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GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Odessa High edged out late by Midland High - Odessa American: Oavarsity

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GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Odessa High edged out late by Midland High

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Posted: Friday, January 10, 2020 10:21 pm

Odessa High girls basketball coach Marcus Chapa says that he wants his games to come down to the wire with a chance to win.

The Lady Bronchos had that chance Friday against Midland High, but found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard, falling 43-40 to the Lady Dawgs in the District 2-6A opener at the OHS Fieldhouse.

Down 42-40 with 6.8 seconds left, the inbounds pass from the Odessa High sideline was deflected and stolen by Midland High. Junior guard Kobe Powell made one of two free throws for Midland High and a half-court desperation shot at the buzzer did not connect for the Lady Bronchos.

Powell finished with a game-high 21 points for Midland High (8-17 overall, 1-0 District 2-6A).

“We just try to stay focused and understand what we need to do in those situations,” Chapa said. “We had a chance there with one of our plays and we just weren’t able to finish in that situation.”

The Lady Bronchos (12-11, 0-1) were able to hang close in the first half despite some offensive struggles thanks to sophomore guard Nesha Stephens.

Stephens led Odessa High with 17 points, including all seven of the Lady Bronchos’ points in a frantic first quarter where Midland High led 10-7.

The second quarter saw Powell settle in early for the Lady Dawgs, connecting on a pair of 3-pointers and scoring seven of Midland High’s first nine points in the period.

“Kobe has done that all year for us,” Midland High head coach Wes Torres said. “She’s been our leading scorer for the whole season and I’m just really proud of how her game as progressed.”

The Lady Dawgs pushed the lead to as much as 10 points in the first half before a late Lady Bronchos basket cut it to eight.

Odessa High saw its fortunes reverse late in the third quarter with full-court pressure and getting the Midland High offense out of rhythm. The Lady Bronchos also started working the ball inside with freshman Deoshanay Henderson, who had 10 of her 13 points after halftime.

The Lady Bronchos took their first lead at 30-29 with a Roxana Jimenez layup with 28.2 seconds to go in the third and Odessa High ended the quarter on an 8-0 run.

“We just started playing smarter basketball,” Chapa said. “We were able to get Powell into some foul trouble in that quarter and we were able to take advantage of that and outscore them 14-5.”

The fourth quarter went back-and-forth throughout, but it was Midland High that locked down defensively and retook the lead with three minutes remaining.

Whenever Odessa High cut the lead down to two or three, the Lady Dawgs answered quickly on the other end with baskets from Amaya Gill and Ahmaria Tennon in transition to hold off the charge.

A Henderson 3-pointer followed by a Midland High turnover gave Odessa High one last chance at the end, but it wasn’t to be for the Lady Bronchos.

“We came off of two blowout losses and the team was challenged to do whatever it takes defensively,” Torres said. “We know we’re a solid defensive team and Odessa High gave us a great run in the second half. This is their home court and I was proud of our girls for their effort.”

Odessa High also had struggles at the free throw line that proved to be a difference maker, finishing 8 of 22 from the charity stripe. Midland High finished 9 for 13 by comparison and came away with the win.

The Lady Bronchos will look to quickly regroup as they travel to face Amarillo Tascosa on Tuesday.

“We made mistakes as a team and we just have to learn from those things,” Chapa said. “We have to shoot the ball better and make our free throws. Sometimes, the game goes like that and we just have to stay the course.”

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