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BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Permian pulls away from El Paso Socorro to clinch bi-district title - Odessa American: Oavarsity

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BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Permian pulls away from El Paso Socorro to clinch bi-district title

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Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 9:05 pm

Things started off a bit slowly for the Permian boys basketball team Tuesday.

In the end, the Panthers took care of business against a familiar foe.

A 17-0 run in the third quarter helped Permian pull away for a 75-40 victory over El Paso Socorro in a Class 6A bi-district playoff game at the Permian Fieldhouse.

The Panthers (29-3) defeated Socorro for the second straight season and advance to the area round to play Arlington Lamar, a 60-47 winner over Abilene High on Tuesday. The area game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Abilene Cooper.

Shy-Stephens Deary led the Panthers with a game-high 24 points along with six steals, while Nakavieon White had 18 points and seven assists. Keyonta Johnson added 14 points for Permian.

Diego Torres led the Bulldogs (17-14) with 13 points.

The teams exchanged 3-pointers to open the game, but it was not the cleanest start for the Panthers as Socorro slowed the pace down and made life difficult for Permian offensively.

The Panthers got a quick five-point burst from Stephens-Deary to make it 10-5 before Socorro responded with a 5-0 run of its own to tie the game.

Stephens-Deary made a pair of free throws to give Permian a 12-10 lead after one quarter, but head coach Tim Thomas wanted to see his team clean things up.

“We turned the ball over six times in the first quarter and didn’t really execute the game plan like we wanted to,” Thomas said. “We got out of position defensively, took some bad shots and I felt like it carried over throughout the first half.”

The Panthers came out sharper in the second quarter with a 7-2 run to start the frame. The run was capped off by an alley-oop from Stephens-Deary to White to give Permian a 19-12 lead with 5:38 left in the first half. Stephens-Deary had scored the last 13 Panthers points before that assist.

The Bulldogs tried to stay within striking distance and a three-point play by Torres cut the deficit down to 21-15 late in the half.

That was as close as Socorro got the rest of the way, however, as turnovers turned into easy Permian baskets that the Panthers turned into a 36-23 halftime advantage.

“We know that Permian is a great team and we had to try and control the tempo,” Socorro head coach Tim McNally said. “I thought we did a good job of that in the first quarter, but then we gave up three or four transition baskets and that put us in a bind.”

Permian sealed the game early in the second half by locking down defensively.

After Raul Martinez made the only basket of the third quarter for Socorro, the Panthers ran off 17 consecutive points that included runs of five straight from Stephens-Deary and seven from White.

Permian was up 53-25 at the end of third quarter and a pair of breakaway dunks from Keyonta Johnson to open the fourth cemented another bi-district championship for the Panthers.

“At halftime, I told our guys that we had to do a better job of guarding them and taking care of the ball,” Thomas said. “Everything happens for us when we do that and I thought we played a lot better and picked things up after that.”

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