WAXAHACHIE — Waxahachie is back in the hunt for a district title.
The junior varsity Lady Indians.
The girls of the Mean Green used double-double performances from sophomores Shay Overton and Zoriah Johnson, as well as crafty Indian-like defense to slow the Lady Bronco stampede, down Mansfield Legacy High School 40-31 and move up the district rankings.
"Defense is our No. 1 priority," said Ashley Proffitt, the junior varsity head girls' basketball coach at Waxahachie High School. "I always tell them that 'good defense makes easy offense.' The girls have a lot of heart and that shows on that side of the ball. They are really starting to understand what we are trying to do as a unit."
Aside from Overton's "overloaded" performance — which included 10 fourth quarter points — Johnson and Ariana Tunson powered the Lady Indians, specifically in the opening eight minutes of the game. The duo combined for eight of Waxahachie's 10 points in the first quarter and scored eight and six points, respectively.
Sophomore Keke Sharp added a second-leading nine-point scoring punch, including a fourth-quarter 3-pointer that helped put the game out of reach for the Lady Broncos.
Waxahachie's defense was so stifling that they held Mansfield Legacy scoreless in the second quarter. Vincent, their statistical leader with 18 points, was held to four in the first half.
"It really helped to have such a big lead going into the second half because we came out cold in the third quarter," Proffitt said. "Legacy came out on fire and went on a 12-0 run, but we still had the lead going into the final quarter. "That is what I focused on with the girls in the huddle after the rough third quarter. "I calmed them down and told them that we were OK and that we just needed to get back to the game plan."
Her team responded, outscoring Mansfield Legacy 17-12 in the fourth quarter and forced the Lady Broncos into a one-dimensional offense — and the ball into Vincent and Flurry's hands. Throughout the four quarters, only three players — Flurry (5), Johnson (4) and McHenry (4) — scored a basket the entire game and the other five girls were held to zero shot attempts.
Proffitt credited her team defense, energy and efforts from each of her 10 girls on the court for their rally.
"We have a lot of depth on our team which is always a positive," she said. "Shay, KeKe, Ariana Tunson and Zoriah stepped up big for us. Shay was 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter alone."
The Lady Indians had two players — Overton (15 pts, 11 rebs and 2 stls) and Johnson (10 pts, 12 rebs and 2 blks) — with double-doubles and almost a third. Tunson scored six points, pulled down four rebounds and stole two balls off the bench and Sharp, the third eight rebounds and three steals.
The Lady Indians will face Mansfield Timberview High School at 8 p.m. Friday at MTHS Gymnasium. The varsity Lady Wolves are the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches No. 2 girls 5A team and ranked in the top 10 in the nation per MaxPreps statistics and standings.
Proffitt said their junior varsity isn't far behind.
"It's going to be a tough one," she said, noting they will be one of the best teams her Lady Indians have faced all season. "That being said, nothing changes in our game preparation. We will continue to play team basketball on both ends of the floor and, no matter the outcome we will continue to grow and learn from every game."
Marcus S. Marion can be reached at for story ideas or concerns at (469) 517-1456. Follow him on Twitter @MarcusMarionWNI.