WHS' season ends despite huge win, monster performances
The idea the Runnin’ Indians won’t be going to the playoffs after throttling Ennis High School by 30 points could seem like a cruel hoax to the players, coaches and fans of Waxahachie.
Despite beating the Lions 100-70 on Tuesday at Ensign Gymnasium, the Waxahachie High School boys varsity basketball team won’t be seeing any postseason action.
“Usually seasons don’t end when you win games like that,” said Damien Mobley, the Runnin’ Indians head basketball coach. “The good thing is, we got better as the season went on. That’s what good teams do.”
Though the Runnin’ Indians beat Ennis and Mansfield Lake Ridge and Legacy high schools, they needed some help from Ellis County rival Red Oak and a Broncos team WHS beat a week before to get into the playoff conversation.
But Red Oak’s defeat to Arlington Seguin High School and Mansfield Legacy High School’s loss to their city rival Mansfield Lake Ridge on Tuesday helped the No. 3 and No. 4 teams in the district finish with 10-6 records, sealing the 9-7 Runnin’ Indians fate and ensuring Waxahachie would miss the playoffs for a third straight year under Mobley.
The Runnin’ Indians saw five players score in double figures, their team score its second-highest point total of the season and pull down more rebounds than in the two previous games combined.
Sophomore Montrae Gipson led all scorers with 18 points and senior Jatavius Donalson, juniors Jalen Reagor and Xavier Thompson and freshman Demani Richardson chipped in 17, 14, 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Donalson capped his final season as an Indian with a 17-point, 17 rebound and three-block double-double performance and Gipson again neared triple-double status with his 11-rebound, six-assist and four-steal performance.
“I didn’t know how well I played until the end of the game, but it really doesn’t mean anything,” Donalson said. “Knowing actually made it worse, because it meant our season was over. We really hoped Red Oak would win, so we could get a chance to see how it feels to play in the playoffs.”
As a team, the Runnin’ Indians outrebounded the Lions 59-32 and forced a season high 28 turnovers.
“We’re only a couple of steps away from being where we want to be,” Mobley said. “If we’re going down the steps, we’re right at the bottom and if we’re going up, we’re right at the top. We finished on a good note and on a winning streak, we just ran out of time. They fought through the adversity of the season and withstood the pressure and, as a coach, you can’t ask for anything more.”