A Tre Gipson double-double and balanced offensive attack lifted the Runnin’ Indians over the Red Oak Hawks in their return to district play Tuesday night.
Waxahachie led by just three points after the first quarter (18-15) but outscored the Hawks 44-29 during the second and third quarters of the 81-57 win.
The victory moved the Runnin’ Indians, who dropped one spot to No. 2 in this week’s TABC 5A rankings, to 15-4 on the season and 2-0 in District 10-5A. Red Oak fell to 13-7 on the year and is winless through two district games.
Waxahachie head boys’ basketball coach Greg Gober said his team did the “little things” well and refocused after a slower than usual start.
“Overall, we finally did a good job. We did the simple things and were good at it,” Gober said. “The second half was a lot better. The first half, we didn’t play with a lot of intensity. The second half, we played a lot better. In the first half, they had a couple of players that were on fire. The first half, it was more decisive. We did a much better job the second half.”
Gipson paced the Runnin’ Indians with 18 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and four steals. JT Warren finished 3-of-4 from behind the arc for a team-high 19 points, While Mekai Pope added 13 points, and Demani Richardson and Larry Wise each scored 10. Qua Grant added nine points, and Ethan Whiturs scored two.
Warren also just missed a double-double with eight rebounds. Waxahachie shot 53 percent (26-49) from the field.
Marcu Sasser led the Red Oak Hawks with 27 points on the evening, while Andrew Yuhanna and Jonathan Chapa each scored nine and Howard Turner had five. Emerson Wallace added three points, both Keymond Taylor and Jordan Ward scored two, and Joshua Sasser rounded out the Red Oak scoring with one point.
Red Oak head boys’ basketball coach Jason Sasser said starting 0-2 in district play is “brutal.” He also applauded the Runnin’ Indians and the Waxahachie basketball program as a whole, saying he hopes to get the Red Oak program on the same level soon.
“We fought, but Waxahachie showed us what a how a good basketball team looks. So, I can say a good team looks. They play together, they play offense, they play defense. They are just a solid basketball team. That’s what we look forward to be like. Tonight was a great learning experience for the boys. No matter how many time I say how great a team is, when you go out there and get that learning experience it’s going to make a difference.”
Waxahachie hosts No. 11 (15-6, 1-1) Midlothian and Red Oak welcomes Mansfield Summit. Both games are scheduled for an 8 p.m. tipoff Friday, Jan. 5.
Additional reporting by Mike Sackett/Daily Light.