The 2012-13 Runnin’ Indians season unfortunately didn’t begin like last season ended.
Waxahachie dropped its first game of the season 70-65 mostly due to turnovers throughout the game and especially in the final few minutes.
“Turnovers were a big part of it. They put some pressure on us and we didn’t really handle it well,” Waxahachie coach Steve Weeks said. “We panicked with the basketball a lot and didn’t do a good job of looking up the floor.”
Waxahachie trailed by as much as 14 in the fourth quarter, but pulled to within five with 100 seconds left in the game. But four straight possessions ended in turnovers before getting a shot off and that kept Waxahachie from getting any closer.
“We had all kinds of opportunities. We just have to slow down and look to pass the ball up the court,” Weeks said. “Everything was there for us. We just had to handle the pressure and break to the ball better. There’s no excuse for it.”
Forney went on an 11-1 run at the end of the second quarter, when the Jackrabbits started using the full court press, to take its first lead of the game and the momentum carried to a 63-49 lead with 2:56 left in the game.
The Indians then rattled off nine straight points, three each from Antoine Taylor, Lee Wheaton and Qua-Darrious Waters. But that was when the turnovers became costly and often.
“They had to come in with a frenetic pace just to keep up with us and we played right into what they wanted,” Weeks said. “We need to try and get them to slow down and get more in control. We made a couple runs, but we let them hang around and they beat us.”
The team has five new players from last year and only one returning starter, Waters, from that team. So inexperience could have something to do with the possession struggles. Waters is also the team’s only senior.
“I think inexperience could be part of it, but this is a much more talented team than the one we had last year,” Weeks said. “I think it was all about how they handled the pressure. We hit the panic button and you could see it in a couple guys.”
One of the youngest players made a very strong varsity debut. Sophomore post player Lee Wheaton led the team with 20 points and had seven rebounds. The game could have been a lot different had a lot of his short shots fallen instead of rolling out.
“I thought Wheaton did some good things with the basketball as he got inside,” Weeks said. “He had a lot of shots go in and out on him, but overall, I thought he played well.”
Junior guard Andre Mills is also new to the team and he had 16 points, 11 rebounds and four assists. Waters added 10 points to go with three steals, seven rebounds and five assists. Taylor finished with 17 points, three each of rebounds, steals and assists.
“Antoine will bring a lot of energy,” Weeks said. “I don’t think he came off the court at all and he handled the pressure quite a bit better than some of our other guys.”
But the coach did see some positives that will help when the Runnin’ Indians (0-1) go on the road to Hurst L. D. Bell (1-0) at 7 p.m. Friday.
“I’m excited about this season though,” Weeks said. “I told them that we need to work on moving without the ball and not panicking and putting the ball on the floor.”
Lady Indians fall
Waxahachie took on a very tough Dallas Madison team on the road Tuesday night and lost 69-55.
While there were five players on the court for both teams, it quickly became a game of one-on-one between Waxahachie’s Ja’Mayia Perez and Madison’s Breanna Hayden.
Perez had 36 points and Hayden, a Baylor commit, had 37.
Waxahachie (3-3) will host Waco La Vega at 6:30 p.m. Friday. A win would be Waxahachie coach Lesli Priebe’s 400th of her career.