Both the Permian and Odessa High girls basketball teams entered Tuesday’s crosstown-rivalry matchup desperate for their first district victory.
Neither squad had won in 2018, and District 2-6A play hasn’t been an easy road for either squad.
It is a little easier now for the Lady Panthers.
When the dust settled from the physical battle, Permian’s second-quarter advantage made the difference, as the Lady Panthers took the lead into halftime and never trailed again en route to a 33-30 victory against the Lady Bronchos at the Permian Fieldhouse.
Alexis Contee led Permian (11-12 overall, 1-3 in district) with a game-high 11 points.
Skylar Herrera had eight to pace Odessa High (5-20, 0-4).
“I saw a team effort,” Permian head coach Angela Braziel-Smith said. “They came out and just went after it as a team, as a whole. They all contributed something at both ends of the floor at all times.”
Out of the gate, Permian attacked the low post where Herrera was guarding in Odessa High’s zone defense — making her commit two fouls before the game was six minutes old.
Odessa High head coach Olivia Pyburn brought arguably her best defensive player to the bench for the rest of the first quarter and into the second.
During that time, Permian found the rhythm that eventually pushed Odessa High into a deficit deep enough to prevent a comeback.
The Lady Panthers’ 16-point second quarter allowed them to score only nine points in the second half and still come away with the victory.
Despite the win, Permian still sits out of a playoff spot, one game back of fourth place Midland Lee.
“We’ve been waiting for this; we needed it to keeping going and everything,” Permian’s Alena Madero said about the victory. “Especially because it’s a rivalry, that was really important to us.”
Odessa High tried to make a second-half charge to win for the second consecutive time on Permian’s home court.
The Lady Bronchos tied the game twice down the stretch, but never found the defensive stop or offensive play necessary to get themselves over that hump.
Permian finished the game 5-19 from the free-throw line and allowed Odessa High to stay within three in the game’s final moments.
After Madero missed both of her free-throw attempts with 10 seconds left in the game, Odessa High advanced the ball past the center line with three seconds to go.
Pyburn called timeout and drew up a play designed for Aneth Jimenez to get an open look from 3-point range.
After Contee knocked the first inbounds pass out of play, the Lady Bronchos second attempt got Jimenez the ball about 25 feet from the hoop.
Jimenez’s attempt went slightly long, hitting the back rim and falling to the floor as time expired.
“I saw a lot of heart and effort from my girls … they really stepped it up tonight,” Pyburn said. “As a team, they really pulled together and gave me everything that they could give. The little mistakes cost us in the end.
“We definitely played four quarters. That’s the first time we’ve played a complete game and that’s what we’ve been talking about for the last two weeks is putting a complete game together. It just sucks that we didn’t come out on top.”
ODESSA HIGH (5-20 overall, 0-4 District 2-6A)
Roxana Jimenez 1 2-4 4, Aneth Jimenez 1 0-0 3, Elena Brito 2 3-4 7, Amber Escontrias 2 0-0 4, Skylar Herrera 4 0-2 8, Kheeauna Lide 1 0-0 2, Alexis Luna 1 0-0 2. Totals 12 5-10 30.
PERMIAN (11-12, 1-3)
Klarrissa Cruz 1 1-2 4, Artashia Armendariz 1 0-1 3, Alena Madero 2 0-2 4, Ashton Garner 2 2-6 6, Alexis Contee 5 1-6 11, Jasmine Gasdon 1 0-0 2, Reyna Rayos 0 1-2 1, Natalie Baeza 1 0-0 2. Totals 13 5-19 33.
Odessa High……….. 13…. 4 7 6 — 30
Permian……………….. 8.. 16 4 5 — 33
3-Point goals — Odessa High 1 (A. Jimenez); Permian 2 (Cruz 1, Armendariz 1). Total fouls — Odessa High 14, Permian 14. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — None. JV — Permian 23, Odessa High 19.
Team W L W L
Amarillo Tascosa………… 16 10 3 1
Wolfforth Frenship………… 21 7 3 1
Midland High………………. 19 10 3 1
Midland Lee……………….. 13 13 2 2
Permian……………………… 11 12 1 3
Odessa High………………… 5 20 0 4
Tuesday, Jan. 16
Permian 33, Odessa High 30
Midland High 50, Midland Lee 36
Wolfforth Frenship 69, Amarillo Tascosa 66 (2 OT)
Friday, Jan. 19
Odessa High at Midland High, 6 p.m.
Amarillo Tascosa at Permian, 6 p.m.
Midland Lee at Wolfforth Frenship, 6 p.m.