AMARILLO, TX – Maybe it was playing a day earlier than scheduled. Maybe it was home court advantage for Tascosa. Maybe it was the long bus ride to Amarillo for Mojo. For whatever the reason, Permian’s 62-57 loss at the Tascosa Activity Center on Monday night will all but snuff out the Panthers winning the District 2-6A title outright.
After trailing most of the game, Permian fought back and got into striking distance as the clock neared zeros. With just two seconds remaining in regulation, Keyonta Johnson drained a three-pointer to cut the Rebels’ lead to 60-57. Tascosa called a timeout to setup the final play. A long inbound pass was caught and the securing basket fell in as the buzzer sounded. Amarillo had won the game, handing the Panthers their first district loss.
Statistically, Tascosa and Permian turned in mirrored performances. Nakavieon White led the Panthers in scoring with 20 points. Shy Stephens-Deary finished with 16, while Johnson had 15 points. The Rebels also finished with three players with double figures. The difference in the scoring came down to free throws. Tascosa made 15 of 20 attempts, while Permian took 26 tries to make 15 of its free throws.
The opening period saw the district best trading jabs. Stephens-Deary led the Panthers, making eight of Permian’s 14 points. Donnie Sutton and L.B. Moore produced 18 for the Rebels to take a four-point first quarter lead. The Mojo defense limited the home team to 11 in the second frame, while adding 14 to narrow the deficit. Late in the quarter the Black Cats grabbed a 28-24 advantage, but Tascosa hit a 3-pointer and then a short jumper to take a 29-28 lead at the intermission.
The third quarter proved damaging for Permian as the Panthers could only add six points to their tally. The Rebels added 10 to extend their lead and make it a 39-34 ballgame. Fouls and free throw dominated the final eight minutes. White, Stephens-Deary, and Johnson accounted for all 23 Mojo points down the stretch. Unfortunately for the visiting Black Cats, Tascosa duplicated the 23-point output in the fourth frame. With the Permian loss, the Panthers and Rebels now have matching records at 7-1 with just two district game remaining.
The Panthers will need to flush the loss and prepare for a Valentine’s Day date with Frenship at The Pit in Wolfforth. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. After the first buzzer beating meeting at the Permian Fieldhouse, I wouldn’t be expecting the Mojo Machine to take flowers, candy, or a card to the game either.
In the early game, the Lady Panthers ended their season on the short end of a 105-48 decision to the Lady Rebels. Permian fell behind 42-9 in the first quarter and was unable to make up the difference.
N White 5 7-9 20, S Stephens-Deary 4 7-11 16, K Johnson 7 0-2 15
L Moore 8 3-4 20, D Sutton 5 4-4 16, D Alexander 4 4-6 12
Permian – 6 (White 3, Stephens-Deary 1, Vizcaino 1, Johnson 1)
Tascosa – 3 (Sutton 2, Moore 1)
Permian – 15 of 26 (58%) | Tascosa – 15 of 20 (75%)
Permian – 16 | Tascosa – 16
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