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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 17, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas Page 6A — Herald-Zeitung — Wednesday, December 17,2003 Basketball referee Jim Dixon. SPORTS Having aball Cody Fuller making an impact at Tech. Herald-Zeitung To have your event publicized, contact David M. Rupkalvis at 625-9144, ext. 223, or by e mail at drupkalvis^ THE DAILY T'l C K E T a New Braunfels girls basketball After winning district opener, Unicorns travel to Lake Travis. Time: 7:45 p.m. I Smithson Valley boys basketball Rangers visit San Antonio for game with South San. Time: 8 p.m. I New Braunfels boys basketball Unicorns face Alamo Heights in nondistrict game at home. Time: 6 p.m. inUnder Parcells, the Cowboys are exceeding everyone’s expectations IRVING (AP) — Sure, Bill Parcels was supposed to lead the Dallas Cowboys to the playoffs. Next year. When Parcells was hired by Jerry Jones, and alter a season-opening loss at home to Atlanta, that timetable was eagerly accepted. It provided a sense of promise that things were going to get better after three straight 5-11 seasons. Now having to wait until Parcells’ second year would be a disappointment — and quite frankly, a failure — for the coach, the owner, players and fans. Because the Cowboys have no excuse for missing the playoffs now. No matter how hard they’ve tried to complicate things with inconsistent play, from two shutout losses in a four-game stretch to two brutal trouncings after an emotional win over NFC front-runner Carolina, things are pretty simple. The Cowboys (9-5) just have to win one of their last two games to get into the playoffs. Or “the tournament’’ as Parcells and now most of his players refer to the postseason. But forget about the NFC East title, which the Cowboys used to win with regularity. Dallas blew a chance to win the division with a 4-4 record the past two months that included a 36-10 loss to Philadelphia. The Eagles have won nine straight to go from two games back to a two-game lead over the Cowboys. Dallas can clinch one of the two NFC wild-card spots with a win in its home finale Sunday against the struggling New York Giants (4-10), who have lost six straight for likely outgoing coach Jim Passel. “One more win and we’re in,” Bill Parcells tight end Dan Campbell said. Yes, its that simple. “Before the season started, I told somebody that if we scratch and claw and flight, we may have a chance to be in the playoffs," Campbell said. “I didn’t know it’d be this good.” v Dallas ends the regular seasop Dec. 28 at New Orleans (7-7), which is still in playoff contention after its 45-7 win over the Giants on Sunday night. The Cowboys would prefer to take the drama out of the season finale. Parcells has never taken one of his first-year teams to the playoffs. I Ie won two Super Bowls with the Giants, took the New England Patriots to the Super nowl and transformed the New York Jets from a 1-15 team that made it to the AFC title game. But he always went to the playoffs in the second season, not the first. And there was no reason to believe it would happen faster in Dallas, until the Cowboys followed the loss to Atlanta with five straight wins. They climbed back to the top of the NFC East, fueling plenty of talk about Parcells’ miraculous turnaround and the possibility of more than just making the playoffs. Then things got bad in a four-game stretch in which they were shut out at Tampa Bay and New England, struggling in between to win two home games. The win over Carolina matched Dallas for the NFC’s best record and ensured at least a .500 record. Parcells was so choked up and proud of the win that he couldn’t express to his players afterward just how much it meant. That feel-good emotion didn’t last long. Dallas was trounced 40-21 by Miami at home on Thanksgiving Day, See COWBOYS, Page 7AFighting to the finish Pelini dismisses reports of unrest at Nebraska New Braunfels rallies from early deficit; falls one-point short By Jason Chlapek Staff Writer After battling back repeatedly Tuesday, one last gasp fell just short as the New Braunfels boys’ basketball team fell to Edison, 44-43. The game was a nailbiter throughout. After trading baskets during the game’s first three minutes, Edison broke a 4-4 tie with a 9-0 run, which featured a 3-point play and two transition baskets. The Unicorns ended the first quarter on a 7-2 run. Dennis Killian sparked the comeback with a 3-pointer and the Unicorns closed within 15-11 at quarter’s end. New Braunfels tied the game at 15 during the first two minutes of the second quarter on shots from Shane Fisher and Jonathan I iolmes. But Edison fought back and used a 10-6 run to carry a 25-21 lead into the locker room at the half. Holmes, who had 11 points, led the Unicorns in the contest. “We played aggressive defense and kept them at bay most of the night,’’ Holmes said. "We basically beat ourselves tonight. We need to step it up in all aspects of the game, especially free throws." Ryan McGinley led the Unicorns with nine rebounds and Shane Fisher, who had missed several games due to an illness, had a team-high three assists Hie score in the third quarter resembled that of a baseball game as the Bears outscored the Unicorns 6-3 in the period and held a 31 -24 lead heading into the final quarter. Both teams came to life in the fourth quarter. Holmes hit a pair of 3-pointers that sparked a 14-6 