The final three-game push to prep for the postseason got off to a good start for the Class 6A No. 17-ranked Waxahachie Runnin’ Indians on Tuesday night as they avenged an earlier loss to No. 10-ranked and District 7-6A leader Grand Prairie, winning 68-51 at Mike Turner Gymnasium.
The Indians (26-6, 9-3) placed four starters in double figures, and they supplied all the scoring. BJ Francis led the way with 23 points, followed by CJ Noland with 19, Jalen Lake with 15 and AJ Russ with 11 that included three 3-pointers.
Russ hit two treys in the first quarter and Francis added two of his own, helping the Indians take a 22-10 lead after eight minutes. In the second quarter, WHS managed only eight points but still led 30-23 at the half.
WHS led 46-39 entering the fourth quarter and made 6-of-7 from the charity stripe down the stretch to keep the Gophers at bay.
Donald Ghostone led the Gophers with 15 points, followed by Savion Red and Jaylin Posey with a dozen apiece.
Grand Prairie (23-2, 11-1), which had already clinched a share of the 7-6A title, saw its 18-game winning streak snapped.
With the bi-district round of the playoffs starting a week from Monday, the Runnin’ Indians mathematically can still tie for the district title, trailing Grand Prairie by two games with two left to play entering Friday’s action.
The Indians were scheduled for a tune-up game at Mansfield Summit on Friday night. They will close out the regular season with a certain seeding battle against No. 13 South Grand Prairie next Tuesday night at Mike Turner Gymnasium.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Lady Indians (8-23, 1-13) closed out a rebuilding first year under head coach Ashlaa Zuniga with a loss to Grand Prairie at Mike Turner Gym.
The team honored its two seniors, Rayna Ross and Halle Becerra, at the game.