Four days removed from needing a miracle shot at the buzzer to stave off an opponent on their home court, the Runnin’ Indians found themselves in the exact same situation Tuesday night against DeSoto. And this time the ball found the bottom of the twine at the buzzer.
Unfortunately, the BJ Francis make was ruled a two-point — not a three-point — basket after a short conference by the three officials.
DeSoto escaped Mike Turner Gymnasium in Waxahachie still unbeaten in District 7-6A with a one-point road win, 60-59.
The Eagles entered as the 12th-ranked team in the TABC 6A poll with a 19-7 overall record and improved to 8-0 in the district standings. The Runnin’ Indians fell to 3-5 in the 7-6A standings after their second consecutive district loss. Waxahachie entered Tuesday night in a four-way tie for the fourth-and-final playoff spot and just one-game back of two teams tied in second place.
Waxahachie head boys' basketball coach Greg Gober said that, despite the lost ground in the playoff standings, he was extremely pleased with the Runnin' Indians efforts Tuesday night.
"I think our team played great and with so much energy and togetherness," Gober said. "They worked hard to do the things that they are supposed to do. They believe that they can compete and win and that is an important thing in today's society. Most people are scared to death to try because they are afraid that they might not succeed. Our guys knew that they could succeed and I am very proud of them."
JT Warren led the way for the Runnin' Indians on Tuesday with 17 points and 5-of-6 shooting from behind the arc.
BJ Francis added 13 points, while CJ Noland scored 12. Da'maraie Watkins finished with six points, four rebounds and three assists. Preston Hodge and AB Shorter both scored four points and KB Jackson scored three.
Waxahachie shot 53 percent from the field (22-41) and 61 percent from three-point land (8-13).
The Runnin' Indians led after each of the first three quarters, ultimately outscoring the Eagles 33-29 in the first half.
However, a DeSoto run to begin the fourth-quarter flipped the script in a hurry after the Runnin' Indians had entered the frame up three, 46-43 and then built that advantage to 51-48.
It wasn't long before Waxahachie trailed two, 53-51, as the clock dipped under four minutes to play.
Back-to-back Waxahachie turnovers led to four DeSoto points and the Eagles largest lead to that point of the evening, 57-51, with just over two minutes to play.
Noland eventually capped the 9-0 DeSoto run with two points off the glass with one minute and change to go in the fourth quarter.
A second consecutive DeSoto turnover led to AB Shorter being fouled in the lane and then toeing the line for a one-and-one with 44 seconds showing on the clock. He drained both after a DeSoto timeout and pulled the Runnin’ Indians within two, 57-55.
The Eagles then committed a third consecutive turnover to repay the Runnin’ Indians for the three gifts earlier in the fourth quarter to give Waxahachie possession and down just one possession. Gober promptly called a timeout to talk strategy.
Da’maraie Watkins, who just missed the potential game-tying bucket Friday night, then drilled two-point prayer to tie the game at 57-all with 19.5 seconds to play.
Pryor was quickly fouled by the Runnin’ Indians after the inbound and converted on both of his opportunities at the free throw line.
What happened next had those in Runnin’ Indian green beside themselves, as Noland appeared to have a layup all but made before an Eagle swatted it away. The officials did not, however, see the goaltending that the Waxahachie fandom, players and coaching staff believed occurred on the Noland layup.
The Eagles then went up three after splitting a trip to the free throw line, giving the Runnin’ Indians an opportunity with under 10 seconds to play in the game.
Waxahachie quickly advanced the ball down the court and Francis made it — only for his toe to be on the line and the officials to confirm the shot as two points, not three after a short on-court meeting.
The Eagles escaped with the win, 60-59, to remain unbeaten in 7-6A.
"We kept fighting and kept working hard doing what we are supposed to do but we just couldn't finish it off," Gober said. "They made some plays down the stretch and we didn't make enough of them coming back our way."
Gober added, "I just know that we have to play a lot of games like that and with that level of effort, desire and passion to be successful."
Waxahachie returns to the court at 7:30 p.m. Friday at home against Mansfield Lake Ridge.
The Eagles won the previous meeting, 65-63, with a buzzer-beater on Jan. 4 in Mansfield.
Fred Phipps/Daily Light contributed to this report.