WAXAHACHIE — The Runnin' Indians aren't just the undefeated leaders of their district, they are also the only UIL 10-5A boys' basketball team in the top 10 of the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches' Top 25 State Poll.
Their move into the elite company of the likes of Dallas Kimball, Manvel and Lubbock Coronado High Schools came after Friday night's 33-point drubbing of former No. 3 and new No. 14 Mansfield Timberview High School at MTHS Gymnasium.
In addition to being on a five-game hot streak, Waxahachie, fueled by a defense that's forced more than 200 turnovers in 24 games (8.9 tpg), is the newest school to crack the top 10.
More importantly, Waxahachie's varsity boys' team hasn't had a 5-0 district start, according to MaxPreps standings and statistics, in more than a decade.
The 2011-12 through 2014-15 teams began their seasons a combined 1-19 in the 5A and 4A classifications with district-opening losses to Red Oak and Mansfield Summit High Schools. Only Steve Weeks' 2008 Indian squad with Venique Benton, Ladarious Brown and Justin Volentine came close at 4-1.
Three other teams — a Lonnie Gaylor-led Waxahachie squad as well as the 2010 and 2011 Runnin' Indians — began district 3-2.
The current rendition of the Waxahachie's varsity, too, has been the first time a boys' team has ranked by the TABC, which was organized in April 1975, in at least 10 years. The last Waxahachie teams to make it to the UIL State Championship Tournament and win a title, came in the early 1980s and had a familiar face on the roster.
First-year Waxahachie Head Coach Greg Gober, who was a part of the 1981, 1982, and 1983 state tournament basketball teams, won a 4A state championship in 1983.
The Runnin' Indians have three players — juniors Mar'Quaylen Grant (13.4) and Larry Wise (11.9) and senior Xavier Thompson II (12.4) — averaging 10 or more points per game. Sophomores Montrae Gipson (8.4) and Jaylen Warren (8.7) are less than two points from that mark.
The 14-boy roster is shooting a collective 52.4 percent on 2-point field goals and 32.5 percent from the 3-point line. They will defend both their undefeated district record and first place 10-5A standing when they meet No. 11 Lancaster High School, last season's state champion, at 8 p.m. Tuesday night at the Beverly D. Humphrey Sports Complex.
Marcus S. Marion can be reached at for story ideas or concerns at (469) 517-1456. Follow him on Twitter @MarcusMarionWNI.