ATHENS – With each game the playoffs are supposed to become more difficult as teams are knocked out and only the strongest survive.
Waxahachie is traveling a different road.
Following an overtime win against No. 5 West Mesquite to open the playoffs the Waxahachie Lady Indians took the court at Trinity Valley Community College Friday against the Marshall Lady Mavericks to determine the area champion.
Looking more like a regular season game than a second-round playoff game the Lady Indians dominated all aspects of the 32-minute fight to advance to the regional quarterfinals with an 83-48 victory.
“It was a good game. It was not like West Mesquite I can say that,” Waxahachie senior point guard Shaquille Davis said. “The strategy was keeping them off the offensive boards, which we did OK with that, and stopping their offensive drives, we did pretty good on that. I think we are ready, two wins in a row we are pumped up to go far.”
Waxahachie (23-10) opened the game with a 7-0 run before Marshall called a timeout at the seven minute mark to discuss how to get around the Waxahachie press.
After Brittanya Sterns won the opening tip and banked in a shot the Lady Indians defense forced back-to-back turnovers with the press to take the seven-point lead.
Marshall’s first basket came with 6:27 to play in the period cutting the Lady Indians lead to seven points, 9-2.
Following the Marshall basket the Lady Indians used a 10-4 run to pull away 19-6 before a Marshall timeout at the 4:12 mark stopped first period action.
Out of the timeout the Lady Mavs managed to outscore Waxahachie 10-6 including an 8-0 run to end the period but the damage was done.
Waxahachie’s execution of the press defense in the first period took Marshall out of its game while creating confusion for the Lady Mavs.
“I thought our start was great. I was proud of the way we came out and executed the press. We were effective with that and really played well,” Waxahachie head coach Lesli Priebe said. “We definitely did not want to have a let up because anytime you are playing a playoff team, I don’t care what happens in the first quarter, you have to stay focused, keep executing and not let up. I was real pleased with everyone’s play especially the bench, they did a real good job.”
Backing off the press in the second period the Lady Indians’ defense remained strong.
Waxahachie outscored Marshall 16-4 in the second period led by Chanel Miller’s seven period points to build a 21-point halftime lead, 41-20.
Marshall (15-8) cut the Lady Indians’ lead to nine points, 29-20, early in the second period before a Miller three-pointer gave Waxahachie a double-digit lead, 32-20, and started a 12-0 WHS run to end the period.
Through one half of action the Lady Indians only picked up two fouls while Marshall had nine with one player carrying three.
In the second half all of Waxahachie’s players played considerable minutes as the Lady Indians outscored Marshall 20-11 in the third period and 22-17 in the fourth.
Four of the five starters for Waxahachie scored in double figures as Sterns led the way with 21 points. The junior pulled down five rebounds and picked up three steals and a block while shooting 100 percent from the field.
Davis and Miller had 11 each while Rebecca Chagnon had 10 to round out the starters in double figures. Chagnon had five rebounds and five assists while Davis had nine assists. Miller led the team with eight rebounds.
The lone starter not scoring in double figures was De’Nisha Love. She finished with eight points but was a monster on defense. She racked up six steals while putting relentless pressure on Marshall ball handlers.
Love had nine assists and three rebounds while shooting 4-of-5 for an impressive overall night.
Off the bench Taylor Hill led the way with seven points while TaKadrian Williams and Tralisha Washington had six each. LaDaeshia Davis (2) and JaMayia Perez (1) rounded out the scoring.
Up next for the Lady Indians will be the District 13-4A champion Longview Lady Lobos.
Longview (30-4), ranked No. 9 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches’ Class 4A state poll, advanced to the region-quarterfinals for the first time since 2003 with a 52-46 win against the No. 2 seed from District 16-4A, Cleburne.
The game between Longview and Waxahachie is expected to be played Tuesday. Game time and site have yet to be determined.