ODESSA, TX – Slow start ends with a strong finish by the Mojo Machine in the 6A Bi-District playoff on Tuesday evening. The Panthers dished out a 75-40 scolding of El Paso Socorro in the PHS Fieldhouse. Permian remains undefeated on its home court this season.
Shy Stephens-Deary led all scorers with 24 points, while Nakavieon White finished the night 18 points and Keyonta Johnson added 14 points. Stephens-Deary also had six steals and White was credited with seven assists.
It was somewhat of a surprise to most in attendance that the opening frame would end with Permian leading in a low scoring 12-10 affair. After the Panthers and Bulldogs exchanged three’s, Socorro slowed the pace to a crawl. Stephens-Deary scores the last eight points of the quarter for the Mojo two-point lead.
Head coach Tim Thomas confessed the Panthers came out a little flat. “We made some mistakes early. The guys refocused and adjusted and after half time we were more alert and more attentive to our keys. We took care of and shared the ball better, resulting in 21 assists.”
Once Permian settled in, the second stanza begin to resemble that of traditional Mojo Basketball. Socorro turnovers were converted into transition baskets, and that afforded the Panthers to start building momentum and control of the game. A 24-point quarter would give the Black Cats a 36-23 halftime edge.
The staple of the Mojo Machine – defense – took over in the second half. Socorro witnessed it first hand, as Permian held the visitors to a single basket in the game’s third period. Meanwhile, White notched another seven points to aide a 17-0 run by the Panthers to extend the lead to 53-25.
With the contest fully in hand, the District 2-6A representatives rotated personnel into the game. D.J. Johnson took full advantage of the time and dropped a pair of three-balls through the cylinder, while Sammy Garcia and Kyson Moreno each added a basket for the 75-40 playoff win.
The Mojo Machine will continue into the Class 6A Area Round on Friday at Abilene Cooper, where Permian will take on Arlington Lamar at 7:00 p.m.
D Torres 3 6-7 13, M Pena 2 3-3 8, R Martinez 3 0-2 6, E Franco 2 1-2 6
Stephens-Deary 9 5-6 24, N White 7 2-3 18, K Johnson 6 1-1 14, D Johnson 3 0-0 8
Socorro – 3 (Pena 1, Franco 1, Torres 1)
Permian – 8 (White 2, D Johnson 2, Baty 1, K Johnson 1, Sephens-Deary 1, Vizcaino 1)
Socorro – 11 of 16 (69%) | Permian – 9 of 14 (64%)
Socorro – 16 | Permian – 13
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