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BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: First half burst helps Permian pull away from Odessa High - Odessa American: Oavarsity

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BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: First half burst helps Permian pull away from Odessa High

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Posted: Tuesday, February 4, 2020 9:34 pm

The Odessa High and Permian boys basketball teams faced off once again Tuesday to mark the start of the second half of District 2-6A play.

The game started closer than the first meeting did but the final result was the same as the Panthers pulled away for a 72-35 victory Tuesday at the Permian Fieldhouse. 

Shy Stephens-Deary led Permian (24-2 overall, 6-0 district) with a game-high 15 points while Keyonta Johnson had 14. Nakavieon White also finished with 10 points in his first game back after missing the first five games of district play.

“With things going on from the weather changing the game time to everything else, I think it took some time for our guys to get fully focused,” Permian coach Tim Thomas said. “Give credit to Odessa High because they come out really focused and aggressive.”

The first quarter was a back and forth battle early on as Odessa High (12-17, 2-4) took the initial lead before White made his first basket to tie the game at 6-all with 4:48 left in the first quarter and scored the next two Permian baskets after that.

“It just felt great to get back out there with my team,” White said. “I just came in thinking to play like I always do and let the game come to me.”

Odessa High hung around, however, as Christian Tijerina responded with a 3-pointer to make it 10-9 following the quick Permian run.

Tijerina and L.J. Willis led the Bronchos with 12 points each while Chris Blair had nine.

Permian maintained and built its lead from the free throw line and led 16-10 after the first eight minutes.

The Panthers started to create some separation in the second quarter but the Bronchos kept within striking distance at 25-17 thanks to Blair, who had all seven Odessa High points in the second quarter.

That was as close as Odessa High got the rest of the game, however, as Permian closed the frame on a 10-0 run capped off by a three-quarter court shot by Cedric Baty as time expired in the half to open up a 35-17 lead.

It was a tough way for Odessa High coach Neal Welch to see his team find itself in a hole that quickly.

“We were able to hang close but we just weren’t able to score early on,” Welch said. “We got stops and then we don’t score on the end and that’s just hard on us when you have to try to make that many stops.”

It did not get easier for the Bronchos as the Panthers opened with a 12-3 run, including nine straight points from Johnson. That left Thomas feeling encouraged with how his team opened things up.

“It took us a while to get everything going but I thought we played our best in the third quarter,” Thomas said.

The Panthers outscored the Bronchos 22-12 in the third quarter and that left the team felling good.

On the other bench, it left Welch feeling frustrated as Permian led by as many as 38 points in the second half. 

“I told our team that I saw spurts of what we’re looking for as far as blocking out and executing,” Welch said. “That’s the key word though, spurts, and we’re still lacking being able to do that for all four quarters.”

>> Follow Tony Venegas on Twitter at @OA_TVenegas

Odessa, TX

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