LANCASTER — For those who have not yet attended a Waxahachie Runnin' Indian basketball game this year, Saturday is not one to miss.
One-week removed from defeating the MaxPreps' top-ranked team in the nation, Cypress Falls, and falling by six points to No. 2 Denton Guyer, the Runnin' Indians will return to the national spotlight again against Chicago Simeon. The game, hosted at Lancaster High School, is part of a day-long National Hoopfest.
According to its website, the National Hoopfest was originally established in 2011 as the Penny Hardaway Classic.
"In 6 years, we have hosted 10 tournaments including Memphis, Las Vegas and Tampa. Our 2015 game featuring Oak Hill Academy vs Hamilton High School (Memphis, TN) was ESPN’s highest-rated high school game of the year, reaching almost six million viewers," the site states. "We continue to draw the best national and local high school talent, having had over 100 D1 scholarship athletes participate in the event, including five NBA lottery picks."
Waxahachie maintained its No. 1 ranking in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches 5A poll after defeating Harker Heights (88-57), Cypress Creek (70-57) and then-6A No. 1 Cypress Falls (75-67) in the Houston Methodist Cy-Hoops Invitational over the weekend at The Berry Center.
The win against Cypress Falls snapped the program's 37-game winning streak.
The Runnin' Indians ultimately fell to Denton Guyer 77-71 in the championship game.
Waxahachie jumped up to No. 12 in the MaxPreps national rankings, which is based on the strength of schedule.
Other games in the National Hoopfest include South Garland v Sunrise Christian (KS) at 2:30 p.m., DeSoto v Whitney Young (IL) at 4 p.m., and Lancaster v Oak Hill Academy (VA) at 7 p.m.
All games are at Lancaster High School. Tickets can be purchased at https://nhquiktickets.com/product/1216-national-hoopfest-at-lancaster-varsity-basketball/.
The National Hoopfest tour also benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. According to its history tab on the website, the mission of St. Jude is to "advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay."
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith