HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Odessa High gets past Midland High for first district win

The Odessa High basketball team entered Friday night’s matchup with Midland High looking to reverse its fortunes after a tough start in District 2-6A play.

The Bronchos did exactly that, starting quickly en route to a 82-65 victory against the Bulldogs at the OHS Fieldhouse.

Christian Tijerina finished with a game-high 25 points and was one of four Bronchos to finish in double figures. Coco Rose added 17 first-half points, while freshman forward Ivan Carreon had 15 in his first career start for the Bronchos. L.J. Wills added 10.

The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for Odessa High (9-6 overall, 1-4 district).

 “We had a great week of practice and we just kept going all throughout the week,” Odessa High head coach Neal Welch said. “Having that Tuesday was the perfect time for us to have off because it was almost like a restart for us.

“That carried over into the game and I’m proud of my kids for the effort that they showed tonight.”

That was on display early as the Bronchos jumped out to a 13-2 advantage to start the game. Midland High (3-15, 1-5) got to within seven two separate times before Odessa High closed the first quarter on another 9-0 run.

Jeremiah Phillips and Jaime Puentes worked to keep the Bulldogs in the game, scoring 24 of the Bulldogs’ 26 first half points.

Phillips finished with 20 points for the game while Puentes had 12.

That wasn’t enough as the Bronchos took advantage of Midland High turnovers, converting them into transition baskets to take a 45-26 lead at halftime.

The Bulldogs showed some bite to open the second half with a 10-1 run to narrow the deficit to 10 (46-36), before a key sequence midway through the third quarter.

Midland High’s Niko Smith was called for his fourth foul and an Odessa High player was assessed a technical foul for extra activity after the play and was ejected.

Odessa High responded with a 14-1 run to push its lead up to 62-41 at the end of the third quarter to regain control.

Carreon helped play a key role in that with nine points in the half to go with three blocks and several deflections.

“I was a little nervous at the beginning but that just went away,” Carreon said. “We just started executing and making plays.”

The Bronchos pushed their lead to as many as 23 points in the final quarter as the Bulldogs could not rally back.

“I thought the game was 100 percent decided with effort, intensity and execution,” Midland High head coach Dustin Faught said. “You got to give Odessa High a lot of credit.

“They did it tonight and we didn’t.”
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