CYPRESS, Texas — With back-to-back wins against top Houston-area high school basketball programs, Waxahachie High School is helping lead the North Dallas takeover.
The Runnin' Indians won the first two rounds of the Houston Methodist Cy-Hoops Invitational, beating Jersey Village 75-40 and Spring 76-62 on Thursday and Friday at Cy-Fair High School Gymnasium.
Against Jersey Village (4-8), senior Xavier Thompson (24 points, 3 rebs, 2 blks) scored nine points in eight minutes and helped Waxahachie build and keep an early lead during a 27-point second quarter. The score was 44-17 at halftime.
Two other players — Jalen Reagor (17 pts) and Mar'Quaylen Grant (10 pts) — added ten or more points for Waxahachie. Juniors Demani Richardson (8 pts, 3 rebs, 1 steal), Montre Gipson (4 pts, 4 rebs, 4 stls) and Tevin Wofford (3 pts, 3 rebs) and senior Kareem Erskine (5 pts, 2 rebs, 1 stl) each were instrumental in sealing the first round win.
Jaylen Warren was one of the Runnin' Indians steadiest defenders, recording a steal and a block. His five total rebounds, as well as six each from Grant and Reagor, helped Waxahachie finish with 49 rebounds (24 off, 25 def), three blocks and 10 steals.
During the 14-point win against Spring (5-5), Grant's 24 points — seven during the third quarter — helped down the Lions. He also contributed five rebounds and two steals.
Gipson (21 pts) and Warren (11 pts) finished the game 50 percent (2-for-4) and 40 percent (2-for-5) from 3-point range. Thompson, Reagor and Cory Walker, who scored four points and hit both of his attempts, added extra firepower to Waxahachie's arsenal.
Despite the Spring's seeming proximity regarding the final score, the 32 minutes of high school basketball may have been one of the Runnin' Indians' most offensively dominant performances this season. As a team, Waxahachie 22 of their 35 shots (63 percent) from the field and got to the free-throw line 15 times.
For the second game in a row, however, it was defense and Gipson's lockdown performance on Spring lead guard Walter Allen (10.4 ppg, 3.8 apg) that was the ignition that started Waxahachie's motor. Gipson not only pulled down five rebounds and had five of the Runnin' Indians' 13 steals, but he also held Allen to nine points, zero assists and forced five turnovers from the 5-foot-10 Lion.
Before facing Waxahachie, his season average was one turnover per game.
The Indians (7-2) are scheduled to play Head Coach David Peavy and Dekaney High School's (9-2) Wildcats at 11:30 p.m. Saturday at Cy-Fair High School Gymnasium. Dekaney, like Waxahachie, is on a win streak, claiming its last four victories while scoring 50 or more points in each game.
Last year, the Wildcats, which returned six players from it's 11-boy roster last season, finished 28-8 overall and 12-2 in District 15-6A and reached the area round of the UIL playoffs.
Marcus S. Marion can be reached at (469) 517-1456. Follow him on Twitter @MarcusMarionWNI.