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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 12, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas Smithson Valley junior varsity basketball player Mitch Keogh. SPORTS l/A Goiter of attention Local graduates start at major colleges. rf! Herald-Zeitung To have your event publicized, contact David Rupkalvis at 625-9144, ext. 223, or by e-mail at [email protected] THE DAILY Jingle Bell 5K New Braunfels Run Club hosts 5-kilometer race at banda Park. Time: 9 a.m. New Braunfels girls basketball Unicorns compete in second day of Hays Tournament. * Information: Competition begins today. River City Classic Canyon, New Braunfels and Smithson Valley compete in boys'basketball tourney. Information: All games in Cougar Den.Astros sign Pettitte to three-year, $31 million contract HOUSTON (AP) — Andy Pettitte will pitch at home, agreeing Thursday to a $31.5 million, three-year contract with the Houston Astros after playing his entire major league career for the New York Yankees. Pettitte made his decision to accept Houston’s heavily backloaded proposal after weighing a new offer ' from the Yankees on Wednesday night, a baseball source said on condition of anonymity. He took $7.5 million less td sign with the Astros — the Yankees’ last offer was for $39 million over three years, both sources said. But the Astros play near Pettitte’s hometown of Deer Park, an important factor for the pitcher’s wife and children. “They really wanted me here," said Pettitte, who also will play near former teammate and friend Roger Clemens, who retired from the Yankees to his home in nearby Katy. “My heart started pulling me and tugging me to come back down here and play in front of the Astros and the Houston fans.” Pettitte, 31, went 149-78 with the Yankees, who signed him in 1991. If he had stayed in New York, he would have had the chance to surpass/ Whitey Ford’s 236 victories and become the win-ningest pitcher in team history. He went 21-8 with a 4.02 ERA last season. “About a month ago when this all first began, I don’t think any of us thought this was more than a pipe dream,” Astros general manager Gerry Hunsicker said. “I can’t think of a better person Andy Pettitte that fits the description of what we are trying to do in Houston, Texas, in regard to image and character. And we all know how important pitching is to a successful baseball team." Pettitte will get $5.5 million next season, $8.5 million in 2005 and $17.5 million in 2006, according to contract details obtained by The Associated Press. While the Astros were aggressive in their pursuit, the Yankees were unusually passive. New York waited until the last day of its exclusive 15-day window to make an offer, and it was for $30 million over three years, including a $3 million buyout of a 2007 option. Boston made an early $52 million, four-year bid, one of the sources said, but Pettitte decided he couldn’t pitch for the Yankees’ rival. With the Astros, he felt wanted. “When I walked off the mound at Yankee Stadium at the end of (World Series) Game 6, I didn’t think this would be a reality,” Pettitte said. “I didn’t know how interested the Astros would be.” Pettitte will combine with Wade Miller and Roy Oswalt to form a powerful front three in the rotation.Boys basketball takes center stage Canyon hosts River City Classic today, Saturday By David Rupkalvis Sports Editor One week after watching the three area girls team battle it out in the Canyon Classic, the Canyon, New Braunfels and Smithson Valley boys" basketball teams will take center stage at the River City Classic beginning today. DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung Canyon's Ismael Guillen looks to pass Tuesday during the Cougars' loss to Smithson Valley. Quick NITS ■ Canyon (4-5) will open the River City Classic against Akins at 3:30 p.m. today. ■ Smithson Valley (5-4) will face Lanier at 5 p.m.    ___ ■ New Braunfels (2-8) will face Flour Bluff at 8 p.m. The Cougars are hosting the eight-team tournament that will conclude with the championship game at 8 p.m. Saturday. All the games will be played at the Cougar Den at Canyon High School. Of the three area schools, Smithson Valley looks to have the best chance to be in the final game. The Rangers take a 5-4 record into the tournament and have road wins over both Canyon and New Braunfels. Smithson Valley beat New Braunfels, 53-31, Nov. 29 and rallied past Canyon, 56-48, Tuesday. Forward Erie Icke, Brian Tullman and Ryan Slattery lead the Rangers. Smithson Valley will open the tournament against Lanier at 5 p.m. today. After a slow start, Canyon has started to put things together. The Cougars opened the season 1-4, but have gone 3-1 since to improve to 4-5. DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung Smithson Valley's Brian Tullman dives for a loose ball while Canyon s Jaecel Shah closes in during the Rangers victory Tuesday at Canyon High School. Kyle Kennedy has become the goto man for the Canyon offense, shooting primarily from 3-point range. Kennedy had five 3-point baskets against Smithson Valley. Ismael Guillen and Cole Clayton have also been consistent threats for the Cougars. Canyon will open the tournament at 3:30 p.m. today against Akins. If Canyon and Smithson Valley both win, the two teams will meet in the semifinals at noon on Saturday. New Braunfels also struggled out of the gate. With a new coach and a roster