WAXAHACHIE — Following a Tuesday heartbreaker in Stephenville, the Life Waxahachie faithful are quickly running out of fingernails, as the Lady Mustangs dropped a second-straight nail-biter Friday evening. Behind 28 points from junior Ally Andress, Glen Rose kept its playoff plans alive with a 52-50 win on the road in overtime.
With just four District 8-4A games to go, either a loss or win by Glen Rose or Midlothian Heritage will eliminate (2-17, 1-6) Life Waxahachie and (10-17, 1-6) Venus from playoff contention. Alvarado (7-18, 0-6) has already been eliminated, while the win keeps (15-6, 4-3) Glen Rose tied with (18-9, 4-3) Midlothian Heritage in third place.
Whistles were a plenty Friday evening on the campus of Life Waxahachie High School, as each of the two teams had a pair of girls foul out — Jennifer Reese and Shawndra Rivers for Life Waxahachie, while Glen Rose lost Logan Smith and Presley Grace. In total, the Lady Mustangs were whistled 19 times and the Lady Tigers 18, with the two combining for 19 fouls in the second half and overtime.
The loss of Reese was particularly heavy for the Lady Mustangs, as she exited the leading scorer for Life Waxahachie with 16 points on a pair of baskets from three-point land. On the flipside, when Smith took a seat with her fifth foul, she did so as the second-leading scorer for the Lady Tigers with 11 points. Smith connected on four shots from the field and posted a 3-of-5 showing at the charity stripe.
Life Waxahachie bounced back from a three-point halftime deficit to outscore Glen Rose 14-11 in the fourth quarter to force the overtime frame. Once there, the Lady Tigers quickly jumped out to a four-point lead, as both teams struggled to get their respective offenses jump-started.
With two minutes and change on the clock and in the same four-point hole, Micah Cooper pulled down an offensive rebound and got the put-back basket to fall for Life Waxahachie. After she had collected a loose ball, Kyndal Nichols split a trip to free throw line to pull the Lady Mustangs within one point with less than 60 seconds to play, 49-48.
Another loose ball collected in the backcourt gave Nichols a chance at a basket in transition and a Life Waxahachie lead. The junior guard converted on both of her attempts from the charity stripe with 29.2 seconds on the overtime clock for a 50-49 Life Waxahachie advantage.
However, Andress would not be denied. The junior forward sprinted down the court, bodied a hard foul in the lane and got the tough basket to fall. The make was her eighth from the floor, while the ensuing free throw — to complete the old-fashioned-three-point play — was her 12th in 15 tries on the evening.
Points No. 26, 27 and 28 for Andress gave the Lady Tigers a two-point lead, 52-50, with 23.2 seconds to play.
Life Waxahachie worked the ball around the arc before having it knocked out of bounds with less than three seconds on the clock and, after the inbound pass went awry, a late 24-foot prayer was not answered. Glen Rose walked off the court at Life Waxahachie clinging to a 52-50 win.
For Life Waxahachie, Nicholls added 14 points to the 16 scored by Reeves, while Paige Bostwick finished as the third Lady Mustang in double figures with 11 points. Tiffaney Traylor scored five points and Rivers rounded out the evening with four.
After the 28 and 11 points scored by Andress and Smith, respectively, Sydney Lozier added five points, Jaylan Evans four and Kashanna Bryant and Presley Grace scored two points, each.
Life Waxahachie begins the final two weeks of its basketball season with a road trip Tuesday against Venus before returning home to host Midlothian Heritage on Friday. The Lady Mustangs will then travel to Alvarado Tuesday, Jan. 31 and close out their season Friday, Feb. 3 at home against Godley.
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mtih