WAXAHACHIE — Jordan McGee pulled down a rebound and laid a perfectly timed full-court pass in the hands of Diamond Atchison, who ducked under a defender and hit a SportCenter-worthy scoop shot.
Her layup, however, was too little and too late.
By the time Atchison scored her 12th point of the game, the buzzer had sounded on a 58-53 Lady Indian loss to Mesquite Horn High School at George W. Solis Gymnasium that marked the team's second in a row.
"That was the ballgame in a nutshell," said Lesli Priebe, the head girls basketball coach at Waxahachie High School. "You can't expect to win when they shoot more than you and get to the free throw line more or have four players go 2-for-8 [from the field]. You just can't. You won't win those games most times. It's even harder to do that when you can't keep your opponent off the offensive glass and allow them to score on second and third shots. It stings a little more because it was a game against a team that lives and dies by the three-point shot and one we could have won."
Despite Sha'Quoria Thompson's double-double (16 pts, 17 rebs, 1 blk) and six forced turnovers via steals by Atchison, Thompson and Jordan McGee, Mesquite Horn outscored the (5-3) Lady Indians in every quarter except the second. The Lady Jaguars surge came despite shooting only 34 percent (11-for-32) through three quarters and 40 percent (11-for-27) from the free throw line through four.
In the first and third quarters, Mesquite Horn hit 50 percent of their three-point shots but in the second and fourth they went a combined 0-for-7 from the same distance. The Lady Jaguars' worst percentage — 25 percent on 3-for-12 shooting — came during a 16-point third quarter.
They hit all but one of their six free throw attempts during that eight-minute span.
What the Lady Jaguars did well was load up on three-point tries, attack Waxahachie's defense from beyond the arc and offensive rebound. Tra'Liya Washington, who scored 11 of her 16 points in the first half and added four total rebounds, hit two of her four attempts.
Between freshmen Jene Samuels, junior Umaja Collins and senior Blessing Esomchukwu, Mesquite Horn out offensive rebounded the Lady Indians 17 to 12. They scored 12 second-chance points during the win.
"To me, boxing out and rebounding a huge point of emphasis," Priebe added. "I consider that a fundamental skill along with dribbling, passing and shooting. You have to work on that consistently and can't be consistently successful if you don't box out well."
Waxahachie, with the help of 25 defensive rebounds from seven players, edged the Lady Jaguars in total rebounds.
Though Atchison (12 pts, 4 asts, 2 stls), Destini Washington (6 pts, 3 rebs, 1 ast) and Cassidy Morgan (4 pts, 4 rebs, 1 ast) all added secondary and tertiary punches that nearly knocked the Lady Jags during an 11-point second quarter, the Lady Indians shot only 37.3 percent on 2-point field goals. Three Lady Indians also finished 2-for-8 from the field and committed 15 turnovers.
The Lady Indians will look to rebound from their two-game skid when they play Dickinson High School at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Ennis High School Gymnasium during the three-day Ennis Lady Lion Varsity Tournament.
The reasoning behind the Lady Indians' current string of games against DeSoto and Mesquite Horn, Priebe said, as well as their placement in the Ennis tournament has an ulterior motive.
"I'm proud of the way they battled and never quit," Priebe said. "they could have stopped fighting at the end of the third quarter and they didn't. We have some things to work on before the district schedule begins, though, and the teams we're playing should help us do that. When we started district last season — six games before the Christmas break — we were 2-4. We also didn't have to potential matchup nightmare we have now with Sha'Quoria and Destiny (Bobb). If we can get both of them going sooner, we may have a better start to district."