Bulldogs show promise with district opening win

Friday night was finally an opportunity for Midland High to see how it fared in District 2-6A after an encouraging performance during the pre-district.

The Bulldogs achieved the desired result when they defeated Odessa Permian 58-47 in their District 2-6A boys opener game at MHS Gym.

The Panthers, which has been one of two dominant programs in the district in recent years, did not play with their full roster as three starters did not play for disciplinary reasons stemming from an on-court incident during a Jan. 6 game at Amarillo tascosa

Nonetheless, MHS (15-6, 1-0) put on a promising performance as they overcame a 15-8 deficit to outsell the Panthers by a 50-32 lead in the last three quarters.

The Bulldogs are on a 21-game losing streak in the district that dates back to January 5, 2021.

London Rickett led MHS with 15 points, Jason Robinson had 12 and Dwayne Bush scored 11 to help the Bulldogs end an eight-game worse run with the Panthers (13-8, 0-1) who dating back to 2018. 19 season.

“This is great for us,” said MHS head coach Dustin Faught. “Winning is something you have to learn, so we went through that process. I think now we’re at the point where we go to the gym and start winning. Ultimately, that’s where you want your program to go when you hit the gym expecting to win. Our children are still learning.”

For a program that has struggled for the past three seasons, the Bulldogs played to a packed house at their home gym on Friday.

Both sides of the gymnasium were packed with fans for the much-anticipated inaugural district game.

“Especially in the environment that we were in tonight, that’s the noisiest environment that we played in, that’s the most fans I’ve seen here in my time,” said Faught, who is in his third year as a coach of MHS. “It takes some getting used to. You have to find a way to lose your nerve and focus on the game. It’s all part of the learning experience.”

The Bulldogs finished the first half strong to go into the half with a 27-23 lead, then started the second half with a 10-1 run to extend their lead to 37-24.

The Panthers never went below three points after that, although Faught felt his team was careless with the basketball in the final minutes.

“They play hard,” Permian head coach Steven Flores said of the Bulldogs. “Coach Faught puts you in the right direction. You play hard. You can sometimes take pictures. You’ve gotten better.”

MHS joined Wolfforth Frenship (20-3, 1-0) and San Angelo Central (19-3, 1-0) as District 2-6A teams, who played their opening games in a battle for the four playoff spots of the League won, as five of the teams had win odds of 0.625 or more during the pre-district game.

The Bulldogs will be tested again on Tuesday when they visit Odessa High (15-10, 0-1) for a 7:30 p.m. tip. OHS fell to Frenship 89-58 in the opener.



The Midland High girls’ basketball team didn’t get the start they hoped for in the first three games of District 2-6A.

The Lady Bulldogs missed an opportunity to break into the District 2-6A victory column on Friday when they lost 41-33 to the Odessa Permian at MHS Gym.

MHS was plagued by poor free throw shooting, going 9 for 26 (34.6%) from the charity streak.

The Lady Bulldogs were also hurt by Permian’s extended offensive possession, as five of the Lady Panthers’ first 13 field goals came from second- or third-chance points.

MHS (12-13, 0-3) fell below .500 for the season and sits alone in sixth place in the District 2-6A standings.

The Lady Bulldogs will be in contention for their first district win when they visit second-placed Odessa High (16-12, 2-1) at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday.

It’s no surprise that MHS has had some growing pains, as it only has one senior on its 14-man roster and half the team is either a freshman or sophomore.

But Lady Bulldogs head coach Olivia Pyburn, despite her youth, expects more from her team.

“I was just telling them in the dressing room that being young can’t be our excuse to go through,” Pyburn said after Friday’s game against Permian. “It’s about showing up and just fighting for 32 minutes. Everyone knows our list (is young). We can’t keep beating the dead horse because we’re young. We’ve played some tough games throughout the season. In (subdistrict) we played some tough tournaments, we had some overtime games and we had some wins. We just have to find a way to finish. We have to find a way to fight from the beginning and find a way to the end.”

Two of the Lady Dawgs’ young post players had their moments against Permian when sophomore Hannah Lujan hit a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds while freshman Kayden Young grabbed eight rebounds.

Permian entered Friday’s game in the same scenario as MHS, needing a District 2-6A win to lose their first two league games.

The Lady Panthers advanced with a 10-point performance from junior Akiva Brown, a nine-point 14-rebound performance from junior Kimora Pierce, and a nine-point play from Briseyda Sanchez as a sophomore.

The win put Permian (14-13, 1-2) in fourth place with San Angelo Central (14-12, 1-2). The Lady Panthers have a chance to jump ahead of the Lady Bobcats when they visit Central on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. The top four teams in the district advance to the postseason.

Follow Christopher on Twitter: @chris_MRTsports


district overall


friendship 1 0 20 3

SA central 1 0 19 3

Midland High 1 0 15 6

Permian 0 1 13 8

Odessa High 0 1 15 10

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