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HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Permian gives No. 2 Denton Guyer all it can handle - Odessa American: Sports

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HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Permian gives No. 2 Denton Guyer all it can handle

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Posted: Saturday, March 2, 2019 12:13 am

FORT WORTH For nearly 30 minutes Friday night, the Permian Panthers gave No. 2 Denton Guyer all the Wildcats could handle and then some.

A late surge was just enough to carry Guyer past the Panthers for a 42-36 victory in the second semifinal of the Region I-6A boys basketball tournament at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center.

It was the second season in a row the Wildcats (33-4) have eliminated the Panthers (27-8), but this one wasn’t decided until the final 2:15. Guyer outscored Permian 6-1 down the stretch to put the game away.

“I thought the kids really executed the game plan,” Permian coach Tim Thomas said. “I’m really proud of them. You hate that you fall short when you’ve got a golden opportunity. It’s one of those things in life.

“I told the kids this does not define you. The best part of your life is ahead of you. You’ve got a lot more wins coming, wins that are more important in terms of family, your kids, wives, careers. That is going to be more important than any win or any loss. We want them to win that.

“It doesn’t feel very good right now, but they’ll bounce back and get it done.”

Guyer returns to the regional final to take on No. 1 Duncanville, a 71-50 winner over Euless Trinity in Friday’s first game, at 1 p.m. Saturday. The winner of Saturday’s game advances to the Class 6A state tournament next weekend at San Antonio’s Alamodome.

Permian was able to limit Guyer’s high-scoring attack to 35 percent shooting (14 of 40) and actually outscored the Wildcats from the floor 32-31. The difference came at the free-throw line, where Guyer finished 11 of 17 to Permian’s 4 of 6.

The Wildcats made 6 of 7 free throws in the fourth quarter, going 4 of 4 in the final 2:15, while Permian didn’t get to the line in the fourth until 35.1 seconds were left in the game.

Permian was led by Genuwine Powell and Nakavieon White with 10 points apiece, while Keyonta Johnson and Shy Stephens-Deary each added six points and Jonathan Anaya had four.

Guyer was led by Jalen Wilson with 13 points with JaKobe Coles scoring 11 and De’Vion Wilson adding 10.

“(Coles) scored 32 points the last game, so we knew he couldn’t get 32,” Thomas said. “We tried to really pay attention to him and limit his touches and swarm him if he caught it.

“All three of those guys, we tried to really pay attention to them if they got the basketball, be more alert.”

Permian, which shot 34.1 percent (15 of 44), trailed by as much as seven points on three occasions. The first two times, the Panthers came back to tie or take the lead.

“We showed that we can play up to the level,” Johnson said. “We hustled hard and fought back and showed that we can do this.”

Powell said Permian’s ability to dictate the pace was a major factor in staying in the game.

“We controlled it throughout the third quarter and really most of the game,” he said. “There were just a couple of plays we could have made better decisions. It’s just a learning experience.”

White, one of two Permian players to see action in last season’s 58-48 loss to the Wildcats, said the Panthers took a big step forward from a year ago.

“Our team came out and fought hard and just gave it all we had,” he said. “Really, just our defense and our heart. When we were down, we knew it wasn’t over. We just kept fighting. We came together as a team and just kept pushing.”

Trailing 15-8 after the first quarter, Permian opened the second with a 7-0 run to pull even on White’s basket with 4:01 left in the half. Guyer was held scoreless for more than five and a half minutes until Brayden Bradshaw scored all six of the Wildcats’ point in the period in a two-minute stretch, enabling Guyer to take a 21-17 halftime lead.

The Wildcats pushed the lead back to seven points in the third quarter, going up 28-21 on Coles’ basket with 2:35 left in the period. Stephens-Deary hit both of Permian’s 3-pointers just 24 seconds apart and Powell put the Panthers ahead with 34 seconds left in the quarter.

Powell then opened the fourth quarter with another basket, giving Permian its largest lead at 31-28 before Guyer scored the next five points to move back in front. Johnson’s basket with 5:53 to go tied it at 33.

The turning point came as the clocked ticked down under three minutes. Wilson hit the front end of a one-and-one with 3:19 remaining and missed the second free throw.

Guyer’s Gregg Willis rebounded the miss and Coles scored on a put back with 2:59 to go, giving the Wildcats a three-point lead.

Johnson scored with 2:39 remaining to get the Panthers back within a point, but Wilson scored the next four points and Harmon’s two free throws with 49.5 seconds left gave Guyer a 42-35 lead.

“Sometimes that happens,” Thomas said. “You want things to turn out better. We had a couple of shots roll out. They got a couple of fouls, got to the free-throw line, made a few free throws.

“If we could have gotten it to one point with a minute to go, things could have been different. But (Guyer’s) a great team, a great program. They were expected to win and win big. Both teams competed and played thought. They got it done. My hat’s off to them.”

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