The Waxahachie Lady Indian basketball team knew it needed a lot of help to make the playoffs.
The team needed to win its final four games and get some help to even have a chance.
No amount of help the rest of the way can help as the Lady Indians lost to Lancaster 57-44 to officially eliminate them from playoff consideration.
“We just turned the ball over too much and got beat on the boards too many times,” Waxahachie coach Lesli Priebe said. “We can’t keep giving them second or third chances to score. That was the big difference tonight.”
Waxahachie’s players and coaches knew they needed to win this one to have a shot, but that didn’t change Priebe’s approach to coaching. The state-champion winning coach only knows one way to prepare.
“I know I treated this game like I treat every other game, like its the state championship game,” Priebe said. “I don’t know if the girls felt any extra pressure or not, but me and my staff prepared like it was the championship game.”
The team may not have thought about the extra pressure, but the turnovers made it seem like the mostly young squad was rattled. Despite all the miscues, the Lady Indians hung around most of the game.
Waxahachie trailed by just three after the first quarter thanks to a Lancaster offensive rebound and putback with with five seconds left in the quarter. The Lady Tigers then used a 13-4 run to take the lead for good.
The Lady Indians did come out strong to start the second half. Aarion Copeland made a short jumper then Dawn King drilled a three-pointer on the next possession to make it a three-point game. That was as close as the team got the rest of the game.
Each time Waxahachie made a run and got within four or five, Lancaster scored four of five straight to re-establish its lead. The Lady Indians couldn’t contain the post presence of the Lady Tigers’ Imari Bell, Brianna Tolliver and Aries Cook, who combined to score 36 points.
Waxahachie was led by Dawn King’s 19 points and Paris Townsend’s 13. Those are the two seniors that rarely leave the court and coach Priebe intends to keep it that way even though the postseason is no longer within reach.
“If we’re going down, we’re going to go down swinging,” Priebe said.
Freshman guard Aarion Copeland scored five points. Sophomore forward Kadiasha Sterns added four and sophomore guard Destinee Pointer added three.
The best the Lady Indians can hope for now is to play spoiler and they have three more chances to do that as their final games will all come against playoff-contending teams.
The next one will be when Waxahachie (8-15, 2-9 in 15-4A) hosts Mansfield Legacy (16-12, 4-7 in 15-4A) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. A Legacy loss in that game wouldn’t necessarily eliminate it from the playoffs, but it would go a long way to knocking it out.
Red Oak (14-11, 8-3 in 15-4A) is one win away from clinching a playoff spot and will likely secure the postseason berth when it hosts Ennis (7-17, 0-11 in 15-4A) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.