GARLAND – Waxahachie’s remarkable season came to an end on Friday night at the Garland Special Events Center in the Class 4A Region II Regional Semifinals with a 58-47 loss to the Frisco Runnin’ Raccoons.
The Lady Indians finished the year with a 25-14 overall record and one of the final four teams in Region II.
When the 2008-09 season began 62 teams vied for a playoff spot in Region II while only 32 teams reached the postseason.
Waxahachie entered the postseason after finishing fourth in District 16-4A and quickly made their presence known.
In the bi-district round, Waxahachie stunned District 15-4A undefeated champ West Mesquite, 73-66, before dominating Hallsville, 66-40, to claim the area championship.
In the regional quarterfinals the Lady Indians defeated district rival Waco, 50-32 to advance to the final four.
In the regional finals for the first time since 2004 the Lady Indians were the only team unranked by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches final regular season poll.
Ranked or not, the Lady Indians belonged.
Waxahachie defeated a Waco team that was ranked most of the season, a Waco team that defeated the No. 8 Longview Lady Lobos in the area playoffs.
Entering Friday’s semifinals, Frisco (No. 6), Hewitt Midway (No. 4) and Dallas Lincoln (No. 5) were ranked in the top six of the final TABC poll.
Midway opened the evening with an impressive, if not scary, win against Lincoln, 78-44.
With the Midway win fresh in their minds, Frisco and Waxahachie took to court to determine who would face the District 16-4A champion Lady Panthers.
Frisco won the opening tip and a couple of passes later Makenzie Simon drained a three-pointer to give the Runnin’ Raccoons a 3-0 lead.
Waxahachie answered right back with a basket by Brittanya Sterns before Frisco scored four unanswered points.
Trailing 7-2 the Lady Indians fought right back with five points by Briana Jordan.
Jordan scored two points to cut the lead to 7-4 before draining a three to tie the game at seven with 4:13 to play in the first period.
Frisco (33-3) outscored the Lady Indians 9-3 over the final four minutes of the first period to take a 16-10 lead into the second period. The Raccoons’ press defense created problems for the Lady Indians as they turned the ball over several times that led to Frisco points.
Waxahachie never tied the game again.
In the second period Frisco used a 6-0 run to start the period to take a 12-point lead, 22-10, before Chanel Miller scored the Lady Indians’ first basket of the period with 5:25 to play.
After a Frisco basket, Waxahachie found a spark and outscored the Raccoons 7-0 over the next two minutes to cut the Raccoon lead to five points, 24-19.
During the seven-point run, Waxahachie seniors P’Kandra Jordan and Amanda Mangan did the heavy lifting for the Lady Indians.
Jordan scored five points, including one three pointer, during the run while Mangan scored two points. The run ignited the Waxahachie crowd and seemed to have brought the Lady Indians back into the game.
Frisco scored with a minute to play to stop the Waxahachie run and take a 27-20 lead into the half.
Returning from the half Waxahachie was ready to play.
The Lady Indians opened the third period with four consecutive points off Frisco turnovers.
Sterns scored the first basket of the period before Mangan hit another to cut the Raccoon lead to three points, 27-24.
With 4:34 to play in the period Frisco nailed one-of-two free throw attempts to put their first points of the period on the board.
Frisco’s press defense created problems for Waxahachie resulting in consecutive turnovers. As a result the Raccoons built a 34-26 lead.
The Tribe cut the lead to five points, 38-33, late in the period on a basket by Sterns before Frisco scored with seconds remaining in the period to take a 40-33 lead in to the fourth period.
Frisco took a 10-point lead, 43-33, early in the fourth period before a Waxahachie timeout.
Following the timeout Waxahachie outscored Frisco 11-2 to cut the deficit to one-point, 45-44.
During the 11-2 run, Sterns had eight points while Briana Jordan hit a three-pointer.
Frisco hit a basket with 3:28 to play to take a 47-44 lead and stop the Lady Indians run. Seconds later Frisco added a three-point shot by Jazmyn Dorsett to take a 50-44 lead.
Brian Jordan answered Frisco’s three with one of her own with 2:33 to play drawing the Lady Indians within three points, 50-47.
Frisco held the Lady Indians scoreless over the final two minutes of the game while scoring eight points to seal the win.
“I think if we would have played all four quarters we would have come out on top,” Waxahachie coach Lesli Priebe said. “We did not get it done in the first quarter. We were a little passive and it hurt us. We did not do a good job taking care of the ball after rebounds.”
While the loss to Frisco was disappointing, Priebe said she is extremely proud of her team this season.
“I am so proud of the girls. The whole team worked extremely hard this season and year round to get to this points. I am proud of their dedication and very proud of the year we had,” she said.
Sterns led the Lady Indians in scoring with 17 points. Briana Jordan also reached double figures with 11 points.
Other Lady Indians with points in the game were P’Kandra Jordan (5), Mangan (7), Miller (3), Shelby Molengraaf (2) and Kateshia Overton (2).
Shaquille Davis and Rebecca Chagnon played good defense in the game for Waxahachie.
Priebe said the team greatly appreciated the support of the fans this season.
During Friday’s game the large Waxahachie crowd was an added boost to the Lady Indians as they rallied back in the game.
Frisco’s Tiffany Moore led all players in scoring with 19 points.
Moore scored 21, 31 and 19 points in the first three playoff games. She was 9-of-13 from the free throw line in the game.
Kendall Schwantz scored 12 points for Frisco.
Waxahachie’s defense held two of Frisco’s top players, Dorsett and Shay Cooney-Williams to a combined 13 points. Both players had averaged 14 points or more per game this season.
Other players on the Waxahachie roster for the game were Taylor Hill, Marquisha Finley, Rosele Branum, Ta’Kadrian Williams and Tralisia Washington.