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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 22, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas Thursday, December 22, 2005 — Herald-Zeitung — Page 5A Unicorns cheerleader Chaney Guthrie. SPORTS COMING SUNDAY Comal’s volleybest The H-Z’s all-county volleyball teams. Herald-Zeitung To have your sports event publicized, contact Will Wright at 625-9144, ext. 223, or by e-mail at [email protected] THE DAILY T-l-C-K-E-T H Fort Worth Bowl Houston takes on Big 12 comer Kansas in battle of 6-5 powerhouses. Time: 7pm. (ESPN) Lights out for Cowboys? Fading Dallas has one glimmer of hope upsetting Carolina on the road. Time: Noon (FOX; HSA-AM 550) Unicorns vs. Rangers New Braunfels girls take a break from 27-4A for nondistrict tilt at Smithson Valley. Time: 2 p.m.Sidelines From staff, wire reports LOCALCANYON GIRLS WIN - T he Canyon Cougarettes won their second basketball game in as many days Wednesday, defeating Alamo I leights in a nondistrict afternoon game on the road, 68-34. The Cougarettes, who defeated New Braunfels 48-28 Tuesday night, outscored the Mules 17-6 in the second quarter and 22-6 in the third to improve to 8-8 this season. Alamo I leights fell to 9-9. Kendra (dayton scored 17 points for Canyon, which got 12 points each from Bo Warm and loan Friesenhahn, ll from Brittani I lackfeld, five each from Kiltie Korioth and Rim Keoghan, four from Kristin Mueller and two from Grecia Garza. Canyon will next play at the Bastrop tournament beginning Wednesday.STATEDEBESSETO COACH AGGIE RECEIVERS - Bob DeBesse has been named wide receivers coach at Texas A&M, Coach Dennis Franchione announced Wednesday. Kenny Pope moves to running backs coach, Lifter serving as receivers coach for the last three seasons. T he running backs coaching spot was left open when Lee Fobbs took the head coaching job at North Carolina A&T. DeBesse joins the Aggies staff after three years in the same position at I\irdue, where he was also recruiting coordinator. I Ie played football at Southwest Texas State and was later coach of the Bobcats from 1997-2002.NATIONAL LEINART ELIGIBLE AGAIN — A HSC quarterback Matt Leinart had his eligibility temporarily revoked after appearing in a promotional segment on ESPN earlier this month, a violation of an NCAA nile. The 20041 leisman Trophy winner was reinstated Tuesday after Southern California petitioned the NCAA. The school declared him ineligible after the segment aired on the cable network. It was recorded after the Trojans’ victory over UCLA in the final game of the regular season. NCAA spokesman Kent Barrett said Leman s actions were “unintentional and inadvertent." ’    --I Spurs rebound with 109-96 victory over Knicks NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Finley scored 19 points and the San Antonio Spurs shot 56 percent Wednesday night in their 109-96 victory over the New York Knicks, who have lost seven straight games. Tony Parker added 18 points and IO assists as the Spurs’ starting guards combined to make 15 of 22 shots against the Knicks’ dismal perimeter defense. Finley was 8-of-12 in another start in place of Manu Gino-bili, and Parker was 7-for- IO. San Antonio was shooting 63 percent after three quarters and was eas- Tim Duncan ily on its way to bettering its season high of 56.3 percent against Boston on Nov. 11 before its reserves were only 8-of-21 in the final 12 minutes. Tim Duncan played only 22 minutes and scored 13 points for the Spurs, who rebounded from consecutive losses and salvaged the final game of their three-game trip. They return home Friday to host Toronto before traveling to Detroit for their NBA Finals rematch with the Pistons on Christmas. Larry Brown’s old team will certainly provide more of a test than his current one. The Knicks trailed by as many as 32 points, and the only reason they avoided their worst loss of the season was because the Spurs’ starters were on the bench in the fourth quarter. New York trailed by 31 points after the third. Jamal Crawford scored 16 points for New York, and Channing Frye and Stephon Marbury each added 14. San Antonio got off to a quick start, a night after losing in overtime at Milwaukee. Finley scored nine points in the first 4 minutes as die Spurs opened a 13-4 lead, and that was essentially it. The Spurs shot 63 percent in the first quarter in building a 29-16 lead. The Knicks used a brief flurry to close within five points in the second period, but the Spurs scored the next 11 points and had a double-digit lead the rest of the way. They finished the half on a 23-7 run and went to halftime with a 56-35 cushion after Finley’s 3-pointer with 1.5 seconds to go. The Spurs shot 65 percent