Old habits are hard to break.
And unfortunately for the Odessa High girls basketball team, two of its worst patterns came back full force Friday night against Midland Lee and prevented it from challenging for its first district win.
It was the Lady Bronchos’ home district opener and their unforced turnovers and a lack of consistency on offense made the difference.
Midland Lee took down Odessa High 39-24 Friday night at the OHS Fieldhouse in District 2-6A action.
Midland Lee’s Paige Low led all scorers with 15 points. Odessa High’s Aneth Jimenez was the only other player on the court to score in double figures, as she finished the game with 10 points.
“I was hoping that we’d put a complete game together,” Odessa High head coach Olivia Pyburn said. “We had a big drop-off in the third quarter. The intensity was there, but we missed a lot of shots and made a lot of unnecessary turnovers that kind of put it away.
“Once we get out of our way, we’ll be okay.”
After spending its first two district games on the road in Amarillo and Wolfforth, Odessa High (5-19 overall, 0-3 District 2-6A) was hoping to ease into Friday’s game knowing that it doesn’t have to travel farther than Midland for the rest of the regular season.
The game started out that way after Jimenez sank two 3-pointers to keep the Lady Bronchos within three points heading into the second quarter.
Both offenses ran into trouble heading into halftime, as only a combined two field goals were made in the second quarter.
Out of halftime however, Midland Lee (13-12, 2-1) found a way to break down Odessa High’s zone defense and consistently get the ball to the hoop.
The Lady Bronchos couldn’t match the Lady Rebels’ offensive pace as the most they scored in any quarter was seven points.
“The girls stayed positive, we stayed the course and we continued to get stops on the defensive end, which put us in the position we were at,” Midland Lee head coach Alfred Acosta said.
Even with the turnovers, Pyburn was pleased holding a well-balanced Midland Lee squad to just 39 points — its lowest so far in district play.
“Defensively, we put together a great game,” Pyburn said. “To hold Midland Lee to 39 points, which is a pretty competitive team … that scoring margin says a lot about our defense. We just got to put our defense and offense together to put a game together and win one.”
Any of Odessa High’s fourth-quarter attempts to mount a comeback were stopped by another turnover or shot that couldn’t fall.
“No matter how far down we are, we can always push through it,” Lady Bronchos’ sophomore guard Elena Brito said. “We just have to keep playing and execute on offense and keep playing hard on defense.”
Odessa High shifts its focus now to Tuesday where it’ll face Permian in the first crosstown-rivalry matchup of the season.
Pyburn said she’s not going to change anything about her team ahead of the rivalry game, but will work hard to make as many improvements as possible over the next few days.
“At any point in time you can turn the corner with your season,” Pyburn said. “That’s what I just told them in the locker room — we’re still in it … we just have to take care of us and once we take care of us, the rest will fall in place.”
Both Ector County ISD programs are winless in district play and two games out of a playoff spot — meaning one team will fall even further behind with a loss.
“We’re really excited about it,” Brito said. “We’re going to prepare … and try to go hard and win that game.”
MIDLAND LEE (13-12 overall, 2-1 District 2-6A)
Karigan Edwards 1 0-0 3, Alaysha Green 2 2-2 6, Jaisa Morris 0 0-0 0, Braydyn Hill 1 4-4 6, Destiny Stanford 0 1-2 1, Quinci Strambler 4 0-0 8, Paige Low 6 3-3 15, Essence Glover 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 10-11 39.
ODESSA HIGH (5-19, 0-3)
Kheeauna Lide 0 0-0 0, Roxana Jimenez 1 0-0 2, Aneth Jimenez 3 1-3 10, Elena Brtio 0 0-0 0, Itayla Saenz 0 2-2 2, Skylar Herrera 2 4-6 8, Natalia Garicano 0 2-5 2. Totals 6 9-16 24.
Midland Lee………… 10…. 7 14 8 — 39
Odessa High…………. 7…. 4 7 6 — 24
3-Point goals — Midland Lee 1 (Edwards); Odessa High 3 (A. Jimenez 3). Total fouls — Midland Lee 18; Odessa High 9. Fouled out — Midland Lee (Hill). Technical fouls — None. JV — Midland Lee 42, Odessa High 23.
Team W L W L
Amarillo Tascosa………… 16 9 3 0
Wolfforth Frenship………… 20 7 2 1
Midland High………………. 18 10 2 1
Midland Lee……………….. 13 12 2 1
Permian……………………… 10 12 0 3
Odessa High………………… 5 19 0 3
Friday, Jan. 12
Midland Lee 39, Odessa High 24
Wolfforth Frenship 71, Permian 26
Amarillo Tascosa 48, Midland High 47
Tuesday, Jan. 16
Odessa High at Permian, 6 p.m.
Midland High at Midland Lee, 6 p.m.
Wolfforth Frenship at Amarillo Tascosa, 6 p.m.