Boy, the Runnin' Indians sure did make it a game against national-power Chicago Simeon at Lancaster High School on Saturday afternoon.
Neither team led by more than one point following any of the first three quarters, as Simeon carried a 49-48 advantage into the fourth frame after Waxahachie tied the game at the half. A bit of a cold spell, especially from behind the arc and at the free-throw line, for the Runnin' Indians allowed Simeon to outscore the Tribe 17-11 in the final quarter for the 66-59 win.
Waxahachie finished just 5-for-18 (27 percent) from behind the arc and went 10-for-19 at the charity stripe on the afternoon.
Waxahachie (10-3) might've suffered its third loss of the season in the process, but the showing against Simeon in the ARS Rescue Rooter National Hoopfest showed the boys their warts heading into the grueling District 10-5A schedule.
“We battled against a tremendous team. They exposed things that we need to get better at, but in the end, we got beat. We learned from it, and we will use it in the future," Waxahachie head boys basketball coach Greg Gober said.
He added, "The guys that normally score for us didn’t score tonight which causes problems when that happens. Everyone has to step up and do their job and we had some guys that didn’t do their job. I didn’t do my job as a coach either.”
Qua Grant led the Runnin' Indians with 16 points, while Larry Wise chipped in 13 points Tevin Wofford scored 12. Wofford and Demani Richardson (2 points) have finally made the full transition over from the football field to the basketball court.
JT Warren also scored nine points and added three rebounds for the Tribe.
Tre Gibson led the team with six rebounds. Grand and Wofford both pulled down four rebounds each, with three of Wofford's boards coming off the offensive glass.
Though the Runnin' Indians remain atop of the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches 5A poll, they dropped eight spots to No. 20 in the MaxPreps national rankings. Simeon now finds itself No. 12 nationally.
Waxahachie finished its run of six nationally-ranked or 6A top 20 teams in the MaxPreps computer and TABC polls, respectively, with four wins. The only other loss came against No. 1 (18-0) Denton Guyer 77-71 in the championship of the Cy-Hoops Invitational.
The Runnin' Indians begin District 10-5A action Tuesday, Dec. 19 at home against (5-5) Mansfield Summit. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. inside George W. Solis Gymnasium.
Gober said he is looking for his team to regain its focus as they begin a march back toward the postseason.
“We need to focus more. We didn’t play very well tonight. We need to learn to focus more and get back to being hungry. Apparently, we ate really well last night and got kind of fat," he said. "[...] "Going into district, I hope we will be more focused. We can be more focused and get it done or go through the motions and hope you get it done.”