Maypearl and Life high schools will clash for the first time this season in two days.

It will also be the beginning of both teams’ district schedules.

Maypearl, which began its season ranked second to last by most basketball aficionados and pundits, have embraced the underdog role and accumulated a 13-6 win.

“Warm and fuzzy’s probably out the window,” said Jason Lawson, the Panthers head boys basketball coach. “I believe we are a playoff team. I don’t know where we fit into the district or whether we’re the first place team or the fourth place team, but all four go to the playoffs, and we are somewhere in that area.”

To reach their playoff goal for the first time since 2010, they will need to begin with a win against Life High School Waxahachie, one of the district’s highest ranked teams.

According to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, Life’s Mustangs have reeled off 14 straight victories, are currently undefeated and are the ninth best team in their 3A standings.

The Panthers will need the steady hands of Tanir Horton, Brandon Wright and Gunner Petty, as well as the dominant low-post scoring of Jake Wiggins, when they face Life High School at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at Maypearl High School Gymnasium.

The Lady Panthers will look to extend their winning streak to seven games against the 10-win Lady Mustangs and remain undefeated in district 12-3A with their third win of the season.

They will have to lean on the continued growth of a starting cast that has produced two double-digit scorers this year.

“No one is more proud of Maddie’s (Creech)hard work during the offseason,” said Bayleigh Fortiz, Maypearl’s junior starting guard. “She didn’t see much playing time last year, but now she’s coming out and scoring points in bunches.”

Fortiz, averaging 17 points per game, and Creech, averaging 13 points per game, could be active components to a streaking Lady Panthers team.

The Lady Panthers will face a Life High School team that is the district’s fourth best team at noon on Saturday at Maypearl High School Gymnasium.

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