By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
Three Waxahachie Runnin’ Indians outscored the entire Cedar Hill squad on Tuesday for the Tribe’s sixth consecutive district victory.
Led by freshman Paker Jefferson’s huge double-double, the Runnin’ Indians ran away from the visiting Longhorns in the second half for a 60-42 victory. The win improved Waxahachie to 17-10 overall and 6-4 in District 11-6A, which moved the team in second place as they enter the final two-week stretch.
Waxahachie has now held its last seven opponents under 50 points. That defensive effort and intensity has propelled the Runnin’ Indians from a winless 11-6A cellar-dweller to one of the hottest teams in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
Jefferson, a 6-foot-9 forward, led all scorers with 19 points. The freshman added a game-high 16 rebounds and 7 blocks.
Joseph Lankford added 14 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, while V’Zarion Roberson finished with 15 points.
The trio of Jefferson, Lankford and Roberson outscored Cedar Hill 48-42.
Kambren Drummer (6 points, 4 rebounds), Jordan Davis (4 points) and Andreas Lane (2 points) also scored for the Runnin’ Indians on Tuesday inside Michael Key Turner Gymnasium.
The game against (17-12, 5-5) Cedar Hill was close for the first three quarters, never expanding beyond an 8-point Waxahachie lead.
The Runnin’ Indians led 14-10 at the end of the first quarter and 28-22 at the half.
Waxahachie eventually reclaimed its 6-point halftime lead by the final minute of the third quarter, this time at 39-33.
Jefferson pulled down the first errant Cedar Hill shot of the fourth quarter to officially record his double-double. He had 14 points and 10 boards at the time.
The 6-point Waxahachie lead grew to 11 points following a Jefferson three, 46-35, with just under five minutes to play.
Lankford later turned a Roberson pass in the lane into his sixth and seventh points of the fourth quarter and a 49-35 Waxahachie lead. Roberson followed with an easy layup for a 16-point Runnin’ Indian advantage with 2:48 to play.
The quick 4-0 Waxahachie run forced a Cedar Hill timeout with the Longhorns down big, 51-35. Waxahachie had outscored Cedar Hill 12-2 to that point of the quarter. The Runnin’ Indians eventually outpaced the Longhorns 21-9 over the final 8 minutes of their 60-42 district win.
With four games remaining, the Runnin’ Indians will still need at least two wins to secure an 11-6A playoff berth. That magic number could change with others losing, however.
Waxahachie is slated to return to action against No. 2 (25-1, 10-0) Duncanville at home Friday. Tipoff is slated for 7:30 p.m., though the game could be rescheduled due to arctic weather and unsafe travel conditions.
The Panthers won the first meeting, 77-52, on Jan. 11.
The Runnin’ Indians will then begin to close out the regular season next week with a Tuesday road game against Mansfield followed by a Friday home tilt against Waco. Their final 11-6A game will be against DeSoto at home on Tuesday, Feb. 15.
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith