BOYS BASKETBALL: Odessa High battles back against El Paso Montwood to win program’s first playoff game since 2006

PECOS The Odessa High Bronchos battled back in their first playoff appearance in two years and got the job done.

The Bronchos, who trailed most of the night in their Class 6A bi-district playoff against El Paso Montwood, took charge in the fourth quarter to win 59-54 at Pecos High School.

Odessa High (24-8) will take on Arlington Martin at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Abilene Cooper in the area round.

This is the Bronchos’ first playoff victory since 2006, when they reached the regional tournament.

“Whatever it takes to prolong your season as long as you can,” Bronchos coach Jance Morris said. “That’s all we’re asking them to do.”

Isaac Hernandez scored 21 points to lead Odessa High with Memo Anaya adding 12 points and Miguel Fonseca scoring 10. Josh Cabello and Kaleb Murry each finished with eight points.

Hernandez, who hit two free throws with 10.1 seconds to go to clinch the victory, credited Odessa High’s defense with making it possible to overcome a seven-point deficit.

“We were rusty on defense in first half, but we came hard fighting back in the second half,” Hernandez said. “We just need to work on our defense.”

El Paso Montwood (13-15) gave the Bronchos problems in the first half, going 6 of 8 from 3-point range in taking a 28-23 halftime lead.

“We told the guys at halftime that we’ve got to close out with a purpose and make them put the ball on the ground,” Morris said. “Nothing is easy. We wanted to make them dribble into our gap help.

“When we did and they started shooting, they didn’t stay as hot the second half.”

El Paso Montwood finished 21 of 41 from the floor, going 10 of 17 from 3-point range. Odessa High finished 21 of 36, making half its 12 3-point attempts.

Israel Romero led the Rams with 12 points and R.J. Grimes scored 11 for El Paso Montwood.

The Bronchos trailed 32-25 early in the third quarter, but Fonseca hit a pair of 3-pointers to get the comeback started. In a game that saw 16 lead changes and five ties, Odessa High took the lead for good at 52-50 when Murry converted a one-and-one opportunity with 4:46 to go.

Just 30 seconds later, El Paso Montwood’s Tristan Johnson, who finished with nine points, was called for a foul on Murry and assessed a technical foul. Murry and Hernandez hit three of the four resulting free throws to give the Bronchos just enough of a cushion.

In addition to El Paso Montwood’s shooting cooling off, Odessa High took control of the boards in the second half. The Rams held a 13-10 rebounding edge at halftime, but the Bronchos put of a 15-5 edge in the second half.

Anaya grabbed two of the biggest rebounds, collecting Hernandez’s missed free throw with 18.4 seconds left, leading to Hernandez’s clinching free throws, then grabbed El Paso Montwood’s final miss as the clock ran out.

“It was playing hard and getting the rebounds,” Anaya said. “I wasn’t doing my job, then I finally did my job and we’re good.”

Odessa High 59, El Paso Montwood 54

Class 6A Bi-District Game at Pecos HS

MONTWOOD (13-15)

Tyrease Anders 3 0-0 7, R.J. Grimes 4 0-0 7, Israel Romero 5 1-2 12, Isaiah Cabral 1 0-0 2, Tristan Johnson 3 1-2 9, Jordan Garcia 1 0-0 3, Chris Ramos 2 0-0 6, Gabe Calceron 2 0-0 4. Totals 21 2-4 54.


Isaac Hernandez 7 5-7 21, Josh Cabello 3 0-0 8, Kaleb Murry 2 4-5 8, Miguel Fonseca 4 0-0 10, Memo Anaya 5 2-2 12, Nate Rodriguez 0 0-0 0, Cameron Gonzales 0 0-0 0, Ryan Brazeal 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 11-15 59.

Montwood…………… 15.. 13   17     9   —    54

Odessa High……….. 13.. 10   21   15   —    59

3-Point goals — Montwood 10 (Anders 1, Grimes 3, Romero 1, Johnson 2, Garcia 1, Ramos 2), Odessa High 6 (Hernandez 2, Cabello 2, Fonseca 2). Total fouls — Montwood 17, Odessa High 13. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — Johnson.