in the half and Finley scored 14 points. The only fight the Knicks put up came from Antonio Davis, who fouled Parker with 8:18 left in the third quarter. The Spurs thought the foul was too hard, and as players from both teams huddled to talk about it, Davis gave Duncan a little shove as he was walking away. By then, San Antonio already led by 23 points. The lead grew to 86-54 when Brent Barry made a 3-pointer with 2:09 left in the quarter. Barry finished with 13 points Notes: Ginobili missed his sixth consecutive game and eighth this season with a sprained foot.... Knicks center Eddy Curry missed his third straight game after spraining his ankle last Thursday in practice. Rookie Nate Robinson was out with a stomach vims, the second in a row he was inactive. Time hasn’t yet nm out on PokesU of Houston football coach Briles perseveres through family tragedy I KRISTON (AP) — I louston coach Art Briles slips into a glassy-eyed trance as he recalls the day tliat changed his life forever. He rattles off tile date his parents and aunt died in a car crash — Oct. 16,1976—and his voice turns hollow as he talks about the aftermath and how he persevered. “I pulled up Laid pushed forward, but it’s still with me every second,” said Briles, who will lead Houston (6-5) against Kansas (6-5) in Friday’s Fort Worth Bowl. The gametes together what Briles has accomplished with what he’s overcome — tile Cougars will play their second bowl in his tliree seasons about an hour’s drive from where the accident occurred, near Newcastle in north- central Texas, lf it had never happened, Briles thinks he still would’ve become a successful coach and raised the same three children, including son Kendal, who will play his final game for his father Friday. But he also knows he would be a different person. “I probably understand the importance of the people close to you better than maybe I would have,” he said. “You need people in your life, people who care about you and love you. I think that’s made me a more insightful coach.” Back then, Briles was a 20-year-old split end at the school he now coaches. He wasn’t sure he would ever get over the grief. The Cougars were playing SMU at the Cotton Bowl that day, and Dennis and Wanda Briles and Art’s aunt, Elsie, were driving to see the game from the tiny West Texas town of Rule, where Briles grew up. His parents had been to many of his games and at some point during all of them, Art would spot them in the crowd. Not this time. “I had an intuition something wasn’t right,” Briles said. “Usually, you always know where the parents sit. My mother would always wave at me, but I didn’t see her that day." The Cougars won 29-6. Houston coach Bill Yeoman delivered the bad news to Briles afterward. “That was pretty traumatic,” Briles said. Briles went home for a week to mourn with his older brother, Eddie, then returned to school. He made it to the end of the spring semester, then quit and retreated to Rule, emotionally drained. “I did leave because of that,” Briles said. “I went through a six-month spell after it happened where I had to get myself together and decide whether I would fight or falter.” After a month of soul-searching at home, Briles enrolled at Texas Tech. He graduated in 1979 and went on to earn a master's degree in education at Abilene Christian. He hopes he would’ve made his parents proud. “I just had die realization that not anything is going to happen unless you make it happen," he said. “You’ve got to pick a road to go down, and I chose one where I tried to build a positive legacy for my family ’s name. I became determined to honor them in the best way I could.” Briles was an all-state quarterback for his father in Rule and knew coaching was in his blood. He bounced around a few high school jobs in the 1980s before finding his niche as the head coach at Stephenville. The Yel-lowjackets won four championships in Briles’ 12 seasons. In 1998, the team amassed a national record 8,650 yards running Briles’ wide-open passing attack. Briles spent three seasons at Texas Tech, guiding one of the nation’s most prolific offenses, then returned to I louston for the head coaching job Kendal knew his father coveted. “He never really talked to me about his career pursuits, but I know he has always had a lot of love and pride for this university," said Kendal Briles, who transferred from Texas to play for his father. “He’s really put his life into doing what s best and right for this program.” A victory over Kansas will give the Cougars their second winning season in three years, the first time that’s happened at Houston in more than a decade. At some point, after the game, Briles said he’ll share a moment with his son and reflect on their three