GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Permian defeats OHS to begin district play

The Permian girls basketball team began District 2-6A play on the right note, cruising to a 53-40 win over crosstown rivals Odessa High Friday at Permian Fieldhouse.

With both teams looking to begin district play on a good start, it was the Lady Panthers that had all the answers as the team improved to 10-8 overall, 1-0 in district.

The Lady Bronchos fell to 10-15, 0-1.

Permian built leads of 16-3 in the first quarter and 28-8 at the half.

“We were pretty motivated because a lot of these players hadn’t beaten OHS or made the playoffs,” Permian head coach Michael Ellis said. “It was pretty easy for them to be motivated. I didn’t have to say much.”

Permian was led by Kimora Pierce’s 21 points while Bailey Wight had nine.

Odessa High was led by Donjah Watkins’ 17 points while Zenaida Ibarra had three.

While there are still nine district games remaining, Ellis said every win at this point is crucial.

“It’s only 10 district games that we play and each win is critical,” Ellis said. “Every win we get is a step closer to the playoffs.”

The Lady Panthers began the game on a promising note, going on a 9-0 run from the opening tip and taking a 13-3 lead soon after.

“We’ve gotten off to some bad starts so we were pretty motivated,” Ellis said. “We had a good game plan and we kept it simple. We played hard and our players were excited to play.”

Permian’s defense continued to dominate and the hosts had a 16-3 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

Pierce made consecutive free throws early in the second quarter to give Permian a 20-3 lead with 6:32 on the clock.

An inside shot by Morgan Crow extended the Lady Panthers’ lead at the 4:46 mark and a put-back by Alyssa Vasquez came on the next Permian possession as the hosts took a 19-point lead.

Permian used a 10-4 run to begin the second half, capped off with a basket by Pierce to make it 38-12 with under four minutes left in the third quarter.

The Lady Bronchos managed to go on a 9-2 run to narrow the deficit to 19 late in the quarter.

But Permian answered with Crow’s basket at the buzzer, giving the Lady Panthers a 42-21 advantage heading into the fourth.

The shots continued to fall for Permian in the fourth quarter and the Lady Panthers continued to control the game.

Permian will next face Wolfforth Frenship at 6 p.m. Tuesday on the road while Odessa High will go up against Midland High at OHS Fieldhouse.

“Frenship is tough, tough, tough,” Ellis said. “But we’ll enjoy this one. Frenship will bring a whole new set of challenges. We’re looking forward to playing them. It’ll be a good challenge.”

Both Permian and Odessa High will meet again in the second half of district play on Jan. 26 at OHS Fieldhouse.