GIRLS BASKETBALL: Nguyen provides 21 points as Permian defeats Big Spring at Kristen Corbin Classic - Odessa American: Oavarsity

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Nguyen provides 21 points as Permian defeats Big Spring at Kristen Corbin Classic

By Royal McGregor rmcgregor@oaoa.com | Posted: Thursday, December 8, 2016 11:11 pm

After back-to-back home losses, the Permian girls basketball team was searching for a spark to get back on the winning track.

The Lady Panthers shook off a slow start and received a 21-point performance from Jessica Nguyen en route to a 60-37 victory over Big Spring during the quarterfinals of the Kristen Corbin Classic at the Mustang Arena at Andrews High School.

“It was a roller coaster up and down, but when they finally found it, they kept it throughout the game,” Permian head coach Angela Braziel-Smith said. “That’s the team I know.”

In the first 12 minutes, Permian was limited to 12 points and found itself in a 19-12 deficit. The Lady Panthers climbed back, but Big Spring took a 23-22 lead at halftime. The was the final time the Lady Steers held a lead.

Permian outscored the Lady Steers 22-3 in the third quarter and took a 44-26 advantage into the final 8 minutes of play. The Lady Panthers continued their strong second half as they outscored Big Spring 18-11 in the fourth quarter.

The Lady Panthers used a variety of scorers to build its double-digit lead. Klarissa Cruz ended with eight points, while Aubrea Hall and Artashia Armendariz each chipped in seven. Kayleigh Penny supplied a team-high 10 points for the Lady Steers.

Permian continues the tournament against Lamesa in the semifinals at 6:30 p.m. today, while Big Springs plays Andrews at 12:30 p.m.

“This game gave us some confidence,” Braziel-Smith said. “We just have to continue, because we are a good team, but we just have to put it together.”

Andrews opened the season with a 40-28 victory over Coahoma.

Yet, over the last month, the Lady Mustangs have dropped nine straight including their quarterfinal match during the Kristen Corbin Classic.

Lamesa had a trio of double-digit scorers that lead the Golden Tornadoes to a 51-38 victory.

“Looking at our record, it isn’t the most beautiful thing in the world, but we’ve played a lot of difficult teams and I feel like as the year has gone on we’ve gotten better,” Andrews head coach Brooke Miller said. “That’s what we are focusing on right now is getting better every game.”

Andrews had trouble stringing together baskets — mainly due to turnovers. The Lady Mustangs were limited to single digits during the second and third quarters and in the meantime Lamesa outscored its opponent 28-14 in that time frame.

Miller said the message to the team in fourth quarter was to forget about the scoreboard and just play. At one point, the Lady Mustangs shrunk Lamesa’s 15-point lead to six, 44-38.

“At times, we overthink things too much,” Miller said. “We overthink it and that causes us to make a mistake.”

Semeje Mason posted team-high 16 points for the Golden Tornadoes, while Camren Clement added 14 and Kayla Jackson finished with 13. Janey Leach had a team-high 16 points for the Lady Mustangs.

Kermit faced its toughest challenge of its nondistrict schedule so far.

The Lady Yellow Jackets were tasked with state tournament contender Shallowater — which is ranked No. 11 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches poll — in the quarterfinals of the Kristen Corbin Classic.

Cailyn Breckel and Jayden Willer finished with 18 and 13 points, respectively, as the Fillies claimed a 70-26 victory against Kermit.

“It was a great experience for them,” Kermit head coach Rocio Medrano-Lopez said about her team playing Shallowater. “We knew (Shallowater) is state ranked and (Church Darden) is a legendary coach and I have a lot respect for him. My girls definitely learned today and what I liked is that we tried our best. We know that (Darden) is a winner for a reason.”

Shallowater jumped out a 20-9 lead after the first quarter and that advantage evenly ballooned to 41-17 at halftime.

The Fillies move to the quarterfinals and face Denver City at 3:30 p.m. today, while Kermit go to the consolation semifinals and play Grady at 9:30 a.m.