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BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Odessa High holds on for narrow win over Midland Lee - Odessa American: Oavarsity

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BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Odessa High holds on for narrow win over Midland Lee

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Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2020 11:29 pm

With the game on the line and the Odessa High boys basketball team trailing by one in the final minute, junior forward Christian Tijerina knew he had to make a play.

He came up with not just one, but two.

Tijerina made a go-ahead layup with 32.3 seconds remaining in the game and helped the Bronchos make a defensive stand in the closing seconds to help secure a 56-55 victory over Midland Lee in District 2-6A play Tuesday at the OHS Fieldhouse.

The win puts the Bronchos (13-18 overall, 3-5 district) on the doorstep of clinching a playoff spot.

“It feels real good being able to get this win,” said Tijerina, who finished with a game-high 16 points. “We came together in the fourth quarter and we were able to pull it off.”

The game was back-and-forth the whole way, as neither side led by more than eight points.

It was also not the cleanest game according to Odessa High coach Neal Welch.

“We played pretty good defense on the last possession but we have to do that all game,” Welch said. “You always want to win and I’m happy that we won but we just didn’t play very well tonight.”

The Bronchos took the upper hand early in the first quarter with an 11-7 lead before two late baskets from Lee’s Jalen Packer and Makhilyn Young tied the game at the end of the quarter.  

Odessa High got a boost early in the second quarter after the Rebels made the opening basket of the quarter when Caleb Ramirez hit consecutive 3-pointers for a 17-13 Bronchos’ lead.

Lee had an answer, however, and regained the lead midway through the second quarter with a 3-pointer from Elijah Maxwell, who led the Rebels with 13 points.

After taking a 29-27 lead at halftime, Midland Lee appeared to be taking control and led 42-35 heading into the closing seconds of the third quarter.

Odessa High cut the deficit to four, though, on Chris Blaiar’s 3-pointer with 1.7 seconds left in the quarte.

Blair added 13 points for the Bronchos while L.J. Willis had 10.

Midland Lee pushed the lead back up to 50-43 with four minutes to go in the game with another Maxwell 3-pointer but the Bronchos simply wouldn’t go away.

Down 55-50 with less than two minutes remaining, the Bronchos closed the gap with a pair of Tijerina free throws and a Willis layup.

A Midland Lee turnover set the stage for Tijerina’s go-ahead basket and the Bronchos’ defense stood tall in the final 30 seconds to secure the win.

That made it tough for Lee head coach Doug Gordon to see the game end the way it did. 

“We were looking for a pick and roll and if the help comes, go ahead and take the shot,” Gordon aid. “We just weren’t able to get the shot up and that’s just the way it works out sometimes. Both teams played their tails off tonight and it was a great game.”

Odessa, TX

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