WAXAHACHIE — Down goes the queen — well at least one of them.
Waxahachie High School beat Texas Association of Basketball Coaches No. 4 girls' 5A basketball powerhouse Mansfield Summit High School 41-37 Tuesday night at George W. Solis Gymnasium.
"It was a huge win, especially given where they are ranked in the state," said Lesli Priebe, the Lady Indians' head basketball coach. "The kids executed the game plan as well as it could be executed. Rankings aside, Anybody can beat anybody on any given night. If we play to our potential and follow the game plan, there's not a team in this state we can't compete with and have a chance to beat. It's crazy how much faith and belief I have in this team. Now, I think it's starting rub off on them."
Her team's win moved them within two games of second place in District 10-5A and knocked the (23-7, 7-3) Lady Jaguars out of the TABC top five. Before facing Waxahachie, Mansfield Summit had fallen in only one of their last seven games — a five-point loss to TABC No. 2 Mansfield Timberview High School.
The Lady Indians also held their opponent to its lowest total since a 47 - 36 loss to Amarillo High School on Dec. 30 and became the second basketball team in the city to pull off a win of TABC poll-disturbing proportions. The Runnin' Indians varsity team beat the former No. Mansfield Timberview Wolves 76-42 on Jan. 13.
"They wanted this game bad and it showed" Priebe continued. "I'm so proud of them. They held a team that usually scores between 50 and 60 points to 37. That's huge being as young as we are and them — Diamond (Atchison) and Paris (Gantt) may be the only ones — not being in those type of situations. I've coached here forever and can see the potential in them. They showed it and really came through tonight."
The road to victory was paved with rocky ground, though.
Despite Mansfield Summit earning an early 9-4 advantage, both teams opened the first eight minutes a combined 4-for-23 shooting from the field. The Lady Indians took the brunt of torrid field goal percentage hitting only two of their 13 attempts.
The second — and the fourth — quarters, however, belonged to the girls of the Mean Green.
Led by five points and perfect 3-for-3 shooting from the free throw line from junior guard Destini Washington, Priebe and the Lady Indians outscored Mansfield Summit 11-6 in the second quarter and forced a 15-point halftime stalemate. They also hit 50 percent of their 2-point field goals, outrebounded the Lady Jaguars 5-3 and scored two baskets off four turnovers during the run.
Mansfield Summit had 28 offensive rebounds during their 54-43 win against Waxahachie on Dec. 20. A month later, they finished with 11.
Led by Christina Baker, Mansfield Summit roared back after halftime and went on an 18-13 third-quarter run. They made crucial mistakes, though.
Waxahachie (16-10, 5-5) forced four turnovers in the third quarter and scored a single breakaway basket that shifted the momentum of the game — sophomore guard Jordan McGee's infiltration of a Lady Jaguar passing lane and her steal-turned-fastbreak stop-and-pop jump shot with 1:38 left on the clock.
The Lady Indians also had the hot hand of sophomore forward Destiny Bobb, the game's leading scorer. She scored six of her 14 points in the second half and finished 6-for-8 from the field and 2-for2 from the free throw line.
Bobb also accounted for five of the Lady Indians' 34 rebounds and was topped by only freshman Rayna Ross (10 rebs) and junior Sha'Quoria Thompson (6 rebs).
Mansfield Summit senior Khadijah Kelly (10 pts) and freshman Tommisha Lampkin (10 pts) scored in double figures. Each of the 11 other players, however, was held to seven or fewer points and the team finished 25 percent from the field — including going 0-for-14 in the final eight minutes during a 13-4 Lady Indian run.
While Bobb did lead the Lady Indians in scoring, she wasn't the only girl to help topple one of the five queens of Texas 5A high school girls basketball. Washington, the team's second-leading scorer, added seven points, Sha'Quoria Thompson, who faced limited minutes because of early foul trouble, scored six and Rayna Ross, a freshman Waxahachie guard, notched five points and three assists.
She was one of four Lady Indians with two or more.
Priebe said the "statement" game against Mansfield Summit notwithstanding, their next matchup — a 6:30 p.m. Friday night matchup against Red Oak High School at ROHS Competition Gymnasium — may be one of the most important of the season.
"It's huge because now we have Red Oak, Legacy, Midlothian and then Timberview. [Mansfield] Timberview's sitting at No. 1 [in the district] and Legacy's at No. 3 and Midlothian's always a tough game," she said. "We went to overtime with Red Oak [at Solis] last time and now we're going to their house. We're going to have to keep playing at this level if we want to make the playoffs and pick up some momentum before the regular season ends."
Marcus S. Marion can be reached for story idea submissions or concerns at (469) 517-1456. Follow him on Twitter @MarcusMarionWNI.