By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
A 23-point first quarter and stingy defense put the state-ranked Waxahachie Runnin’ Indians back on track Friday night.
The Runnin’ Indians outscored the visiting Cedar Hill Longhorns 38-19 over the first half and cruised home to a 71-48 win inside Mike Turner Gymnasium.
Cj Noland led the Tribe with 19 points after scoring eight points in the first quarter and six more in the fourth.
Senior guard BJ Francis added 16 points, while Jalen Lake added 10, AJ Russ had eight and AB Shorter scored seven.
Sammy Kaoud (4 points), Jordan Davis (3), Preston Hodge (2) and Chris Pace (2) also added the Runnin’ Indians’ scoring output.
Cedar Hill was led by Cody Bell (12 points) and Ashton Howard (10).
Waxahachie (23-6, 6-3 in 7-6A) began the week at No. 17 in the latest TABC 6A poll, having previously climbed as high as No. 3.
The Runnin’ Indians had lost three of their past four times out — all against state-ranked opponents by a combined 14 points.
Waxahachie first fell to No. 10 Grand Prairie (62-60) on Jan. 17, and then defeated Mansfield Summit (58-43) before dropping back-to-back games to No. 14 South Grand Prairie (101-97/4OT on Jan. 24) and No. 12 DeSoto (55-47 on Jan. 28).
The Runnin’ Indians will begin the final stretch of the regular season with a 6-3 mark in 7-6A. They will first host Mansfield Lake Ridge on Tuesday and then travel to Mansfield High next Friday, teams that Waxahachie defeated during the first half of district play.
Both games are slated for 7:30 p.m. tip-offs.