IRVING — When Waxahachie’s Big Three are scoring points in bunches, the Runnin’ Indians are a hard team to beat.
Behind BJ Francis, Jalen Lake and CJ Noland, the Class 6A No. 11-ranked Runnin’ Indians wasted little time in taking control of Tuesday night’s 6A Region I bi-district game as they jumped out to a big early lead and cruised to an 80-55 victory over Richardson Pearce at MacArthur High School.
The win — the first for WHS in boys' basketball at the 6A level — propelled the Indians (29-6) into Friday night’s scheduled area-round game against No. 24-ranked Coppell (29-5) at Mansfield Timberview High School. The winner of this game will advance to the Region I quarterfinals to face either No. 18 Denton Guyer or No. 6 Richardson, which beat No. 15 DeSoto 63-51 in their bi-district clash.
Francis scored 21 points, including five 3-point baskets, while Lake added 18 points and Noland finished with 16 for the Indians.
Other scorers included Preston Hodge with eight, AB Shorter with seven, AJ Russ with five, Sammy Kaoud with three and Chris Pace with two.
With a balanced scoring ledger, the Runnin’ Indians jumped out to a 17-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. Then Lake heated up in the second period with 10 points, including a pair of treys, to lead WHS to a 39-18 halftime advantage.
Noland, who had scored just one basket in the first half, then carried the load the rest of the way as the Indians took a 21-point lead into the fourth.