WAXAHACHIE — With Diamond Atchison slated for limited minutes because of an ankle sprain and a makeshift starting lineup scrambling to soften the blow, Waxahachie seemed poised for a rivalry loss.
Or so the Lady Lions thought.
Instead of struggling offensively and defensively without their lead guard, the Lady Indians used a 17-point second quarter and 18 total turnovers to beat Ennis High School 61-43 Tuesday night at George W. Solis Gymnasium.
"We limited them to five points in the second quarter," said Lesli Priebe, the head girls basketball coach at Waxahachie High School. "Anytime you can score almost 20 and hold your opponent to under 10 [points], that's pretty stifling. I was pretty pleased with our defense even though their lefty had a good night against us."
Outside of Nokoia White, a 5-foot-9, left-handed junior shooting guard, only Page Lemonia and season-leading scorer Glenn (17.3 ppg) made a scoring impact. Points from White (12), Glenn (11) and Lemonia (10) accounted for 33 of Ennis' final 43 points.
Nine of White's total came in the third quarter — the only eight-minute stretch the Lady Lions won during the game.
The Lady Indians, which made deft use of their inside-outside and pick-and-pop offensive scheme, won three of the four quarters and forced 11 of the Lady Lions' 18 turnovers in the first 16 minutes.
"At first, I wasn't doing great offensively, so I paid it off on the defensive end," Atchison said. "I knew the opponents drive hard and a couple of the players love to shoot outside shots. I had to figure out ways to defend the person I was guarding and had to remain focused on stopping them from scoring their average points or any at all."
Steals by Atchison (6), Jordan McGee (2), Rayna Ross (1) and Cassidy Morgan (1) provided ten of those turnovers. The others were crucial miscues forced by the low-post presence of Destiny Bobb and Sha'Quoria Thompson and the perimeter pressure of Waxahachie's on-ball defenders.
Atchison and junior Paris Gantt, who scored 12 points each, four of the five Lady Indians' 3-pointers. As a team, Waxahachie shot 42 percent (5-for-12) from behind the 3-point line and 45 percent (24-for-53) from the field.
Junior Sha'Quoria Thompson earned her fifth double-double, scoring 22 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Ross scored eight points and had eight rebounds and three assists.
Thompson and Ross, as well as Bobb, combined for 24 rebounds and helped Waxahachie outrebound Ennis 38 to 27. Priebe said that aspect was one of the main questions coming into the game and one she wanted to solve before a long week off of the basketball court before the Dec. 13 district opener.
"We're going to have to continue to work on keeping girls off the offensive boards with district play coming up next week," Priebe said. "We're in a district with Red Oak, Timberview, Legacy, Lake Ridge and Summit. There are five teams in our district among the top teams in Texas. It's not going to be an easy road — at all."
Waxahachie will kick off its district schedule against Lancaster High School (5-1)at 8 p.m. Tuesday at George W. Solis Gymnasium.