LANCASTER – After a long layoff because of icy conditions the Waxahachie Indians appeared to be ready to handle the press of the Lancaster Tigers Monday night in District 15-4A at Tiger Coliseum. Appearances can be deceiving.
Waxahachie (16-12, 7-6) took an 18-14 lead after one period of play before the Tigers stormed back with aggressive play, outscoring the Indians 22-3 in the second period en route to a 68-46 victory.
“We have not quite figured out how to compete against a team like that. We were really close, we came out and had a pretty good game plan on attacking their press and early in the game we were pretty successful,” Waxahachie head coach Steve Weeks said.
“The second quarter they overwhelmed us with their pressure. We knew what to do but panicked a little bit and gave it up three or four times in a row. That led to easy layups for them.”
Lancaster (18-9, 10-3) took a 20-18 lead in the second after four lead changes in the first period before Waxahachie’s Ryan Wilt answered back to give the Indians a 21-20 lead with a three-pointer.
Wilt’s basket was the only one of the period for the Indians as Lancaster went on an 18-0 run with its turnover-forcing press defense to take a 36-21 halftime lead.
“I thought the first quarter we played exactly the way we wanted to. We are close to being at a place where we can come into a place like this and win, but tonight we proved we are not quite there yet. Now we have to turn around and get ready for Ennis,” Weeks said.
Playing like they were on ice in the second period with all the turnovers, the Indians will be back in action tonight and Thursday because of last week’s ice storm that canceled all the games.
Tonight the Indians will play one of the best Class 4A teams in state as Ennis brings its No. 8 Texas Association of Basketball Coaches ranking into George Solis Gym for a 7:30 p.m. duel. Thursday the Indians play at Mesquite Poteet.
With the 22-point loss to Lancaster on Monday the Indians dropped to fifth place in the district standings with three games to go in the regular season.
West Mesquite moved into fourth by a half-game with a win over Terrell. The Wranglers have four games remaining this season and lost both games against the Indians.
While the second period in Monday’s game was one to forget, the Indians bounced back in the second half and made it a seven-point game with 1:36 left in the third.
Lancaster quickly scored twice before the third ended to take an 11-point lead into the fourth and never allowed the Indians to draw the game within double digits.
LaDarius Brown led the Indians with 18 points as the senior scored eight in the first and 10 in the third. He had two third period three pointers.
Chris Henderson added seven for the Indians and was 5-for-6 at the free throw line. Randy Head had six and Nykil Lawson had five. Wilt and Larry Ranson had three each while Robert Lowe Jr. and Austin Combs had two.