With a depleted lineup due to several players still playing football, Head Coach Lonnie Gaylor sent his Runnin’ Indians into battle with the Everman Bulldogs at Solis Gymnasium last night.
Only seven players were available for court duty for the Tribe, six playing in their very first varsity game ever. Nevertheless, the Runnin’ Indians were very competitive.
“I am proud of the team, we have improved leaps and bounds since we had scrimmages with Mesquite and Irving,” Gaylor said. “We only have seven players, six playing in their first varsity game ever. I am proud of their effort.”
Although the Tribe was short handed, they went into the attack mode from the very outset.
Nathan Moore hit a trey to open the game for Everman, but Waxahachie came right back to score on a driving layup by sophomore Jamison Sterns, who led all scorers with 38 points.
Jordan Butler then made a steal to start a fast break that culminated in another Sterns bucket and an added foul shot.
Butler followed up with a nice jumper to give the Tribe a 7-3 lead.
L. A. Rose hit a jumper followed by a trey by Justin Griffin and the WHS lead swelled to 12-5 with half the opening period in the books.
Everman responded with a basket by Kevin Smith, who led the Bulldog scoring with 17 points. Derrick West made a steal and layup to cut the lead to 12-9.
Brendan Everett stopped the Everman surge with a layup followed by another Stern’s driving layup to put the Tribe up 16-9.
Everman’ Jermie Deckard went to the offensive board for a rebound and putback.
Again Sterns responded by driving the lane to score for a 18-11 WHS lead.
A three by Smith and a steal and layup by Moore cut the lead to 18-16 with 48 seconds to play in the first quarter.
A layup by Sterns and a jump shot by Derek Koch ended the quarter with WHS leading 22-16.
Inexperience began to rear its head when Everman began full court man-to-man pressure. Turnovers began to mount with WHS committing 29 turnovers, while continuing to keep the score close.
“We knew that they would double and triple Jamison (Sterns) every time,” Gaylor explained. They came out in the man-to-man and applied pressure. Early on we did a good job attacking (the Everman defense).”
With 7:20 to play in the first half, Sterns once again drove into traffic to score.
Trailing 24-16, Everman ran off nine straight points on a pair of threes, a layup and a free toss to seize the lead, 25-24.
Jordan Butler crashed inside for a layup to give the Tribe the lead once again.
Smith hit a jumper for Everman as the lead see-sawed back and forth.
Brendan Everett went to the basket for a bucket to cut the Everman lead to 29-28 with 3:30 to play in the half.
A series of turnovers led to Everman taking a 39-28 lead into the locker room.
Everman was hit with a technical foul before the third quarter began. Sterns went to the line to convert one of two shots.
Then Sterns hit his first trey of the game to cut the lead to 39-32.
Everman was able to bring the margin back to 10 at 42-32 before Butler was able to hit on a free throw.
Everman scored the next six points to swell their lead to 48-33.
Rose and Griffin hit shots to cut into the lead.
But a pair of Everman scores put the Bulldogs up 52-37.
The Tribe responded by running off 14 unanswered points to see Everman call time out with the score 52-51.
The Bulldogs closed out the third period with a layup and a trey to lead 57-51.
After a minute of scoreless play to start the final stanza, Butler went to the offensive boards for a putback.
Smith answered for Everman to make the score 59-53.
Sterns pulled down an offense rebound and put up a shot. He got his own rebound and then scored to cut the lead to four.
After a pair of jump shots by Sterns, WHS trailed 61-59. Everman was able to score on a fast break to lead 63-59.
Sterns came back with a long range trey to make the deficit one point with 3:30 to play.
Play got a little sloppy at that point with both teams committing turnovers, until Everman was able to score a pair of charity tosses to end the game, 65-62.
Waxahachie almost forced overtime when Sterns last second bid for a three pointer bounced off the back of the rim.
“We had several opportunities with two minutes to go. But, turnovers or missed free throws and we couldn’t get over the hurdle. We had to use up all our time outs earlier just to get our kids some rest,” Gaylor concluded.
The Runnin’ Indians will play Forney on Friday night instead of Saturday to allow fans to attend the football playoff game against Copperas Cove in Waco.
Everman - Kevin Smith 17, Marquis Smith 11, Nathan Moore 10, Jermie Deckard 9, Derrick West 7, Brandon Walton 4, Etheus Henderson 2.
Waxahachie - Jamison Sterns 38, Jordan Butler 7, Brendan Everett 6, Justin Griffin 5, L. A. Rose 4, Derek Koch 2.