DUNCANVILLE – The Lady Indians knew it wasn’t going to be easy at the 62nd annual Sandra Meadows Classic and their first game was no exception.
Waxahachie began its run at one of the state’s most difficult tournaments by facing the No. 4 5A team in the state, Plano West. The Lady Indians gave the Lady Wolves all they could handle for three quarters, but a 14-0 run in the fourth quarter sealed the victory for West.
“We knew that coming here was going to be insanely difficult,” Waxahachie coach Lesli Priebe said. “It doesn’t get much tougher than the No. 4 team in the state.”
West’s lone loss this year has been to the No. 1 5A team, Duncanville. So this team is nothing to mess with and the Lady Indians shouldn’t be too discouraged by being within six in the fourth quarter.
The game looked like it was going to get out of hand early as West outscored Waxahachie 16-4 in the second quarter and took a 32-15 lead into halftime. But the team came out strong in the third quarter, led by Dawn King’s nine points, to cut the deficit to just six after three quarters.
“I told them that we just had to focus on breaking their press and make better passes,” Priebe said. “Once we did that, we were able to get some easy looks and the defense played a lot better.”
Unfortunately, the press became too much in the fourth quarter as the Lady Indians went scoreless for a four and a half minute span while West racked up 14 points, mostly off lay ups after Waxahachie turnovers. In total, Waxahachie committed 29 turnovers, which makes it very difficult to beat any top-five team.
But the team did rebound extremely well which is something it hasn’t done much this season against taller opponents.
“I think (Tambra) Henry did a great job getting rebounds. As a team we did a great job getting after them,” Priebe said. “Unfortunately, they didn’t call a lot of over the backs because they were so much bigger than us.”
Henry had 10 rebounds, which is a new season high for her. Ja’Mayia Perez pulled in 15 and Paris Townsend had 12.
King led the team in scoring for the third straight game with 19 points. She is averaging 22 points per game during her last three contests.
Perez added 12 points to go with her rebounds as she continues to average a double-double this season. She has scored at least 12 points in each of her last five games. Perez also had four steals and two assists in this game.
Townsend scored three points and Henry had two. Keshona Hawkins had four points and three rebounds.
With the loss, Waxahachie was relegated to the silver bracket of the tournament and will play again at 9 a.m. today. The Lady Indians will face either Beaumont Ozen or Fort Worth Dunbar. That game was played late Thursday.
Ozen is currently the No. 4 4A team in the state and has just two losses. One of those was a one-point defeat to Port Arthur Memorial, the No. 17 5A team in the state.
Ozen is led by one of the state’s top players, Nekia Jones, who is already a commit to the University of Texas.
Dunbar is another traditional power, but is having a mediocre start to its season at 6-8, but it is still undefeated in district play.
Waxahachie (12-8, 2-2 in 15-4A) will be home again at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 4 when district play resumes versus Mansfield Legacy.