with almost no varsity experience, the Unicorns lost their first four games before winning consec utive games on last-second shots. New Braunfels is 2-8. Point guard Shane Fisher and forward Matthew Schima lead the Unicorns. New Braunfels will open against Flour Bluff at 8 p.m. today. With a win, the Unicorns would play a semifinal game at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Jingle Bell 5K promises fun for a good cause By Jason Chlapsk Staff Writer More than 300 runners are expected to participate Saturday as the 11th annual 5 K jingle Bell Run takes place at Landa Park. The run promises a fun event and an opportunity to raise money to help prevent child abuse. The adult’s race will begin at 9 a.m. and the children’s race will follow at 9:45 a.m. All proceeds from the run go to the Comal County Family Enhancement Center, which helps prevent child abuse. The run is one of the major fund-raisers for the enhancement center. This yfear marks the third year that the race has been organized under the direction of Scott Wood. “I had run in some of the previous races and I helped out in others,” Wood said. “I love this race because it contributes to a good cause. Most of the participants run in this race because they know that their money is going to a helpful cause.” Almost 300 people have signed up for the race through early registration, and Wood expects the total number of participants to be between 350 and 400. The race will include breakfast, door prizes and awards. The run has received sponsorships from Wal-Mart, McKenna Memorial Hospital, laurel Ridge Treatment Center, Melody Byerly, CPA and the Scooter Store. The Kiwanis Club and students from New Braunfels I Ugh School are scheduled to volunteer at the mn. Registration for the race will start at 8 a.m. Saturday. Alamo Bowl not audition for Nebraska’s coach Spurs make it five straight with win over Rockets HOUSTON (AP) — Tim Duncan scored 14 of his 22 points in the second half to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 71 -67 victory over the I lous-ton Rockets on Thursday night in a game in which the teams combined for the lowest scoring first half in NBA history. Duncan scored seven of his IO fourth-quarter points in a 15-6 mn as the Spurs erased a four-point deficit and took a 68-63 lead with 1:25 remaining. Guard Devin Brown made two free throws with one second left to seal the victory, San Antonio’s fifth straight. Cuttino Mobley scored 19 points, and Steve Francis had 18 for Houston, which had its four-game winning streak halted. The teams struggled with their shooting in the first half and combined for an NBA-record low 55 points, the lowest two-team total since the shot clock was introduced in the 1954-55 season. The previous low first-half total was 57, accomplished by Detroit and Denver on Nov. 16, 2002, and New York and Miami on Jan. 30,2003. The league record for fewest points in a half is 51, in the second half of the Boston-Milwaukee game in Feb. 27, 1955. San Antonio missed six straight and 8 of 12 shots at the start of the second quarter. Houston, which trailed 18-17 after one period, committed five turnovers in the span. The Spurs shot 22.7 percent (5-for-22) in the second quarter, and Houston shot just 21.4 percent (3-for-14) as San Antonio carried a 30-25 lead into the break. It was the lowest halftime point total in Spurs’ history. Houston's eight second-quar ter points and its 25 in the half were the second-lowest totals in team history. San Antonio stretched its lead to 36-27 early in the third quarter before Frances and Maurice Taylor each scored four points in a 12-2 run as Houston took a 39-38 lead with 3:58 left in the third. San Antonio led 46-45 after three quarters, but the Spurs missed their first eight shots in the fourth and Houston pulled ahead 49-46. Tony Parker scored 13 points and had IO assists for the Spurs. Maim Ginobli added 11 points. SANANTONIO (AP) — Bo Pelini, Nebraska’s interim coach, wants very much to be Bo Pelini, Nebraska’s permanent coach. The Alamo Bowl will be his one chance to show the demanding Cornhuskers athletic department what he can do, but he insists his future is not riding on the outcome of the Dec. 29 matchup against Michigan State. “I’m not concerning myself with that right now,” Pelini said Ihursday at a joint news conference with Spartans coach John L Smith. “It s not about an audition — it s about handling the job I ve been given." Pelini, the 22nd-ranked Huskers’ first-year defensive coordinator, was named temporary coach after Frank Solich was fired Nov. 29 despite a 9-3 record this season. Nebraska athletic director Steve Pederson, who fired Solich (58-19 in six seasons in Lincoln), said winning wasn’t everything, but that “anyone who doesn’t want to win the national championship shouldn’t bother applying for this job.” Pelini, an NFL assistant coach for nine years, most recently with Green Bay, is doing what he can to keep his team’s morale up and expectations on him down. “Our program is a lot bigger than Bo Pelini,” he said. “Whatever happens, happens. I’m just going to control what I can.” The experts picked Michigan State, 4-8 in 2002, to again languish among the bottom dwellers of the Big Ten this season. But die first-year coach led the Spartans to an 8-4 record. “I’m a little dumbfounded by what our guys have done," said Smith, who tied for fifth in the Associated Press Coach of the Year balloting. ;