ATHENS – The road to state opens up for the underdog Waxahachie Lady Indians.
The only fourth-seed left in the Class 4A playoffs the Waxahachie Lady Indians enter this weekend’s Region II tournament as the most surprising team.
With upsets of two top-10 teams the Lady Indians have the most impressive postseason run to this point over any team that will be competing in the two-day tournament at the Garland Special Events Center.
Waxahachie’s first opponent that cannot be overlooked in the dance is the third-seed from District 9-4A McKinney North.
North’s road to the regional tournament included wins against Rockwall Heath, District 11-4A’s Dallas Carter and a major upset against No. 7 Frisco.
North’s 52-49 victory against Frisco assured the Lady Indians that they would not have to face Frisco for the second consecutive year in the playoffs. It was North’s first victory over Frisco, the District 9-4A champion, this season in three tries.
North trailed Frisco by three heading into the fourth quarter of Monday’s regional quarterfinal but outscored the Raccoons 18-8 in the final period to advance to the regional tournament for the first time in school history. This is the first season for McKinney North (26-6) to earn a playoff berth.
Two players, Aundrea Gamble and Amanda Mason, average at least 12 points a game for McKinney while both players pull down at least five rebounds a game.
The winner of Friday’s 7:30 p.m. tilt between Waxahachie and North will play the winner of the Hewitt Midway and Frisco Wakeland game.
Funny, Midway and Waxahachie are from District 16-4A while North and Wakeland are both from 9-4A.
Midway and Wakeland play the early game Friday with a 6 p.m. tip.
Waxahachie lost both games to Midway this year while North split with Wakeland.
Wakeland has had an impressive playoff run of its own as it beat No. 10 Dallas Lincoln in the area round and No. 3 Rockwall in the regional quarterfinal.
With strong defensive play Wakeland defeated Rockwall 67-38.
Entering the tournament there is one district champ (Midway), a second seed (Wakeland), a third seed (North) and a fourth seed (WHS).
Waxahachie is the only fourth seed left in all of Class 4A. In the Region 4 tournament four district champs will square off for a chance to advance to state on March 4 to play a Region II team. The highest ranked team in Region 4 is No. 6 Cibolo Steele.
Region I had three district champs and a second seed playing for a trip to Austin. The top team is No. 1 Mansfield Timberview while No. 2 Canyon is also from Region I.
Region I’s first opponent at state will be a team from Region III. All four teams at the regional tournament for Region III are district champs highlighted by No. 8 Houston Yates.
Waxahachie has beaten a No. 5 and No. 9 team already this postseason. North is not ranked while Midway is No. 4 and Wakeland is No. 13.
With 16 Class 4A teams left across the state there are only a handful of top-25 teams remaining.
This will be a postseason to remember.
Let the dance begin!
Directions to Garland
From Waxahachie take I-35 north. Take the I-20 E exit to Shreveport – go 6.5 miles, then bear right at I-635 N and head toward Mesquite.
Continue 12 miles to the Northwest Hwy Shiloh Road exit. Stay on access road across Northwest Highway until it reaches Shiloh Road, then turn right onto Shiloh.
After crossing some railroad tracks, you will come to S. Garland Avenue*. Turn right onto South Garland Avenue and get into the center lane. Stay on Garland Avenue approximately 6 miles.
After crossing Beltline Road, you will cross Apollo Road, then come to an intersection where North Garland Avenue makes a right turn north, and the main road becomes Arapaho Road.
Turn right onto North Garland Avenue. Continue north approximately 1.1 miles, then turn right onto Naaman Forest Blvd.
About a block down the boulevard, the Special Events Center will be to your right on the south side of the road.?
*Within the Dallas city limits, Garland Avenue is called Garland Road.