The Permian Panthers took control of their own destiny Tuesday, completing a season sweep of crosstown rival Odessa High and moving into a four-way tie in the District 2-6A boys basketball race.
Permian never trailed in defeating the Bronchos 61-39 at the Odessa High Fieldhouse, bouncing back from Friday’s home loss to Amarillo Tascosa.
“It’s the second half of district and we want to try to win the second half,” Permian coach Tim Thomas said. “We’ve got to take them one game at a time.
“Getting on the road in a hostile environment (against our) crosstown rival, it’s always good to come away with a W.”
Genuwine Powell scored a game-high 18 points to lead the Panthers (19-7 overall, 4-2 district), who regained a share of first place as Wolfforth Frenship defeated Tascosa, creating a logjam atop the district standings. Shy Stephens-Deary added 10 points, while Keyonta Johnson and Peyton Lay each scored nine.
Permian was forced to go to its bench immediately when senior post J.J. Vizcaino suffered a shoulder injury on the opening tip.
Odessa High (8-21, 0-6) was led by Ryan Brazeal with 11 points and Louis Wilson with 10. Justin Ortiz added eight points off the bench for the Bronchos.
“I felt we had a much better start in the first quarter, which kind of gave us some confidence,” Odessa High coach Anthony Dees said. “It was better.
“We rebounded the ball better in the first half than we did in the second. Turnovers kind of killed us at the end, but for the most part we did better this time than we did the last time.”
In a 70-42 loss at Permian on Jan. 15, the Bronchos trailed 13-0 after the first quarter before playing the Panthers even over the next two periods.
On Tuesday, Odessa High overcame an early 8-0 deficit to get within 12-10 late in the first quarter before the Panthers went on a 13-0 run.
Permian employed a similar script in each of the first two quarters Tuesday, starting quickly, holding on as Odessa High made a move, then getting a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Stephens-Deary.
The first gave the Panthers a 15-10 lead after eight minutes and ignited the 13-0 run that saw Permian go up 25-10 early in the second quarter. Stephens-Deary’s 3-pointer in the final seconds of the half gave Permian a 32-20 halftime lead after the Bronchos closed to within 27-20 on Brazeal’s 3-pointer with 1:12 remaining.
“We were kind of going through a rollercoaster,” Thomas said. “We had some turnovers that first half and took some ill-advised shots. And (Odessa High) played really well.
“I thought they were much improved. I thought their kids battled. I thought they executed some things. That was a much different game, a much different team.”
Odessa High got as close as six points in the third quarter when Christian Tijerina’s 3-pointer cut Permian’s lead to 34-28. The Panthers scored the next seven points to push the lead back to double figures and led 45-35 entering the fourth quarter.
After the teams exchanged quick baskets to open the final period, the Bronchos went more than six minutes before Wilson ended the drought with a minute to go. In between, the Panthers scored 11 consecutive to put the game away.