All the hard work has finally paid off for Steve Weeks and the Waxahachie Runnin’ Indians.
With a 49-27 win at Forney Tuesday night the Indians finished District 15-4A with a 9-7 record and waited anxiously by the phone to find out the result of the Ennis-West Mesquite game.
After Jordan Mason led Ennis past West Mesquite in overtime Weeks and the Indians rejoiced as West Mesquite’s loss ensured the Indians of their first playoff berth under the direction of their third-year head coach.
“It feels good to get into the playoffs, especially with this team. They have battled with some adversity to say the least,” Weeks said. “We deserve it. We beat West Mesquite twice, I feel bad for their coach because he is a good coach and has a good program, but we are just tickled to have an opportunity now.”
Waxahachie and West Mesquite finished the district campaign tied for fourth at 9-7 but by winning both contests against West Mesquite the Indians advance to the playoffs because of a tie breaker.
“I feel like with all the adversity we have gone through, losing three or four kids and not getting D.Q. Robinson healthy enough to play, for us to stick with it and battle shows a lot of character on the part of the team. We did not always come out and play like we needed to, but tonight we did. When we had to have one the kids went out and performed like they are capable of playing,” Weeks said.
Facing a must-win situation in Forney, the Indians took care of business early and continued to apply the pressure late to ensure a victory.
Waxahachie (18-13, 9-7) built an 8-7 lead after the first before outscoring Forney 14-11 in the second to hold a five-point halftime lead.
In the third Waxahachie outscored Forney 11-9 before putting the clamps down on the Jackrabbit offense in the fourth.
“We respected them a little more this time than what we did in the first meeting. We were ready to play from the get go,” Weeks said. “It was not all good early on but we stayed the course. In the fourth quarter everybody was solid from the line. We were 9-for-10 from the line and that kind of closed it out. In the second half we did a good job against their zone. We were patient and did not settle for quick shots. Once we started doing that we started getting good opportunities to score.”
Waxahachie outscored Forney 16-0 in the fourth using its zone defense to keep Forney off the board and seal the win.
“It is exciting. The kids are pumped and they deserve it,” Weeks said.
Senior LaDarius Brown, a three-year starter, led the Indians with 17 points while junior Austin Combs landed three 3-pointers as part of his 16 points.
Seniors Chris Henderson and Nykil Lawson combined for 14 points while Robert Lowe Jr. added two to round out the Waxahachie scoring.
Forney had just three players score with Derrick Fain accounting for 21 points including all the Jackrabbits’ second half scoring.
Waxahachie will face District 16-4A champ Pflugerville Hendrickson (27-8) in the bi-district playoffs next week. Weeks said he is aiming for a Tuesday game in Waco but would not know for sure until late Wednesday.