WAXAHACHIE — The Lady Indians lost their third district game and dropped to fourth place in the 10-5A standings after falling 39-36 to Mansfield Legacy High School on Tuesday at George W. Solis Gymnasium.
Lesli Priebe, the head coach at Waxahachie High School, said turnovers and the loss of junior Destini Washington in the second quarter were key components that helped the Lady Broncos rally and pick up the victory.
"I think there were a couple of different factors that hurt us — turnovers being only one," Priebe said. " The combination of foul trouble and Destini not being able to go back in and play from the second quarter on because of an elbow shot to the mouth that almost knocked her front tooth ou hurt, too. She is one of our best defenders and we needed her in there."
The (13-8, 3-3) Lady Indians committed 24 turnovers while handing out only 11 assists for a 0.46 assist-to-turnover ratio that was the worst since their district opener against Lancaster High School.
She said junior Diamond Atchison, sophomore Jordan McGee and freshman Rayna Ross receiving two fouls each in the second quarter was an equally heavy blow.
"They came back in the game and helped us rally, but it hurt not having tough defenders like them on the court and at full strength," Priebe continued. "When you're in foul trouble you can't pressure the ball as much as you want or normally do. It helped them get back in the game."
Without, Washington, arguably the team's best on-ball defender, Waxahachie allowed Mansfield Legacy's sister duo of Harmoni and Lyric Turner and 5-foot-7 sophomore guard Keslyn King chip away at a 10-point first-quarter lead before halftime and outscore them 15-9 in the third quarter.
The instant offense of Lyric (13 pts) and Harmoni (8 pts) scored seven of the Lady Broncos' second-quarter points. They, as well as King, helped Mansfield Legacy enjoy their best field goal percentages of the game — 50 percent from the field and 75 percent from the 3-point line — on 3-for-6 and 3-for-5 shooting, respectively.
Offensive rebounding and points off turnovers, too, were thorns in the side of Waxahachie's girls. Despite Mansfield Legacy losing the overall glass battle 29-28 and the offensive rebounding war 12-11, the Lady Broncos scored eight second-chance points — four in the fourth quarter — and scored six points off 14 steals.
Priebe said, notwithstanding the loss and defensive lapses, her team's commitment to blocking out was a positive — especially the play of sophomore Destiny Bobb, whose 13-point and 11-rebound double-double led the Lady Indians in both statistical categories.
She also swatted a Lyric Turner layup attempt in the third quarter.
"Destiny's play was encouraging and she has played well for us on both ends of the floor lately," Priebe said. "The good thing that came out of the loss is against the No. 15 (5A) team in the state, we played badly for three quarters but only lost by three points. We know what to correct for the next time we play them."
Despite falling to 3-3 in the district standings, Priebe said their stumble against Mansfield Legacy isn't a death-knell to their postseason hopes and that there is a lot of basketball left to play.
She said her team's road to rebounding from loss starts with Mansfield Timberview High School, the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches' No. 2 girls' 5A basketball team and the second-ranked team in the country per MaxPreps national statistics.
"We're going to take it one game at a time and continue to work hard every day in practice and correct the mistakes we made tonight," Priebe said. "We're going to have to do well in the areas that hurt us and our offensive execution [to beat Mansfield Timberview]. If we can get into our offensive sets quicker, we become a far more potent and offensively efficient team."
The Lady Indians are scheduled to face Carter and the (19-2, 6-0) Lady Wolves at 6:30 p.m. Friday at MTHS Gymnasium.
Marcus S. Marion can be reached at (469) 517-1456. Follow him on Twitter @MarcusMarionWNI.