Waxahachie and Corsicana entered Tuesday’s district game in eerily similar situations, both knowing a fifth district loss could signal the end of playoff hopes.
On the strength of a suffocating defense that led to a 14-0 run to open the game, the Lady Indians won for the fourth time in five tries, 54-38, avenging a December loss at Corsicana.
“We lost to [Corsicana] in the first round so it’s good that we’re taking care of business at home,” Waxahachie head coach Lesli Priebe said. “At this point we’re are going to take it one game at a time and keep improving.”
Waxahachie’s defense stymied the Lady Tigers in the opening minutes as Corsicana struggled to in-bound the ball and did not attempt a shot until the 2:52 mark of the first quarter.
The Lady Tigers did regroup and pull within 10 at one point of the first quarter, but by that time momentum was squarely in Waxahachie’s corner.
“You’ve just got to work your way out of it and we eventually did,” Corsicana head coach Lauren Walker said. “We haven’t handled the press well all year and tonight we really lost the game in the first few minutes.”
In the second quarter, the Lady Indians’ lead grew to as many as 18 when Ravin Simmons reeled off six points in a row to give Waxahachie a 25-7 lead with 4:46 left.
With time winding down on the first half, Corsicana’s Amber Ames knocked down the Lady Tigers’ only 3-pointer at the buzzer to pull her team within 29-14.
Waxahachie quickly extended its lead back to 18 in the opening seconds of the second half, but Corsicana came storming back despite just one field goal in the third quarter.
The Lady Tigers took advantage of 11 Waxahachie fouls, making 11 of 16 free throws in the quarter as they cut the Lady Indians’ lead to 36-27.
Thoughts of a comeback were cast away by the Lady Indians’ 11-3 run to open the fourth quarter.
Waxahachie was able to spread the scoring around during the run as five different Lady Indians scored, including Kelsey Benford who had six of her game-high 22 over the final eight minutes.
Like the first quarter, it was the Lady Indians’ defense that allowed them to pull away late.
“We knew we couldn’t let what happen in the third happen in the fourth,” Priebe said. “We definitely had the defense going tonight. Your shots can be off, but you can’t be off on your defense — it absolutely has to be there.”
With three more district games to go, the Lady Indians are still in a fight for the final playoff spots and will probably have to win out to have a chance.
“They know this is it,” Priebe said of her team. “Our backs are against the wall, they know the situation we’re in.”
The Lady Indians travel to second place Red Oak on Friday for an 8 p.m. tipoff.
Waxahachie 54, Corsicana 38
Corsicana 6 8 3 11 - 38
Waxahachie 19 10 7 18 - 54
Corsicana (3-5, 13-12) - Briana Cleveland 15, Amber Ames 13, Tawana Davis 6, Brittany Winfrey 2, Shayla Mullin 2.
Waxahachie (4-4, 8-14) - Kelsey Benford 22, Ravin Simmons 14, Tarrah Carr 7, Amanda Mangan 3, Kamesha Donalson 2, Jerrica Conner 2, Asha Johnson 2, Rebecca Chagnon 2.