Wolfforth Frenship clinched the District 2-6A girls basketball championship with a 45-35 victory over Permian on Friday, but the Lady Panthers made the Lady Tigers work for it.
Frenship (28-4 overall, 8-1 District 2-6A) took the lead for good late in the first quarter at Permian Fieldhouse, but never led by more than six points until the final five minutes of the game. The Lady Tigers were able to pull away by making 10 of 15 free throws in the fourth quarter, going 7 of 11 at the line in the final two minutes.
“I think our defense was the spark of this game,” Permian coach Angela Braziel-Smith said. “We played as a team. Our rotation was good. We just came together and got them knotted up a little bit and made them run the offense.
“In the past when we’ve played them, they kind of got easy shots, but we applied pressure and and we played our game.”
Alena Madero scored a game-high 18 points to lead Permian. Taznejia Valencia, Asiah Thomas and Daysia Christian each scored four points.
The game was drastically different from the teams’ first meeting, a 56-20 Frenship victory on Jan. 11 in which Permian trailed 37-1 at halftime.
“I feel like (Thursday) night at our practice, we all connected,” Madero said. We really worked hard to come back. We didn’t like how we played against Frenship last time.
“There was a lot of communication with one another and we really did want it.”
Permian (12-19, 2-7) still has a chance to extend its season if it can beat Midland High in Tuesday’s regular-season finale. The Lady Panthers would need Odessa High to lose at Amarillo Tascosa to force a play-in game for the fourth playoff seed out of 2-6A.
Frenship, which made only one field goal in the fourth quarter, used balanced scoring to scratch out the victory. Airron Gaydon came off the bench to lead the Lady Tigers with eight points. Ashlyn Caddel, Maci Maddox and Abre Godfrey each scored seven points, while Ashton Beeles scored six.
“I thought Permian just outplayed us,” Frenship coach Trent Hilliard said. “They outhustled us, outworked us. In the end, we just had some better basketball players, but overall they just played much better than we did.”
Permian used a 7-2 run to take an 11-6 lead on a basket by Madero with 1:58 to go in the first quarter. Frenship finished the period on a 7-0 run, taking the lead for good when Maddox scored with 49 seconds left.
The Lady Tigers a 23-17 lead early in the third quarter, but Permian twice got within a point, the last time at 30-29 with 2:07 to go in the quarter.
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