MIDLAND The Odessa High girls basketball team is going back to the postseason for the second time in three years and it took all 32 minutes to book the trip.
Deoshanay Henderson’s put back with 1.6 seconds remaining proved to be the difference as the Lady Bronchos edged Midland High, 40-39, in a play-in game for the No. 4 seed in District 2-6A Monday at Greenwood High School.
Odessa High (12-14 overall) will face El Paso Americas in the Class 6A bi-district round later this week with details still to be finalized. Midland High finishes the season at 11-15.
“It was just crazy in my head,” said Henderson of her game-winning basket. “I just told myself that I had to make that shot.
“It feels great because it was the first time that I made a game-winning shot.”
The deciding shot was the only field goal of the game from Henderson. It also completed a rally after Odessa High trailed 31-24 in the early moments of the fourth quarter.
“I’ve always told my kids that tough kids win and it’s more than the physical part of the game, it’s the mental part too.” Odessa High head coach Marcus Chapa said. “I felt like we’ve been working really hard for the last two years and it’s finally coming together.
“I’m truly proud and humbled to have this bunch around me and especially the community at Odessa High School.”
Both teams struggled offensively early, but Midland High’s Makayla Williams provided a spark, scoring eight of her team-high 16 points in the first eight minutes as the Lady Dawgs held a 12-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Kobe Powell also had 13 points for Midland, all of them coming after halftime.
The only Odessa High field goal of the quarter came in the last 20 seconds via a steal and layup by Nesha Stephens, who finished with a game-high 26 points.
The Lady Bronchos were able to get back in the game and trailed 19-16 at halftime.
“We just had to start talking to each other,” Stephens said. “We went from man to a 2-3 zone and that helped us get steals and going back and forth.”
Stephens also gave Odessa High its first lead of the game at 22-21 with 4:39 left in the third quarter on another breakaway layup before Midland High reclaimed the lead at 28-24 heading into the final eight minutes.
A Williams 3-pointer to start the period extended the advantage to 31-24 advantage before the Lady Bronchos countered with an 11-0 run.
Williams put Midland High back in front with a baseline 3-pointer with 1:29 remaining before the Lady Bronchos scored the final four points of the game to get the victory. Midland High was unable to get off a final shot after Henderson’s basket.
“They played hard the entire game,” Midland High head coach Edi DeLucas said. “We looked really solid defensively throughout the game.
“Just in that last minute, we weren’t able to execute and it really hurt us. We just couldn’t finish the deal and close the game off.”
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