MANSFIELD — The Class 6A No. 12-ranked Waxahachie Runnin’ Indians gained a pretty stiff road test from Mansfield Summit on Friday night, but placed five players in double figures and pulled away in the final eight minutes for an 85-72 victory in District 7-6A play.
Friday’s win sets up Tuesday night’s seeding showdown with No. 15 South Grand Prairie at Mike Turner Gymnasium.
The Runnin’ Indians (27-6, 10-3) got 29 points from junior CJ Noland to lead the way, and classmate Jalen Lake added 19. AJ Russ finished with 12, BJ Francis with 10, and Chris Pace with a season-high 10 off the bench. Sammy Kaoud chipped in with three points and Preston Hodge with two.
The Indians led 20-15 after one, but the stubborn Jaguars hung around, creeping to within 39-36 at halftime and keeping it a one-possession game into the fourth quarter.
Things looked particularly dicey after Francis fouled out. Noland, though, took over the game in the fourth and scored 14 of his points down the stretch to carry WHS to the finish line.
Entering the final night of the regular season, the Runnin’ Indians own a one-game edge over SGP for second place in 7-6A and can finish no worse than third.
The Indians enter Tuesday’s game 6-0 at home in district play. A win by WHS would clinch the No. 2 seed for the Indians, but a loss would drop them to No. 3 because SGP would sweep the season series and own the tiebreaker.
No. 10 Grand Prairie clinched the No. 1 seed and outright district title on Friday by routing Mansfield Lake Ridge, 68-32.
The Indians jumped five spots in this week’s Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 6A boys’ statewide poll after they beat Grand Prairie last Tuesday, snapping the Gophers’ 18-game winning streak.