RED OAK – The Waxahachie Lady Indians entered Tuesday’s game knowing they needed a lot of help to make the playoffs.

They didn’t do themselves any favors by losing to the Lady Hawks 46-41.

“The first six minutes of the fourth quarter and the first eight minutes of the game really did us in,” Waxahachie coach Lesli Priebe said.

Waxahachie found itself down 17-7 after the first quarter, but it still found a way to stay in the game until the fourth quarter. The Lady Indians started the second quarter on a 6-0 run to make it a four-point game.

The team’s deficit fluctuated between four and 10 points the rest of the first half. Waxahachie was down 10 when senior Dawn King hit a three-pointer to make it a seven-point deficit at halftime.

The third quarter was dominated by luck for Red Oak and aggressive play by Paris Townsend. She scored eight of her team-high 15 points in the frame.

“She really came to play tonight,” Priebe said of Townsend. “She always plays great defense, she was knocking down some shots tonight, too.”

Townsend has been solid all season long, especially on defense, yet with the season not going as anticipated, the senior won’t be getting as much playing time in the final six games.

“I really feel bad for her,” Priebe said. “She’s giving us everything and is great in the post against much bigger players. But we will probably be giving some younger players playing time down the stretch.”

Despite Townsend’s best efforts, she was no match for the Lady Hawks’ three-pointer. Red Oak hit two ridiculous three-pointers that banked off the backboard, hit the rim and still found a way in. That’s just how this year is going.

Townsend converted a three-point play then sank a three-pointer to get Waxahachie within four in the final minute of the third quarter. That was when the momentum went to Red Oak for good. With just seven seconds left, Red Oak banked in another wild shot and got the benefit of a foul call and hit the free throw to go back up seven after three.

That seemed to deflate the team as Waxahachie then went scoreless for the first six minutes of the fourth quarter. Red Oak took that time to build a 46-31 lead. The teams emptied their benches and the Lady Indians’ bench players scored the game’s final 10 points to make the score close.

Townsend led the way with seven rebounds and 15 points. King added nine points and three rebounds. She couldn’t contain Red Oak’s freshman Kayla Barber, who scored 16 points in the first three quarters.

Red Oak’s top threat, Chelsea Warren, was held to just 10 points, five below her season average thanks to Townsend’s efforts.

Waxahachie (7-13, 1-7 in 15-4A) now faces a just about impossible road to the playoffs. The team sits three games out of the No. 4 spot with six games to go. The Lady Indians will need to win out and hope that Lancaster (4-4), Mansfield Legacy (3-5) and Mansfield Lake Ridge (3-5) beat each other up enough so that none of them get more than seven wins.

The Lady Indians should be able to keep their faint playoff hopes alive when they host Ennis (7-14, 0-8 in 15-4A) at 6:30 p.m. Friday.