The Waxahachie Lady Indians (0-2) put themselves in an early hole in the district race with a 44-41 homecourt loss to Ennis.
Ennis (2-0) seizes a share of first place with Arlington Seguin (2-0), a 34-31 winner over Lancaster (1-1), in district warfare.
Despite shooting just 24 percent (6 of 25) from the field in the first half, Waxahachie was only down 25-18 at the intermission.
For the game the Tribe would shoot only 26 percent from the floor.
“We just couldn’t get the ball to fall for us,” Waxahachie head coach Lesli Priebe said. “When you hit only 16 of 60 shots it gets frustrating.”
“We did a good job of executing the press in the second half. That caused them some problems,” she stated.
Emily Rejcek hit a jump shot to open the first quarter scoring, but Amanda Mangan answered with a layup to tie the score in the first minute of play.
Rejcek hit one of two free throws and Tina Anderson made a steal and layup to put Ennis up by three quick points.
Ennis forged a 5-point lead when Sharna Polk added a pair of charity tosses.
Rebecca Chagnon found the range for Waxahachie with a jumper to cut the lead to three.
Chanel Miller added a layup as Waxahachie climbed back into the match.
But turnover problems began to plague the Lady Indians as Ennis got a jump shot from Rejcek plus a trey and bucket from Polk to take a 16-6 advantage.
Briana Jordan was fouled while shooting from beyond the arc and then calmly stepped to the charity stripe to can all three.
Michelle English hit a jump shot for Ennis to make the deficit 9 points.
Ravin Simmons pulled down successive offensive rebounds and was able to get the bucket to put Waxahachie in double figures 18-11.
Anderson drove into the paint to add a nice floater to give Ennis 20 points.
Simmons pulled down another offensive board and was fouled on the putback attempt. She canned both shots with 4:02 to play in the first half.
Polk pulled down the offensive rebound and got the bucket on the ensuing trip down the floor for Ennis. Shakela Hayden made the steal and hit Polk with a pass. Polk hit the trey to give her 12 points in the first half and put her team up 25-13 with 3:15 to play in the half.
The Lady Indian’ defense clamped down at that point causing five Ennis turnovers in the final three minutes of the half.
Mangan and Miller had baskets and Shaquille Davis added a free throw to cut the Ennis lead to 28-15 at the horn.
The opening minutes of the third quarter usually hold a large impact on the final outcome.
Knowing that, Waxahachie head coach Lesli Priebe decided to turn up the heat with full court pressure in the second half.
With the increased tempo, both teams began sloppy ball handling. Ennis committed 13 turnovers in the third period, while Waxahachie had 10 as the Ennis lead was cut to 32-29.
The Tribe actually tied the game at 25 when Miller made a three, the old fashioned way on a layup and foul shot with 3:52 to play in the stanza.
But, buckets by Mayden and Brittney Washington gave the Lady Lions a four point cushion.
Briana Jordan and Ravin Simmons had buckets to end the third quarter scoring for the host team.
Waxahachie started the fourth period with a 6-0 run as their defensive pressure frustrated Ennis, who had three turnovers in 45 seconds.
Simmons canned two shots and Miller one as WHS took a 35-32 lead.
Ennis regained its composure as Washington pulled down an offensive board and got the bucket. After a Waxahachie miss, Rejcek pulled down the rebound to start the break. Anderson scored on a sweet floater in the paint to give Ennis the lead once again.
The Tribe scrambled back. Mangan made two from the line and Miller added a steal with a layup to give Hachie the 39-36 lead.
Anderson hit another running floater to cut the lead to one.
The teams exchanged turnovers before Rejcek pulled down an offensive rebound and scored as the lead seesawed back in Ennis favor.
WHS could not capitalize on a couple of Ennis turnovers and with 2:05 to play Anderson hit a mid-range jumper to put Ennis ahead 42-39.
Simmons hit a jump shot, but could not make the added foul shot to cut the lead to one point.
Hayden made the second of two free throws to make the lead 43-41.
With 1:18 to play Anderson had a huge block of a Waxahachie shot attempt ignite the visiting crowd.
Neither team was able to take the ball to the basket until Michelle English was fouled with 13 ticks left on the clock.
English made one of her two free throws to give Ennis the 3-point win.
“I thought our composure in the fourth quarter won the game for us,” Ennis head coach David Kilpatrick said. “We struggled in the third quarter, but finally pulled it together.”
“Our focus all week in practice, was to limit the turnovers. We knew that Waxahachie would put a lot of defensive pressure on us. In the first half we took care of the ball. Waxahachie turned up the heat in the second half and it bothered us.”
“We have to continue to work on cutting down our turnovers. We must take care of the ball. We need to play really good defense and getting our shots to fall would help,” Priebe said when describing what her team needed to do to climb back into the district race for a playoff berth.
Ennis will travel to Lancaster on Tuesday, while Waxahachie will host Corsicana.