With their backs squarely against the wall Friday, the Lady Indians came away with what might be their biggest win since last March’s state championship game.
Despite a frantic final 57 seconds that saw Waxahachie nearly lose a 11-point lead, the Lady Indians earned a 50-46 win over third place Ennis and, for the moment at least, saved themselves from playoff elimination.
“This gives us a lot of confidence,” head coach Lesli Priebe said. “That’s two wins in a row now, we’re turning the corner.”
In the teams last meeting in December, the Lady Indians were held to just 22 points in a 12-point loss. On Friday, they had 21 by halftime.
“We did a great job of executing, we handled their press well and even got some scores off of it,” Priebe said. “We were not aggressive against their zone the first time we played, but [Friday] we did a good job of attacking and getting the ball down low.”
Ennis had its chances to grab a firm hold of District 15-4A’s third playoff spot, but making just 10 of 26 free throws proved costly. Combined, the teams made 36 percent of their free throws, connecting on 16 of 44 from the free-throw line.
“Free throws have been out Achilles Heel all year,” Ennis coach David Kilpatrick said. “We try to overcome it, but we’ve lost two or three games this year just because of free throws.”
Waxahachie took control early with a 10-0 run over a four-minute span of the first quarter that broke a 4-4 tie. By the end of the first quarter the Lady Indians had a 16-7 lead.
Ennis got within five twice in the second quarter, but an Asha Johnson free throw with 0.2 seconds left in the first half extended the Lady Indians’ lead back to six at 21-15.
Things quickly chance in the third quarter as Shabrina McAdams and Semethia Fielder lifted Ennis on a 7-0 run to start the second half, giving the Lady Indians their first lead since early in the first quarter, 22-21.
Waxahachie, however, had an answer as Amanda Mangan knocked down a baseline jumper on the Lady Indians’ next possession to regain the lead. Mangan’s shot started another big Waxahachie run as the Lady Indians scored 14 of the next 17 points to take a 35-25 lead.
The Lady Indians’ lead was cut to seven late in the third, but a pair of baskets by Kesley Benford and Ravin Simmons gave them a 39-28 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth, Waxahachie had a comfortable 47-36 lead as the clock went under a minute. Ennis used a full court press that frustrated the Lady Indians into a handful of turnovers, which the Lady Lions converted into free throws and baskets.
Ennis got to within five at 49-44 with 28 seconds left, but Kamesha Donalson put the game out of reach with a free throw with just 17 seconds remaining. Ennis did get one last basket from Sharna Polk to get Ennis to within 50-46.
“We knew this was going to be a tough game,” Kilpatrick said. “This was a reality check and will bring us back to earth. But the girls were resilient and never gave up.”
Waxahachie, now 3-5 in district play will likely still need more help to get into the playoffs, but two wins in their last three games has the team’s confidence up.
“We’ve still got to take care of business,” Priebe said. “Our backs will still be against the wall Tuesday against Corsicana.”
Benford led the Lady Indians with 17 points while Amanda Mangan and Ravin Simmons had 14 and 10 respectively. Ennis was led by McAdams’ 14 and Tina Anderson’s 12 points.
Waxahachie hosts Corsicans on Tuesday with tip-off scheduled for 8 p.m.
Arlington Seguin 84, Ennis 50
Arl. Seguin 14 24 20 26 - 84
Ennis 12 7 19 12 - 50
Arlington Seguin (15-8, 4-0) - Cherrelle Warren 17, Stacie Dillard 15, Alex Adekunle 15, Amber Doolittle 12, Anastasia Tucker 8, Krista Summerville 6, Recca Trice 5, Ariana Shuler 4, Janessa Lawrence 2.
Ennis (16-7, 3-2) - Shabrina McAdams 13, Semethia Fielder 8, Brittney Washington 8, Emily Rejcek 7, Tina Anderson 6, Sharna Polk 6, Akila Anderson 2.