For the second time in less than a month, the Waxahachie Runnin' Indians defeated the top-ranked 6A team in Texas.
Waxahachie outscored TABC 6A No. 1 Denton Guyer 29-17 in the fourth quarter to pull out the 68-66 win Friday night in the semifinals of the 60th annual Whataburger Basketball Tournament.
The loss is the first on the season for the Wildcats, who are now 21-1 and entered as the top-ranked team in the MaxPreps national poll. Waxahachie, the top-ranked 5A team and No. 24 nationally, improved to 14-3 with the win.
Waxahachie trailed Guyer by as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter Friday. But, just as they did against 5A No. 3 Justin Northwest in the quarterfinals, the Runnin' Indians found something special down deep.
Though Tre Gipson connected on just 1-of-4 from behind the arc, he made the one made three-ball count. It came from the right-elbow extended with a defender in his face to tie the ballgame at 66.
With Guyer attempting to dribble out the clock and head into overtime, an errant pass bounced into the hands of Larry Wise who then fed a streaking Qua Grant.
Grant capitalized on Guyer turnover for an easy layup in transition to give the Runnin' Indians the lead, 68-66, with fewer than five seconds to play in the fourth quarter.
Gipson finished the game with a team-high 27 points on 50-percent shooting from the field (7-14). The guard also made good on 12-of-13 from the charity stripe and led the team with six assists.
Wise, who exited for an extended period in the fourth quarter just before the Runnin' Indian comeback began, added 14 points and three rebounds. JT Warren finished with 13 points and three boards.
Grant scored 11 points, and Mekai Pope added three to round out the Waxahachie scoring. Tevin Wofford and Grant led the Runnin' Indians with five rebounds, each.
Friday's win came just six hours after Waxahachie knocked off No. 3 Justin Northwest, 65-60.
Behind 18 points from Wise and 14 more from Warren and Grant, the Runnin' Indians outscored Northwest 38-24 in the second half to complete the come-from-behind win.
Grant and Gipson led the way on the glass with eight and seven boards, respectively.
Of course, the pair of wins also comes less than one month after Waxahachie defeated then-No. 1 Cypress Falls 75-67 in the semifinals of the 8th annual Houston Methodist Cy-Hoops Invitational. That win handed Cy-Falls its first loss in 37 games.
Waxahachie fell the following day in the championship game to Denton Guyer, 77-71.
The Runnin' Indians will face 5A No. 2 Mansfield Timberview in the championship game of the 60th annual Whataburger Basketball Tournament Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
Waxahachie lost to the reigning state champions by one point in last season's 5A regional finals.
Birdville ISD’s W.G. Thomas Coliseum is located at 6108 Broadway Avenue in Haltom City.
Single-day passes are $9 on Dec. 28 and 29 and $10 on Dec. 30.
Three-day passes are $24 for a single venue, $36 for both the Chisholm Trail and Saginaw venues, or $55 for all games and venues throughout the competition.
For additional information including brackets, rankings and specific player statistics, visitWhataburger-BBT.org. During the tournament, updated scores and game schedules will be posted in real time on Facebook.