DALLAS — Though the varsity girls of Waxahachie tore through Spruce High School en route to their first championship of their playoff run, Lufkin and its triplicate of giants are looming.
The Waxahachie Lady Indians again incurred déjà vu, beating the Lady Timberwolves 65-28 on Monday at the Ellis-Davis Fieldhouse during the bi-district round of the playoffs. The victory, which nearly matched the 69-28 final score in their matchup on Dec. 28 during the Coca-Cola tournament, gave the Lady Indians their first bi-district championship in more than two years.
“It feels great and I’m glad that each one of the girls had a chance to soak up the experience,” said Lesli Priebe, the Lady Indians head coach. “It’s still one step at a time and one game at a time. They know they need to stay focused and aware of what’s ahead of us.”
What’s ahead of them is the No. 7 varsity girls basketball team in the state as ranked by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, owners of a nearly unblemished overall district record and the home of one of the most dominating low-post presences in high school basketball. The game tips off at 6 p.m. Friday at Trinity Valley Community College’s Cardinal Gymnasium
Lufkin High School sports a trio of 6-foot, 2-inch or taller post players in Natasha Mack, Diamond and Jada Johnson.
Mack, currently signed to play basketball for the University of Houston Lady Cougars, is averaging close to 17 points, 12 rebounds and eight blocks per game and is ranked as a four-star athlete and the 13th best center in the nation, according to ESPN player evaluations.
The Lady Indians will need their youth, speed and savvy to topple the towers as well as create a repeat of Monday’s dominance.
Waxahachie outpaced the Lady Timberwolves, holding them to an average of 22.5 percent shooting during four quarters, and scoring its second-highest total of the season after never shooting lower than 41 percent despite a season high 65 attempted field goals.
The Lady Indians saw production from every inch of the floor, from freshman point guard Jordan McGee with three points, seven rebounds, six steals and six assists, to freshman post Destiny Bobb with 14 points, five rebounds and three blocks and to senior Destinee Pointer with 13 points and six assists.
There are also yields needed to upset a team that lost to Mansfield Timberview High School during the Area Championship round of last year’s University Interscholastic League 5A playoffs.
“We know what they’ve got,” Pointer said. “We’re going to have to take them out of the game, get to the basket and be efficient. I’m glad some of our younger players get to see this kind of success early, regardless of what happens. It feels great to finally get here after four years of hard work.”
With more than 50 percent of their roster underclassmen, many of the Lady Indians are too young to remember the team’s playoff run in 2013, when they lost by a point to Lindale High School during the bi-district round of the 4A playoffs.
Some, however, relish the opportunity and are accepting the coaching of veterans like Pointer, seniors Shi’ann Carroll, Maddison Isabell and Tamera Conner and junior Aarion Copeland.
“I’ve gotten so comfortable with them, I feel like a regular person,” McGee said about her adjustment from star-struck freshman to vocal role player on a state championship contender. “Because of them, the playoffs felt like a regular game. I’ve learned so much from them (this season), and even though we may have bad days and face tough odds, at the end of each day we’re a family and a team.”
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