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BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Amarillo Tascosa pulls away from Odessa High - Odessa American: Oavarsity

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BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Amarillo Tascosa pulls away from Odessa High

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Posted: Friday, January 31, 2020 11:20 pm

The Odessa High boys basketball team entered Friday’s matchup with Amarillo Tascosa looking to build off of its last two victories.

The Bronchos hung close early but weren’t able to sustain the momentum as the Rebels pulled away for a 69-47 victory in District 2-6A play at the OHS Fieldhouse.

It was a balanced scoring effort for the Rebels (19-6 overall, 4-1 district) as Elijah Rodriguez, D.K. Alexander and Donnie Sutton each finished with 16 points.

“That’s just been the kind of team we’ve been all season long,” Tascosa coach Steve Jackson said. “We don’t have that one guy that goes up for 20 or 25 a game.

“We’ve had a different leading scorer every night in district and it just speaks to the unselfishness of our group.”

L.J. Willis matched that total with 16 points of his own for Odessa High (12-15, 2-3), while Coco Rose had 10.

The difference, according to Odessa High coach Neal Welch, came down to getting outworked on the boards.

“We didn’t block out very well and when you don’t that and your turnovers are high, your chances of losing go up drastically,” Welch said. “If we had done that, I think we would have a better chance at it, but that just killed us.”

Willis got the game off to a good start, knocking down the first 3-pointer. The Rebels answered quickly with six unanswered points before Rose hit a 3 of his own to tie the game. Tascosa was able to find some rhythm offensively late in the quarter as Rodriguez and Sutton hit consecutive 3-pointers that eventually grew to a 19-12 Rebels lead after one period.

The teams were more methodical in the second quarter and the Bronchos were able to keep the deficit at seven points late in the half at 24-17. However, Tascosa found a spark defensively and closed the half on a 9-0 run to build a 33-17 halftime advantage.

“It was good that we were able to come down and pick up a good road win,” Jackson said. “We were able to come out and execute and we had to withstand some runs from Odessa High.

“They’re well coached and run their stuff well and we just knew we had to stay focused and let the game come to us.”

Odessa High responded, coming out of the locker room with a 7-2 run to cut the deficit to 35-24, but that was as close as the Bronchos got the rest of the game.

Up 40-26 midway through the third quarter, the Rebels put together a quick 8-3 run capped off by a pair of 3-pointers from Rodriguez to increase the lead to 19.

Tascosa solidified its advantage in the fourth quarter and led by as many as 24 points to finish off the victory and maintain second place at the halfway point of district play.

On the other bench, Welch emphasized the need to regroup.

“We just haven’t played as well at home as we have on the road for some reason.” Welch said. “We’re getting better and we’re a young team but we need to improve on being tougher.”

>> Follow Tony Venegas on Twitter at @OA_TVenegas

Odessa, TX

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