
Arnie Leshin

You play your schedule, which is the dilemma for the Pecos High basketball girls. But head coach Ron Drake realizes he can do nothing about it.

How’s this sound for a team that has run off with the District 3-4A championship for the third-straight time, has a 23-4 overall and has won 15 of its last 16 starts?

Said Drake, who has won over 600 games while coaching girls in this state and in New Jersey: “Right now, I think we are about a seventh seed. The Santa Rosa loss hurt, but beating McCurdy (17-8) helped, and I hope it gets us a six.”

The loss to Santa Rosa (7-17), which is in last place in its 3A district, on the road, was not a good birthday present for Drake. His Panthers converted only 15 of 35 free throws, and did not play the way they’ve been playing through most of the season in the 56-53 setback. It also snapped Pecos’ 16-game win streak.

It was a satisfying win for Santa Rosa after playing in tough district that includes Texico (21-3) and Tucumcari (23-2), with its two losses to Texico.

But there’s quite a difference of talent in Drake’s district. His Panthers have dominated second place Tierra Encantada (17-6), Raton (10-14), Desert Academy (7-14) and Academy of Technology and The Classics (8-15), and Pecos might be the only one to get a berth in the state tournament.

Except that only seven schools have won gone undefeated in district as of today, and Pecos is included. Yes Pecos, 28 schools in 3A and its impressive season can’t get a higher seed.
The Panthers finish the regular season with a district contest at home Saturday afternoon against ATC. They should again win in a romp, but a win over ATC won’t bring a higher seed.

Junior wing Cassie Muller paved the way for Pecos with 20 points and freshman forward Tiffany Herrera scored 10 of her 12 points from the foul line, and Drake was no doubt happy with that after his team missed 20 freebies against Santa Rosa.

Herrera also brought down a team-high 12 rebounds and senior Reyna Perez helped with 11 boards. Muller and Perez are two of the team captains.

One thing is for sure, Pecos will again play in the state tournament.

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