• May 28, 2020

BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Fast start not enough as Bronchos fall to Tigers - Odessa American: Oavarsity

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BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Fast start not enough as Bronchos fall to Tigers

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Posted: Friday, February 7, 2020 11:29 pm

Nearly everything went right for the Odessa High boys basketball team in the first eight minutes against Wolfforth Frenship.

The momentum swung quickly in the other direction, however, as the Bronchos fell 78-58 to the Tigers Friday in District 2-6A play at the OHS Fieldhouse.

Noble Robinson was one of four Frenship (23-7 overall, 4-3 district) players to finish in double figures with 15 points. Jordan Palmer added 14 while Bryce Granado and Devin Hartfield each had 12.

L.J. Willis led Odessa High (12-18, 2-5) with a game-high 18 points while Coco Rose and Chris Blair each added 14 and 13 points, respectively, for the Bronchos.

“We started out playing hard, playing fast and playing for each other,” Odessa High head coach Neal Welch said. “We didn’t help the helpers on defense as I like to say and we struggled after the fast start. We brought the intensity early but we didn’t keep it up for four quarters.”

Odessa High started off on a 12-0 run, taking advantage of a slow start offensively from Frenship as well as some timely shots from Blair, Rose and Willis. 

The Tigers got on the board late in the quarter with a three-point play from Solomon Pruitt to close the quarter on a 7-2 run and trailed 14-7 after one.

Frenship cut in the deficit further with a 9-2 run to start the second quarter and tie the game at 16.  A Jaylen McCowan 3-pointer gave the Bronchos a temporary lead but the Tigers took their first lead of the game with a run of five straight points to go up 21-19 midway through the second quarter.

That set the stage for Frenship to create some separation, closing the quarter on a 12-2 run and take a 10-point lead heading into halftime.

“We just didn’t mentally get ready to play early on and you can’t illustrate that better than being behind 12-0 to start,” Wolfforth Frenship head coach Paul Page said. “Finally, we started playing up to speed and playing more of our game. Hopefully, that’s a lesson learned for our guys.”

The Tigers came out of the locker room and built an early 13-point advantage but Odessa High hung around and cut the deficit down to six points twice with a 3-pointer from Rose and another Willis basket.

That was as close as the Bronchos would get the rest of the night, however, as the Tigers used rebounding to their advantage and built a 56-40 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

Frenship led by as many as 29 points in the final quarter before Odessa High closed the final margin late.

Welch was encouraged by what he saw from his team early but knows that they’ll have to be better moving forward.

“We got some stops defensively but 23 (Donovan Smith) for Frenship got I don’t know how many offensive rebounds and missing those rebounds really hurt us a lot,” Welch said. “When you allow that to happen, that really hurts your chances of winning.”

Odessa, TX

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