HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Fast first quarter fuels Bronchos

Odessa High boys basketball coach Neal Welch wanted the Bronchos on the run to start their Class 6A bi-district playoff game.

Hosting El Paso Coronado on Tuesday, Welch knew that a quick start was imperative to Odessa High’s success.

“We needed to get out quick,” he said. “We needed to put some pressure on them early to get them out of their game.

“If we let them hang around and play their style, it’s going to be a lot slower and that’s not what we wanted.”

The Bronchos game their coach everything he asked for before the opening tip.

Ivan Carreon and Jordan Bruner dominated the first quarter for Odessa High, setting the tone in an 86-53 victory inside a raucous OHS Fieldhouse.

Bruner scored a game-high 24 points, with Carreon added 20 to the victory.

The duo combine for 22 of the Bronchos’ 24 points in the opening quarter.

Odessa High (23-14) advances to face North Crowley in an area playoff game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Abilene Wylie H.S.

Naledge Jenkins added 13 points to the victory, with Justin Martinez finishing with 10.

Enrique Castro scored 21 points to lead the Thunderbirds (15-15), with Aiden Diamos finishing with 12 in the loss.

“We knew that we had to guard No. 4 (Castro), that he was their best player,” Welch said. “We needed to make it hard for him to score.”

Welch was able to give everyone on the roster significant minutes and everyone scored.

“That’s great experience for them,” Welch said of his players off the bench. “They got to play pretty much the entire fourth quarter and did a great job.”

Welch said that one of the keys was to see how well the Thunderbirds could guard the 6-foot, 6-inch Carreon at the start.

El Paso Coronado couldn’t and it was quickly evident the Thunderbirds were going to have trouble guarding anyone else on the Bronchos’ roster.

Carreon and Bruner took advantage, attacking the basket at every opportunity and it paid off as Odessa High wasted no time taking control, jumping out to a quick 7-0 lead to force an early timeout by El Paso Coronado less than two minutes into the game.

The pause didn’t affect the Bronchos, who led 24-15 after one quarter.

El Paso Coronado tried to climb back into the game, pulling to within one point (34-34), with 1:50 to play in the first half.

The Bronchos scored the last six points of the half, including Bruner’s off-balance, just-throw-it-in-the-direction-of-the-basket desperation shot that went in at the buzzer.

Odessa High then went on a 17-4 run to start the second half to break things open.

Odessa High 86, El Paso Coronado 53


Tuesday, OHS Fieldhouse


Alexander Cole Garcia 1 0-0 2, Santiago Hernandez 0 0-0 0, Enrique Castro 6 7-7 21, Anthony Urquidi 0 202 2, Cason Golding 1 0-0 2, Roberto Lopez 0 1-2 1, Raif Roberts 1 0-0 2, Dylan Burchfield 2 0-0 5, Aiden Diamos 5 2-4 12, Nicholas Aloeyi 1 0-1 2, Samuel Farley 1 0-0 2, Justin Malooly 1 0-0 2. Totals 19 12-16 53.


Jtorian Deary-Johnson 1 1-2 3, Xian Christian 1 0-0 2, Adrian Muzquiz 2 0-0 4, Jalen Warren 1 0-0 2, Ivan Carreon 7 6-11 20, Naledge Jenkins 4 2-4 13, Mason Wright 2 0-0 6, Jordan Bruner 10 1-1 24, Justin Martinez 3 3-4 10, Xavier Brooks 0 2-2 2. Totals 32 15-24 86.

EP Coronado…………………. 15 19 7 12 53

Odessa High………………….. 24 17 23 22 86

3-Point goals EP Coronado 3 (Castro 2, Dylan Burchfield 1), Odessa High 7 (Jenkins 1, Wright 2, Bruner 3, Martinez 1). Total fouls EP Coronado 21, Odessa High 17. Fouled out None . Technical fouls EP Coronado (Hernandez), Odessa High (Deary-Johnson).