run to give the Unicorns their first lead of the game. Four lead changes occurred during the last two minutes of the game. New Braunfels took the lead. 38-37, on a jump shot from Tony Valadez. Edison regained the lead on a fast break bucket to go up 39-38. Valadez then hit two free throws to put the Unicorns back up, 40-39.'A Bears’ 3-pointer, gave them up 42-40 advantage with 43 seconds left. The Unicorns missed two shots on the next possession and were forced to foul with eight seconds left. The Bears hit both free throws to go up 44-40. Killian hit a 3-pointer with two seconds left, bul without a timeout, the Unicorns could only watch the clock run out as they fell one point short. “We tried to execute tonight and we did for the most part," Coach Tommy I lines said. "Ed iso tis a good team and they took us out of our offense most of the night. Our guys showed a lot of DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels forward Matthew Schima goes up for a jumper during the Unicorns, 44-43 loss Tuesday. character in coming back from a 9-point deficit early on. They never gave up.” Valadez finished with 9 points while Schima and Killian had 6 points each. Killian also added five rebounds and two steals. Schima, Valadez and Holmes also contributed two steals each in the game. New Braunfels is 3-11 and will play Alamo I leights at 6 p.m. Friday. LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska interim head coach Bo Pelini on Tuesday dismissed reports of player unrest on the'football team over uncertainty surrounding the head coaching position. “That’s absurd. It’s ridiculous,” Pelini said after practice. “Make no mistake, I am in charge of this football team. “There doesn’t need to be 170 voices — there needs to be one voice,” he said. NU athletic director Steve Pederson fired head coach Frank Solidi late last month and appointed Pelini, the defensive coordinator, as interim head coach. Nebraska’s players met behind closed doors Monday. Players declined to comment after the meeting and they were not allowed to talk to reporters Iuesday. But there were reports that many players expressed frustration about the secrecy of the search for a new coach. Some reportedly discussed the possibility of not practicing, and even boycotting the Dec. 29 Alamo Bowl game against Michigan State. Several players reportedly indicated they would leave Neb/aska if Pelini is not named head coach. Pelini said he came in at the end of the meeting and was the voice of reason for the players. It is understandable that some players are upset With the situation, Pelini said, but added that he hopes they use it as a learning experience. “We talked things out," Pelini said. “I’m proud of the way they’re handling the situation," he said. “There are no issues.” Pelini and assistant head coach Turner Gill are the only two known applicants for the job. But that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from churning out a list of possible replacements for Solicit, including past and present NFL coaches Tom Coughlin, Dave Wannstedt, Butch Davis, Bill Cowher, Monte Knffin, Al Saunders, Dennis Green and Steve Spurrier. Pederson has said he will not comment until he is ready to introduce the new coach. Pelini said he stands behind that decision. New Braunfels swimmers dominate four-team meet DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung Matthew Schima. Mitchell Lawrence and Bernie Gutierez fight for a rebound during^New Braunfels' loss to Edison. By David Rupkalvis Sports Editor The New Braunfels swim teams dominated a four-team meet Saturday as the girls won eight of IO races and boys won seven of IO. Kip Duckworth led the Unicorns by winning 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard freestyle. Duckworth teamed with Elise Stremel, Dane Malatasta and Katherine Zimmerman to win the 200-medley relay and with Zimmerman, Stremel and Kelley Shelton to win the 400-freestyle relay. Zimmerman captured the 50-freestyle in front of teammates Jill Gaudio and Valerie Castillo while Castillo took the 500-free in front of Jill Collins. Stremel won the IOO backstroke with Erin Morgan second and Malatasta won the 100-breaststroke. Kelley Shelton had runner-up finishes in the 200-freestyle and the 200-butterfly. Sean Duckworth and Daniel Phipps each had four victories to lead the New Braunfels’ boys. Duckworth won the 100-freestyle and 100-backstroke and Phipps captured the 200-freestyle and 500-freestyle. Duckworth and Phipps also teamed with Mitch Adams and John Quinn to win the 200-medley relay and the 400-freestyle relay. Quinn won the 100-butterfly and Adams was second in the 100-breaststroke and fourth in the 50-freestyle. The Canyon swim teams competed in a 15-team invitational at Palo Alto Friday and finished fifth. Reed decker led the way by winning the 200-freestyle and finishing second in the 100-freestyle. decker also teamed with Rafael Veraza, Eric Towal and Austin Reinhart to win the 200-medley relay. The team of Reinhart, Van Anderson, Ramon Madrid and Verxa also won the 400-freestyle relay and Madrid, Anderson, Towal and James I lollan finished second in the 200-freestyle relay. Mary Claire Bradshaw was the only winner for the Canyon girls, capturing the one-meter diving competition. Tulsi Ansley was second in the 500-freestyle and Lindsay Miller was second in the 100-freestyle. The Cougarettes also had runner-up finishes in the 200- and 400-freestyle relays. ;