The Rebels called their final timeout with 26 seconds left to draw up a play to get the ball in the hands of King Doerue.
Amarillo Tascosa’s sophomore guard, who finished with a game-high 22 points, struck one final time with a short jumper to put the Rebels ahead, 69-67, with two seconds on the game clock.
The Panthers tried one final desperation attempt as Luis Gonzales’ shot missed off the backboard, which sealed the Rebels 69-67 victory on Tuesday at the Permian Fieldhouse.
“I’m not real big on moral victories,” Permian head coach Tim Thomas said. “They are champions. They were the champions last year. To be a champ, you have to beat the champs. We didn’t get the job done. I saw some maturity and growth in us, but down the stretch we didn’t play to win the game. Give (Amarillo Tascosa) credit, champions find a way to win and they found a way to win.”
After the victory, the Rebels improved to 19-5 overall and 7-1 in the District 2-6A standings. Permian dropped to 19-11 and 6-2. Amarillo Tascosa, which needs one more victory to secure the district title, holds a one-game lead and the tiebreaker over the Panthers.
Permian held a lead throughout the first three quarters, and it wasn’t until a three-point play from Clark Davidson that the Rebels had their first advantage, 56-55, at the 6:41 mark of the fourth quarter.
The Rebels and Panthers traded baskets over the next six minutes. The biggest lead during that period of time was three points, 59-56, after Permian supplied four straight points. There were seven lead changes and three ties during the fourth quarter.
“We got some stops, but we had some crucial turnovers,” Thomas said. “I felt like whoever had the last possession had a good chance of winning it.”
Permian grabbed a 23-18 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Panthers maintained that five-point advantage into halftime, 41-36. Amarillo Tascosa closed out the third quarter on a 7-0 run, but Permian still held a 55-53 advantage.
Shahada Wells posted 14 points for the Rebels, while Cam Brown came off the bench for 12. The Rebels outscored the Panthers 33-26 in the second half.
For the Panthers, Ozzy Terrazas scored a team-high 17 points, while Anthony Thomas added 13. Genuwine Powell chipped in 10 off the bench. Permian had nine players with at least one or more field goals.
Permian continues its season traveling to Midland Lee at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The last time the Panthers dropped a district contest they responded with four straight wins. Permian has already punched its postseason ticket with two games left in the regular season.
“This season is all about us and improving,” Tim Thomas said. “That’s what we have to keep trying to do. We have to keep working at it. This team is growing and getting better. They are improving a lot. I said at the beginning of the season that it’s going to be a process and we are still going through that process.”
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