The Waxahachie Runnin’ Indians’ luck ran out on Friday night as they lost a close district game to Hewitt Midway, 38-37.
Waxahachie had defeated several district teams this season in the final minutes of the game to claim a share of the district lead with Midway heading into the game, Friday.
Midway now owns the District 16-4A first half lead with a 6-1 record as the schedule flips and the rematches begin on Tuesday.
“I am proud of our team tonight,” Waxahachie coach Steve Weeks said. “We played without Relus Chance, which he is a huge part of our team and we’ve lost him. Just to come out and compete like we did, we were undersized, it was not pretty, but we played our guts out and that is all you can hope for.
“We had an opportunity to win right there in the end and you could not ask for any more. Spencer Barrett is the guy you want shooting late in the game. He struggled all night, but when it comes down to it he’s a good guy to have the ball in his hands. I am real proud of the team, we will keep fighting and get ready for the second half of district play.”
Waxahachie entered the fourth period trailing by four points, 27-23, before Midway increased its lead in the opening seconds of the period to six points, 29-23.
The Indians rallied back to take a 32-31 lead with 3:10 to play on a basket by sophomore LaDarius Brown.
No more than 20 seconds later the Panthers regained the lead and nursed it the rest of the game.
Waxahachie fought back with everything possible over the final two minutes of the game and drew within one point twice.
Barrett hit a shot with 1:22 to play to pull the Indians within one point, 35-34, before Midway scored with 1:10 to play.
Trailing 37-34 the Indians needed a three-point shot to tie the game. Waxahachie attempted several shots, both inside and behind the arc, but could not get one to fall.
With 20 seconds to play Midway called a time out. Seconds after the timeout the Indians were called for a foul sending Midway to the line with 12 seconds left in the game.
There was still some magic in the Indians tank as Midway only connected on one free throw.
The second free throw attempt bounced off the board and was rebounded by Barrett.
Barrett quickly raced up court and nailed a 3-pointer from three feet behind the arc with five seconds left to play.
Waxahachie called a timeout and send Midway back to the line on the inbounds pass. The Panthers missed the shot attempt and the ball was again rebounded by Barrett.
Barrett raced down the court and the second flew off the clock before releasing the ball a foot inside the midcourt line. His shot bounced off the board as time expired ending the Indians chance at keeping the district lead.
Two players, Brown and Barrett, scored in double figures for the Indians. Barrett led the team with 14 points while Brown scored 12 points.
The starting five are the only Indians who scored points against the Panthers.
Derek Koch, the hero from the Corsicana game, scored three points. Bryant Harris scored five points and blocked a Midway dunk attempt in the first period. Venique Benton, who replaced Chance in the starting five, scored three points for the Indians.
As a team the Indians shot 11-of-16 from the free throw line while Barrett and Brown hit the team’s only three-pointers.
Midway took the early lead in the game before the Indians tied the contest at seven. Barrett hit a free throw to give the Indians an 8-7 lead heading into the second period.
Aided by three 3-point shots, the Panthers rolled to a 16-12 lead in the second quarter before taking a 22-16 lead into the half.
Waxahachie (7-17, 5-2) is scheduled to play at home on Tuesday against Midlothian. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. between the HWY-287 rivals. Waxahachie defeated Midlothian to open district play.
Hewitt Midway (15-10, 6-1) will play at Cleburne (19-5, 5-2) on Tuesday.
In other District 16-4A action on Friday night the University Trojans topped Ennis 70-44 and Cleburne beat Corsicana 68-51.
Waxahachie is currently in a three-way tie for second place in district with Cleburne and University.