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BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Dominant first half pushes Permian past Odessa High - Odessa American: Oavarsity

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BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Dominant first half pushes Permian past Odessa High

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Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2020 11:49 pm

The renewal of the crosstown rivalry between the Odessa High and Permian boys basketball teams quickly turned into a one-sided battle.

The Panthers jumped all over the Bronchos early by forcing 27 turnovers and knocking down shots, cruising to an 89-48 victory Tuesday at OHS Fieldhouse.

Permian guard Keyonta Johnson led all scorers with 24 points and was one of four Panthers to finish in double figures. Shy Stephens-Deary had 22 points, including 17 in the first half and marking his second consecutive 20-plus point effort.

Jase Taylor and D.J. Johnson added 16 and 11 points, respectively.

“Our guys were really dialed in tonight,” Permian head coach Tim Thomas said. “They played great team basketball both offensively and defensively. They played very unselfishly and I’m proud of how we came out, especially in the first half.”

In fact, the only time the Panthers trailed all night was in the early seconds of the game after an L.J. Willis layup from Odessa High.

Stephens-Deary quickly secured the lead back for Permian with a pair of 3-pointers to open things up for him and the rest of his teammates. Those shots were part of a 10-0 run before an Odessa High layup by Christian Tijerina ended the run.

Tijerina finished with 14 points, only trailing the 18 from Coco Rose to lead the Bronchos.

“The first two shots going in gave me a lot of confidence,” Stephens-Deary said. “My teammates were able to get me the ball and it just kept going in.”

The Panthers added another 15 unanswered points to take a 25-4 lead after the first eight minutes. That run didn’t stop as Permian opened the quarter with another six straight points.

Those baskets came from the inside whether it was Johnson, Taylor or J.J. Vizcaino among others. The Panthers’ largest lead of the half came at 42-7 late in the quarter before going into halftime with a 46-13 advantage.

“We just stuck with what the coaches had in the game plan for us,” said Taylor on the Panthers first-half surge. “It’s exciting to play against our rivals and I’m proud of our team tonight.”

While the Panthers were feeling good about themselves, it left Odessa High head coach Neal Welch feeling frustrated.

“I was very disappointed in our effort,” Welch said. “We weren’t flying around and that’s something that we talked about that we had to do and we didn’t do that.”

The Bronchos did show fight in the second half, outscoring Permian 17-12 in the third quarter and connecting on shots that were not falling in the first half.

Rose also had 12 of his points come in the final quarter but the first half struggles proved to be too insurmountable to overcome.

“I was proud of how we played in the second half, especially in the third quarter,” Welch said. “That first and second quarter just killed us and we can’t have that.”

As for Thomas, he again emphasized how impressed how his team played from start to finish. He hopes to see more of that moving forward, starting Friday at home against Amarillo Tascosa.

“Sometimes emotions can get high in a rivalry game like this,” he said. “I thought the kids came in and held themselves well and played with a lot of maturity and energy. They did a great job.”

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