By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
WAXAHACHIE — The Life Waxahachie Mustangs made quick and tidy work of the visiting Hillsboro Eagles on Tuesday to win yet another district championship under head coach Eddie Berumen.
The Mustangs, who entered as the 19th-ranked team in the TABC 4A poll, used a 37-point first half to cruise to the 66-44 victory in their regular-season finale.
With the win, Life Waxahachie notched its 11th playoff berth over the past 12 years and secured its fifth outright district championship — all under Berumen, who has led the program since 2008.
Life Waxahachie senior Vernon Johnson poured in nine points in the first quarter and 11 more in the second on his way to a game-high 25 points.
“It was a really good team effort and I thought I played great and gave the team everything that I could to get the win and district championship,” Johnson told KBEC Sports after the win.
He also noted the Mustangs now need to remember to not “take anything for granted. Each one of these moments you want to cherish, so go out there and play hard.”
Derwin Lewis knocked down three shots from deep for nine points, while Blaine Stacy added seven points and Gage Mayfield had six.
Jaylon Nimmer (5 points), Byron Isom (4), Trenn Marlin (4), Jaden Erwin (4) and Drake Heads (2) also contributed to the Mustang scoring output.
Berumen said his team played well, especially considering they were down a point guard due to an undisclosed medical issue. He will make a swift and full recovery, the head coach assured.
“It was huge for these guys to step up and play for him,” Berumen said. “In the back of your head, you are worried about him, but I think the kids focused on what they were supposed to do and played well as a team.”
He added, “Our motto is to try and get better every day and we have to continue to get better. It’ll be a long week, you know, because we’ll have that open date on Friday, so we’ll have to do the best that we can do. We will preach small ball and take care of us.”
The Mustangs will look to win their ninth bi-district championship since 2008 when they take the court on the campus of Navarro College at 6 p.m. Tuesday against Lorena.
All photos by Fred Phipps/KBEC Sports
Fred Phipps/KBEC Sports contributed to this report.
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith