It’s rare for a Waxahachie athlete to get excited about seeing an Ennis athlete, but the Lady Indians had to be happy getting a chance to play the Lady Lions again.
It’s been a tough season for the Waxahachie girl’s basketball team, but it dominated Ennis in both of the team’s meetings this year, including Friday’s as it got a much-needed 67-50 win.
Despite the difficulties her team has faced this year, Waxahachie coach Lesli Priebe is always pumped about beating the Indians’ fiercest rival.
“Any time you beat Ennis is good. I don’t care about anything else,” Priebe said. “Anytime you beat your arch rival is good.”
Ennis hung around with Waxahachie as long as it could, but its hot hands went cold after a strong first quarter. The Lady Lions were feasting from beyond the three-point line early, but Priebe had her team make a defensive adjustment to try and quell that as quickly as possible.
“Obviously their game plan was to shoot threes,” Priebe said. “There’s a difference between letting somebody shooting a free throw with your hands down or with your arms up. We have to have a hand up in their face or they are going to make three’s like they had been.”
Priebe said she politely reminded her team of that fact after the first quarter when Waxahachie’s lead was just 20-16. The adjustment worked as Ennis managed just 15 points in the next two quarters combined.
While Waxahachie has forced missed shots all year with is outstanding defense, it hasn’t been able to capitalize due to getting beat on the glass every night. That wasn’t the case Friday as junior KaDaisha Sterns and freshman Aarion Copeland dominated the rebounds.
“How about Sterns with 13 rebounds and Copeland getting nine? It’s nice to see that,” Priebe said. “They really have come a long way this year. I’ve been saying all along that Copeland is going to be special.”
Copeland didn’t just do it on the glass, she had 13 points. She was one of four Lady Indians to get at least a baker’s dozen. The dynamic senior duo of Paris Townsend (15) and Dawn King (14) combined for 29 of the team’s points, but one of the biggest spark plugs the team had was Destinee Pointer.
The sophomore point guard finished with 15 points. Several of those came thanks to her aggressive style of play. Her quick hands forced turnovers and transition buckets in the paint. Occasionally she drew fouls and was also effective at the free throw line.
Pointer’s effort allowed Waxahachie to put this game away relatively early. She drilled a three-pointer midway through the third quarter that gave the Lady Indians their first 20-point lead of the night, 45-25. Waxahachie took a 53-31 lead going into the fourth quarter.
This win snapped a six-game district losing streak. This year is one of just a handful in Priebe’s tenure that the team has lost at least six district games in a season and never has she lost six straight district games.
The odds are long, but Waxahachie (8-13, 2-7 in 15-4A) is still just two games out of the final playoff spot. Lancaster and Mansfield Lake Ridge both have (4-5) district records. Mansfield Legacy (3-6) could also play a role in determining the final playoff spot.
Lake Ridge and Legacy both get to play Ennis (0-9) one more time, but Lancaster has a difficult final stretch. If those three teams can beat each other and Waxahachie wins out, the Lady Indians can still wiggle their way into the playoffs.
“If we win the rest. It’s still possible,” Priebe said. “Somebody might get in with six wins. All we can do is go out, play as hard as we can and have good execution and the rest will sort itself out.”
Waxahachie will host Mansfield Summit (8-1) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Summit won the first meeting 61-57.
On Tuesday, Waxahachie will also be rooting for Red Oak to beat Lake Ridge.