seasons together. He ll think of his parents, too. “Ever since October 16th, 1976, I’ve had to get myself up in the morning. It’s a deal that’s really made me thankful for friends, players and for family,” he said. “I’m extra sensitive now to people who care about people and I’ve become pretty determined to excel, to be able to stand on my own two feet and do a worthy job. That’s all any of us have." Art Briles IRVING (AP) —A miserable month of games has taken the Dallas Cowboys from the division lead to wildcard outsiders. From a 7-3 record to having to win their last two games for a chance to make the playoffs. “You know if you don’t do something in a big hurry, it’s all going to slip away,” center Al Johnson said Wednesday. “We need to do something about it to make it stop. We got ourselves in it. We’ve got to get ourselves out of it.” By losing three of their last four games, the Cowboys (8-6) have left themselves no more room for error. They’ve got to start with a win Saturday at NFC South-leading Carolina (10-4), which itself hasn’t clinched a playoff spot yet. “We hate that we squandered off a great chance that we had,” defensive back Aaron Glenn said. “The thing is, once you’re in, you’re in and it doesn’t matter how we get in.... The fact is, we still have a chance to get in.” After the Panthers, Dallas ends the regular season at home against the St. Louis Rams on New Year’s Day. The last time Dallas played Carolina was in the 2003 NFC wildcard playoffs, a 29-10 loss that ended coach Bill Parcells’ first season. That was the third first-round playoff elimination for the Cowboys since the 1996 season, a year after their last Super Bowl. That playoff loss to the Panthers came sue weeks after a regular-sea-son victory over Carolina, the Cowboys’ eighth win in 2003, which prompted an emotional proclamation from Parcells that they couldn’t be called losers anymore. But they went 6-10 last season, and have let all the momentum of their strong start this year slip away. Even in their lone win over the past month, Kansas City missed a field goal on the final play of the game that would have forced overtime. AP Dallas quarterback Drew Bledsoe (11) is pressured by Denver's Darrent Williams (27) during the second quarter of the Cowboys' 24-21 loss to the Broncos on Thanksgiving Day. Dallas players still believe they can make the playoffs. Asked Wednesday if, after his 10-win Dallas debut season, he thought it’d take this long to get back into position of possibly going back to the playoffs, Parcells was somewhat evasive. “How do I know? I don’t have a crystal ball. I don’t know,” Parcells said. “I know we have a better team now than when I came here. I know that. So, that’s what I know.” His assessment obviously isn t based on the last month, which included Sunday’s 35-7 loss at Washington (8-6). That was the most lopsided loss ever against the Redskins, who with a season sweep own a vital tiebreaker over the Cowboys should they end with the same record. “It should have never happened,” defensive end Greg Ellis said. “When you’re 7-3, you don’t imagine that you’re going to lose as many games as we have. We need to get it back on track. It’s a now-or-never thing.” At 7-3, the Cowboys were tied with the Giants for the NFC East lead, having already won a game against New York. They remained even after both lost 24-21 in overtime on Thanksgiving weekend, the Cowboys to Denver and the Giants in Seattle, before playing each other. The Giants (10-4), who also haven’t clinched a playoff spot, took control of the NFC East and started its current three-game winning streak with a 17-10 win over Dallas on Dec. 4. “It is disappointing, to let these games slip down the stretch. Thats when you have to play your best football,” tight end Jason Witten said. “But to be in a situation, where we’ve still got a chance, that gives us a little bit of hope.... If we can win those, we’ve still got a good chance.” Notes: Offensive guard Larry Allen and safety Roy Williams are going back to Hawaii. T hey were the only Cowboys named Wednesday to the Pro Bowl roster. It’s the 10th time in Allen’s 12 seasons he’s been named to the Pro Bowl, and the third straight season for Williams, a fourth-year player. ... CB Anthony Henry, who has been plagued by a groin injury, was put back on the injury report Wednesday. He’s still listed as probable for Saturday’s game.... OC Marco Rivera still has a sore neck from his nasty spill against the Redskins when he landed on his head and is listed as questionable. “But I’m not counting him out,” coach Bill Parcells said Wednesday. “He’s improved today over what he was yesterday. So we ll see.” Rivera has started 113 straight regular season games. ;