Surging Tribe stuns No. 21-rated DeSoto

WHS boys climb back into postseason hunt with third straight 11-6A victory

Daily Light report
Waxahachie's V'Zarion Roberson (left) pushes past DeSoto defender Nakia Smith during Friday night's District 11-6A game at Mike Turner Gymnasium. The Indians nudged the No. 21 Eagles, 52-48.

Don’t count those Waxahachie Runnin’ Indians out of the District 11-6A playoff chase quite yet. After a tough start to the district schedule, the Indians have worked themselves right back into the picture.

The Indians got off to a quick start, then had to hold on at the end as they knocked off Class 6A former No. 21 DeSoto, 52-48, on Friday night at Mike Turner Gymnasium for their third straight conquest to close out the first half of loop play.

The Indians took a 31-17 halftime edge and held a 40-33 lead after three periods, and still led by nine with about four minutes left. But the Eagles heated up behind the 3-point shooting of Deshawn Crawford, who hit three in a row in rapid succession to rally the visitors.

DeSoto pulled to within 46-45 on a Caelan Hampton steal and layup with 1:35 left. However, WHS was able to get a couple of stops and sealed the win at the free-throw line.

The Indians (16-10, 3-4) outrebounded DeSoto by a 36-23 margin. Crawford led the Eagles with 22 points.

Early 3-point baskets by V’Zarion Roberson and Joseph Lankford put the Indians on top 10-3 in the first quarter, and another trifecta by Roberson early in the second opened up a huge 22-7 margin.

DeSoto dropped out of the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches poll this week, as well as Tuesday night opponent Waco Midway, which lost two nailbiters last week to Cedar Hill and Mansfield Lake Ridge. Midway was ranked No. 20 last week.

Duncanville (21-1, 7-0), ranked No. 2 in the state and No. 4 in the nation, has ran away and hid from everyone else as expected. But a crowd has formed in the middle of the district between second and sixth place.

After Tuesday’s game against the Panthers at Mike Turner Gymnasium to start the second leg of the district round robin, the Indians will travel to Lake Ridge on Friday night with tipoff set for 7:30 p.m. In both instances, the Tribe has a chance to neutralize any head-to-head tiebreakers and solidify potential playoff positioning.

The Lady Indians, meanwhile, enjoyed a Friday off as DeSoto’s No. 1-ranked girls traveled to Minnesota for the ESPN Showcase. The reprieve is only temporary, though, as the DeSoto game will be made up on Feb. 11, at the end of the regular season.

Following Tuesday evening’s game against Midway, the youthful Lady Indians (8-16, 2-6) will visit Lake Ridge on Friday at 6 p.m.