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V'Zarion Roberson (pictured) scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Runnin' Indians to their fourth-consecutive win Tuesday. (Fred Phipps/KBEC Sports)

Roberson’s 21 leads Runnin’ Indians to 4th consecutive win, rout of Midway

By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports

WAXAHACHIE — Each dribble of the basketball has mimicked the playoff vital signs for the Waxahachie Runnin’ Indians over the past two-plus weeks. 

There’s been lots of ups and reasons to hold off the casket downpayment, no doubt. But each bounce upward carries a reminder that one turnover or dribble off the shoe could result in the Runnin’ Indians missing the Class 6A postseason for the first time since bouncing up classes.

A four-game winning streak has now thankfully moved the morphine button a little further away, at least for now.

Waxahachie entered Tuesday’s home tilt against (18-10, 4-4) Hewitt Midway in a four-way tie for the final two District 11-6A playoff spots. Behind a 21-point night for V’zarion Roberson, the Runnin’ Indians avenged a previous loss by defeating Midway 65-43 inside Michael Key Turner Gymnasium. 

Midway won the whistle-laden first meeting, 59-53, to open district play on Dec. 21.

Tuesday’s victory improved Waxahachie to 15-10 overall and, most importantly, 4-4 in District 11-6A. It also has the Runnin’ Indians back in control of their playoff destiny.

“This puts us closer to digging out of the hole we dug for ourselves,” an exhausted and proud Waxahachie head coach Greg Gober said.

Roberson finished the night with a game-high 21 points. The senior guard added four rebounds and three steals while spending most of the fourth quarter on the bench with the game well in hand.

Roberson entered the game averaging 15.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game.

Parker Jefferson, a 6-foot-9 freshman sensation for the Tribe, quietly chipped in 11 points. He averages 14.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per contest this season.

Kambren Drummer added 10 points during the win, while Andreas Lane and Joseph Lankford scored 9 and 7 points, respectfully. Jordan Davis (4 points) and Jayden Becks (3) also contributed to the win.

“We have really started to gel and work together,” said Gober of the four-game winning streak. “Everyone is really starting to contribute in really positive ways. The guys are finding what their niche is and working together.”

He added, “We just had to get back to the basics and focus on being the best we can be, instead of just going through the motions. We are a focused group right now.”

HOW IT HAPPENED

Waxahachie jumped out to an 11-5 lead and saw that extend when Andreas Lane drilled a three-pointer for a 9-point lead.

Midway hit a triple at the buzzer a few possessions later and the Runnin’ Indians carried a 14-8 lead into the second quarter. 

It didn’t take long for Roberson to find his offensive groove, as the senior ran his total to seven points for a 20-9 Waxahachie lead with just over 7 minutes to play in the first half. 

The Runnin’ Indians remained active and physical on the defensive end of the court, not allowing the Panthers to move their game inside. The downfall of that style of play, however, is that officials have the propensity to blow their whistles in bunches. 

Both Parker Jefferson (14.2 PPG, 8.4 REB) and Joseph Lankford (4.6 PPG, 3.5 REB) had reached the wary two-foul mark by the 4:27 mark of the second quarter. 

The Runnin’ Indian lead grew to 22-11 shortly after. 

Midway hit just one shot in the second quarter — a shot just outside the paint and a free throw. The Panthers were outscored 10-3 in the frame, allowing the Runnin’ Indians to eventually carry a 24-11 lead into the halftime locker room.

Midway big-man Caden Powell (6-foot-10) had just four points at the break, thanks largely to the defensive efforts of 6-foot-2 forward Kambren Drummer. 

Lankford opened the Runnin’ Indian scoring in the third quarter with a wing three. The bucket ran his total to five points and put Waxahachie up, 27-13, with six minutes and change showing. 

The Waxahachie lead grew to 31-15 with 3:50 after Jordan Davis (6.1 PPG) finished a fastbreak with a layup underneath. Roberson followed by turning a Midway turnover into his eighth, ninth and tenth points on the evening. His three-pointer put Waxahachie comfortably up 19 points, 34-15. 

Roberson then drilled a second triple of the third quarter for a 37-17 Waxahachie lead. The 20-point advantage was the biggest for the Runnin’ Indians to that point. 

A few possessions and one Midway fan ejection later, Waxahachie carried a 42-19 lead into the final eight-minute quarter. 

Waxahachie built its second 23-point lead, 53-30, with 4:39 to play in the fourth quarter. That advantage grew by a pair of free throws to 25 points not long after.

Jayden Becks hit the final shot of the night for the Runnin’ Indians, a straightaway three-pointer. Waxahachie cruised to the 65-43 district victory. 

UP NEXT

The Runnin’ Indians will travel to Mansfield Lake Ridge for a crucial 11-6A showdown Friday. It goes without saying, but a win against the Eagles (or anyone for that matter) would go a long, long way in helping the Runnin’ Indians lock into one of four district playoff spots. 

Tipoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.

PHOTO GALLERY 

All photos by Fred Phipps/KBEC Sports

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Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith

tsmith@kbec.com

About Travis M. Smith

Travis M. Smith is the owner and content director of Ellis County Sports and has over a decade of award-winning sports coverage. He most recently served as the digital sports director for KBEC 1390AM/99.1FM. He is the former managing editor of the Waxahachie Daily Light, Midlothian Mirror and Glen Rose Reporter.

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