MIDLAND The Permian Lady Panthers played like a team with its season on the line Friday only to come up short in a 41-37 loss to Midland High in District 2-6A action at the Chaparral Center.

Permian never led, but never trailed by more than eight points and kept it a two-possession game most of the way.

“We just didn’t give up,” Permian coach Angela Braziel-Smith. “We played it all the way through. The girls said they gave me 110 percent. We were diving for loose balls and played with a lot of energy. They stayed focused. I couldn’t ask for more.”

The loss dropped Permian (11-15 overall, 1-6 district) to the brink of playoff elimination. The Lady Panthers trail Midland Lee by two games with three to play, but since the Lady Rebels swept the head-to-head meetings, Permian must pass them in the standings. The Lady Panthers, who play at home against Wolfforth Frenship Tuesday, must win out and have the Lady Rebels lose all their remaining games.

Meanwhile, Midland High (21-11, 5-2) clinched a playoff berth and remained a game back of Amarillo Tascosa and Wolfforth Frenship for the district lead.

“The girls got the job done,” Midland High coach Wes Torres said. “I’m proud of them finding a way to win at the end.”

Klarrissa Cruz led Permian with 12 points, while Artashia Armendariz, Alena Madero and Ashton Garner each scored six points and Alexis Contee added five.

Midland High’s Taysha Rushton scored 10 of her game-high 15 points in the second half, while Jurnee Williams had seven points and Maya Duarte scored six.

Midland High won the first meeting at Permian 50-26 on Jan. 9, but Torres said he didn’t expect an easy time Friday.

“We knew coming in with Permian that that first game we played them wasn’t indicative of who they are,” he said. “Angie does a phenomenal job of getting her girls ready. Tonight was another example of that. They were fighting for their lives tonight and they came out and played.”

Braziel-Smith said the big difference was Permian’s defensive performance.

“We switched up defensively and moved some things around and got them moving,” she said. “Everybody moves. Instead of standing, we moved. We clogged it up, got out on shooters and had communication. Communication’s a big part for us.”

Torres said Madero was a big part of that with her defense in the paint.

“They contested a lot of our shots and we didn’t do a good job inside,” he said. “We were taking some tough shots over (Madero). She’s a good shot blocker.

“We had a lot of turnovers, and a lot of those were self-inflicted, unforced. Some of them were (Permian), so credit to them, but we’ll fix that.”

Midland High took the lead for good on Duarte’s 3-pointer with 3:28 left in the first quarter, but the Lady Bulldogs more than five until Duarte hit another 3 to make it 23-17 with 25 seconds left in the half. Permian cut the margin to two in the third quarter, but the Lady Bulldogs went up 35-27 early in the fourth. Midland High led 41-33 with 2:28 to go before Permian scored the last four points.

District 2-6A Standings

                                          Overall       District

Team                                 W      L      W        L

x-Amarillo Tascosa……… 19    10        6        1

x-Wolfforth Frenship……… 24      7        6        1

x-Midland High……………. 21    11        5        2

Midland Lee……………….. 14    15        3        4

Permian……………………… 11    14        1        6

Odessa High………………… 5    22        0        7

x-clinched playoff berth


Friday, Jan. 26

Wolfforth Frenship 57, Odessa High 25

Midland High 41, Permian 37

Amarillo Tascosa 73, Midland Lee 47

Tuesday, Jan. 30

Odessa High at Midland Lee, 6 p.m.

Wolfforth Frenship at Permian, 6 p.m.

Midland High at Amarillo Tascosa, 6 p.m.

Midland High 41, Permian 37

PERMIAN (11-15 overall, 1-6 District 2-6A)

Reyna Rayos 1 0-1 2, Klarrissa Cruz 3 6-7 12, Arthasia Armendariz 2 1-2 6, Alena Madero 1 4-10 6, Ashton Garner 2 2-2 6, Jasmine Gadson 0 0-0 0, Natalie Baeza 0 0-0 0, Alexis Contee 2 0-3 5, Rosie Crawford 0 0-2 0. Totals 11 13-27 37.

MIDLAND HIGH (21-11, 5-2)

Maya Duarte 2 0-0 6, Quay Webster 2 0-0 5, Taysha Rushton 3 7-8 15, Jurnee Williams 3 1-2 7, Zoe Taylor 1 2-4 4, Telesia Defell 1 0-0 2, Lexi Risper 0 0-0 0, Za’Riyah Gilmore 0 0-0 0, Asiah Hunter 0 0-0 0, Racey Haile 1 0-0 2. Totals 13 10-14 41.

Permian……………….. 9.. 10     8   10   —    37

Midland High………. 10.. 13     7   11   —    41

3-Point goals — Permian 2 (Armendariz 1, Contee 1), Midland High 5 (Duarte 2, Webster 1, Rushton 2). Total fouls — Permian 13, Midland High 21. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none.