WOLFFORTH, TX – On a Valentine’s Day game, Permian didn’t take any flowers, candy, or even a card to the second meeting with Frenship on Friday night. What the Mojo Machine did take was a can of… dominating defense in the 59-32 District 2-6A victory inside the
Tiger Panther Pit.
After battling to a 14-13 opening stanza, the outcome was never really in doubt the remainder of the game. Frenship was held to a single-digit output in three of the four quarters, and the top Tigers scorer had nine points. The Panthers produced double figure numbers in each period. Shy Stephens-Deary led the Mojo assault with 21 points. Nakavieon White turned in a 14-point night, while Keyonta Johnson finished with 10.
Head coach Tim Thomas thought the Panthers played well, were focused, and executed the game plan. “I am really proud of how they brought their mental toughness and mental focus, especially considering the issues we’ve had the past few days. On the road, coming off a tough lost at Tascosa, losing Jase Taylor due to injury, a hostile but great high school game atmosphere, and the drama from the first game… the guys showed a lot of character and grit tonight.”
The first eight minutes of the catfight stayed pretty even with both making transition baskets. White and DJ Johnson drained a three-pointer for the Panthers, while Jeb Smallwood made a three and Devin Hartfield had a pair of goals fall for the Tigers. Permian extended its one-point lead in the second frame. Frenship had difficulty getting shots to drop, on top of the Mojo defense creating turnovers. The Tigers were held to a mere four points, as Stephens-Deary and White continued to put shots through the cylinder. The Panthers enjoyed a 32-17 halftime lead.
The most notable difference between Monday’s loss to Tascosa and tonight’s game was in the free throw department. Mojo was 7-for-8 in the first half against Frenship, which was much better than 1-for-5 in the outing from earlier in the week.
The second half was a continuation of the Mojo defense forcing turnovers. The Panthers seemed to slow the pace in the third quarter, but still owned a 42-25 lead by the end of period. Freshman Race Herr is starting to get more comfortable nabbing arid shots off of the glass, and it showed down the stretch. Zay Pierce and Sammy Garcia each contributed a basket in the final stanza as the Mojo Machine rolled to a 59-32 road win.
Permian stays even with Amarillo Tascosa at the top of the district standings at 8-1. The Rebels beat Midland Lee 66-38 tonight on the road. Mojo is currently tied with Tascosa with one loss, as the two teams split the district meetings with each other.
Tuesday will be Senior Night for Permian as the district slate of games approach the final hurdle. The Panthers will host Midland High, while upset-minded Odessa High travels to Amarillo Tascosa. The Bronchos have qualified for the post-season and would love nothing more than to knock off the Rebels to take momentum into the state playoffs.
S Stephens-Deary 8 3-4 21, N White 4 4-6 14, K Johnson 2 6-8 10, Z Pierce 2 1-2 5
J Smallwood 3 1-2 9, D Smith 4 0-2 8, D Hartfield 2 1-4 5
Permian – 5 (White 2, Stephens-Deary 2, D Johnson 1)
Frenship – 2 (Smallwood 2)
Permian – 16 of 22 (73%) | Frenship – 4 of 16 (25%)
Permian – 19 | Frenship – 21
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