ARLINGTON, Texas — If you judged the game by its first quarter, you’d probably have thought the Runnin’ Indians’ chances to win the game and gain ground in the playoff chase were circling the proverbial bowl.
But that’s why basketball has four quarters.
The Waxahachie High School varsity boys basketball team wiped out a 12-point first quarter deficit to rout Arlington Seguin High School 71-49 on Tuesday at Arlington Seguin High School Gymnasium and moved into fourth place tie with Red Oak High School in the district 14-5A standings.
Runnin’ Indians head coach Damien Mobley said the lightbulb that went off in his players heads didn’t come from something he said, it came from their internal drive to win.
“The music was so loud I couldn’t say anything,” he continued. “I tried to wait the music out but it didn’t turn off until the last 10 seconds in the huddle.”
All Mobley was able to note in that 10-second span was the impact Arlington Seguin senior Josh Parrish had on the game.
“I told them it looked like one person was dominating the game by intimidating us on both ends,” he continued.
Parrish posted 12 of his 20 points during the first quarter but scored only eight in the quarters that followed. His team’s shooting percentage dropped as steeply from quarter to quarter as their leading scorer’s production, too.
After going into the second quarter with a double-digit lead and a whopping 66 field goal shooting percentage, the Cougars were held to 40 percent in the second, 23 percent in the third and 25 percent in the fourth.
Perhaps more damaging to the Cougars’ place in the standings than a suffocating Runnin’ Indians defense that held them to 18 points, was the near triple-double performance of sophomore guard Montrae Gipson and the return of senior center Jatavius Donalson.
“There’s no limit to where we can go when he’s playing at that level,” Mobley said about Gipson’s 22 points, seven assists, six rebounds and five steals. “Jatavius coming back gave us another spark. Montrae’s been playing blind the whole season. He actually got new contacts (lenses) before the Lancaster game. He’s a new and improved sight guy.”
Donalson’s return from missing games proved to be just what the doctor ordered. In limited minutes, he spearheaded the neutralization of Parrish and added six points, six rebounds and two crucial third and fourth quarter blocks to quell to end Cougars rallies.
Despite Donalson’s boost, he said the lion’s share goes to Gipson and budding freshman wing player Demani Richardson.
“Trae was calm and composed the whole game and whenever we needed a big shot or rebound, he was there,” Donalson said. “Demani’s improved a lot during the season, too. Ever since the Ennis game, he’s brought a lot of energy and helped us win.”
The Indians will use Friday night off to prepare for their matchup with Mansfield Lake Ridge High School at 8 p.m. on Tuesday at George W. Solis Gymnasium.