ENNIS — The Lady Indians fell 48-43 to Ellis County rival Red Oak during the championship round of the Ennis Varsity Tournament on Saturday at EHS Gymnasium, sans starting point guard Diamond Atchison and despite 16 points and 11 rebounds from leading scorer Shaquoria Thompson.
"We didn't have Diamond on the floor the last game, but it's no excuse," said Lesli Priebe, the head girls basketball coach at Waxahachie High School. "We didn't do what we needed to do offensively and defensively to come out and be successfully against a very athletic teamI've said it before and it's no truer now than it was then. Your offense can be off, but your defense should never be."
According to Priebe, Atchison suffered a twisted ankle during the win against Tomball High School. There is no timetable for her return to the lineup.
The (14-0) Lady Hawks, which scored fewer than 50 points for the first time since the team's Nov. 26 game against Flower Mound Marcus, earned a Texas Association of Basketball Coaches No. 10 ranking after defeating Waxahachie. The loss marked the Lady Indians' fourth of the season and the third in the last two weeks.
Not including 29 and 27 points allowed to Mesquite Poteet and Tomball High Schools, Waxahachie allowed 45.3 points per game during the past 18 quarters of basketball while scoring 51.2 points per game.
Atchison (10.6 ppg, 4.3 apg) is second in scoring and assists and third in steals.
"When your point guard goes ot and you don't have any practice time to prepare for her not being there, that's tough," Priebe continued. "Hopefully with practice, we can make adjustments without her."
Without the junior guard's two-way play, however, the Lady Indians used freshman Rayna Ross (7 pts, 5 rebs, 3 asts) and five or more rebounds from five of the eight players to score 16 second-chance points against the Texas Association of Basketball's No. 10 team.
Powered by Thompson's fourth double-double since Nov. 22, as well as near double-doubles by Destiny Bobb (8 pts, 9 rebs) and junior Destini Washington (7 pts, 7 rebs), the Lady Indians scored 24 of their 43 points in the second half. That surge helped keep the game close and combat Waxahachie's final shooting percentages of 27 percent (13-for-47) from the field and 14 percent (1-for-7) from behind the three-point line.
Their performance in the fourth quarter, Priebe said, did not make up for the struggles of a seven-point second — a key reason the Lady Indians loss.
"We didn't play well on either end of the floor and still need to working on boxing out," she continued. "We'll be a lot better if we can improve how well we run the court after turnovers and how many turnovers we commit."
The Lady Indians will have an opportunity to rebuild momentum when they face Ennis High School at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at George W. Solis Gymnasium. David Kilpatrick and the (8-3) Lady Lions won five straight games before falling to Red Oak in the semifinals of the Ennis Varsity Tournament.