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BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Big night from Powell pushes Permian past El Paso Socorro - Odessa American: Sports

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BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Big night from Powell pushes Permian past El Paso Socorro

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Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2019 9:07 pm

ALPINE The Permian Panthers took the first step in the Class 6A boys basketball playoffs with a 55-37 bi-district victory against El Paso Socorro Tuesday at Sul Ross State’s Gallego Center.

Permian’s Genuwine Powell scored 20 of his game-high 24 points in the first half as the Panthers (25-7) advanced to the area round for the third season in a row.

Permian will meet the winner of Tuesday’s game between Haltom City Haltom and Arlington Martin at 7 p.m. Friday at Abilene Cooper.

“It was the first playoff game for nine of our 11 guys,” Permian coach Tim Thomas said. “It’s a big accomplishment for them, to go on the road and play your first playoffs game against a really good team.”

While the Panthers never trailed and the only tie after the opening tip was at 2-2, it took most of the first quarter before Permian got things going. Back-to-back 3-pointers just 36 seconds apart by Jonathan Anaya and Powell put Permian in front to stay.

Powell finished the first quarter with 11 points as Permian led 14-10.

“The last couple of games, I’ve kind of been off a little bit,” said Powell, who has been Permian’s leading scorer for the season. “Through practice and repetition, I just came out aggressive today and really assertive on the offensive end.”

Anaya, Keyonta Johnson and Nakavieon White each scored seven points. Shy Stephens-Deary, who had four points, was the only player other than Powell to score more than once in the first half.

“Genuwine has the ability to get points in a hurry, and a bunch of them,” Thomas said. “He hadn’t played very well the last two weeks, by his standards, but I thought he focused and zeroed in.

He had a couple of good practices and we’re really glad that he came out and played the way he did. He really came through for us.”

Peyon Lay also scored four points for the Panthers

Eddy Franco had 16 points to lead Socorro (14-18), which was in the playoffs for the first time since 1997. None of the other Bulldogs players scored more than five.

“Socorro’s got a really good team,” Thomas said. “They’re a big threat offensively with their three guards. I thought we came in and executed the game plan, really clamped down on the guards. I thought the kids did a good job.”

Powell said Permian’s defensive effort was the key to the game.

“We didn’t let their best players go and get shots off,” he said. “They’re really good when they’re open. They shot plenty of 3s and we limited that.”

Socorro was within four points early in the second quarter when Permian broke the game open with a 10-0 run to go up 26-12 on Powell’s basket with 3:45 left in the half. The Bulldogs never got closer than 10 the rest of the game and the Panthers led 31-18 at halftime.

Permian scored the first six points of the second half and took a 20-point lead on Anaya’s layup in the final minute of the third quarter. The Panthers took their largest lead at 47-23 on a basket by Johnson early in the fourth quarter.

Permian maintained at least a 20-point margin until Mauricio Gonzalez, the last player off the Socorro bench, hit a pair of free throws with 29.4 seconds remaining to play.

>> Follow Sam Waller on Twitter at @OA_Waller

Odessa, TX

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