CEDAR PARK — The fans in the stands may remember the final couple of possessions, but for Shoemaker Grey Wolves head coach Emund Prichett, the game changed before that.
“We can’t point to anything at the end,” Shoemaker coach Emund Prichett said. “I think that throughout the course of the game we made little, bitty mistakes and eventually those mistakes turned into a loss.”
Shane Johnson scored a game-high 25 points, but Shoemaker couldn’t come up with baskets down the stretch in a 54-50 loss to Round Rock Cedar Ridge at the LISD Christmas Basketball Classic at Cedar Park High School.
Patrick Mark added nine points for the Grey Wolves (9-6) who split their games during the final day of the tournament. Shoemaker cruised past Austin Lanier earlier in the day 82-36.
The loss is Shoemaker’s second of the season to Cedar Ridge (17-5). The Raiders beat the Grey Wolves at Shoemaker 74-59 on Dec. 3.
“The defense started missing block outs, there were steals that we could have had,” Johnson said. “It was a lot of little things.”
Cedar Ridge guard De’Andre Davis, a Grand Canyon University commit, scored 28 when the teams met the first time and managed to put up 24 on Saturday. But Davis came up big down the stretch scoring five points in the final 2:10 to help the Raiders pull out the win.
“He’s a great player, you’re not going to stop him just hope to contain him,” Prichett said.
Shoemaker took control of the game early on and held the lead for most of the night.
Johnson got his first five points of the game on consecutive drives to the paint, the second of which gave Shoemaker an early 7-5 lead and sparked a 9-2 run that saw Shoemaker take a 12-5 advantage with less than two minutes left in the opening quarter.
Shoemaker led by as many as 13 points in the first half before turnovers allowed Cedar Ridge to get back into the game.
Davis’ layup off a turnover sparked a 15-4 Raider run that cut the Grey Wolves lead to 26-24 at halftime.
“As the game went on, people got out of defensive position,” Mark said. “The best player had the ball and people weren’t helping over him. Stuff like that is killing us and that was the four-point difference.”
Cedar Ridge’s Jerrod Smith hit a pair of free throws that put the Raiders back on top at 46-45 with 2:43 remaining, but Johnson responded with a floater 20 seconds later to help Shoemaker reclaim the lead.
That basket proved to be one of the last ones for the Grey Wolves as they would manage just one more field goal the rest of the game and that came as time expired.
A Davis drive with 2:10 gave the Raiders the lead for good and Cedar Ridge extended its lead to 50-47 on a Davis jumper with 1:23 remaining.
The Grey Wolves turned the ball over on their ensuing possession and that lad to a Cedar Ridge layup.
With the Raiders leading 52-47, Johnson drove to the lane and was called for an offensive foul on Davis with 21.3 seconds remaining.
Davis iced the game by hitting the first of two free throws.
Despite the loss, the Grey Wolves did get key contributions from recent additions to the varsity roster like Devyn Brewton and Javon Levi who combined for six points and Vernon Burns who guarded Davis well when he was matched up on the Raiders playmaker.
“He’s the guy who’s been with us and I knew that he could do it,” Prichett said about Burns. “He needed to get a little bit of seasoning on the JV team and he’s ready to go. We’re rolling with the guys that are committed. That’s all we can roll with.”
The Grey Wolves had balanced scoring against Lanier as Mark hit five 3-pointers in the first quarter to help Shoemaker take a 25-11 lead after the first quarter and never looked back.
Mark led the team with 15 points, Torenzo Saunders and Levi had 13 apiece while Johnson and Brewton added 12 each.
Contact Albert Alvarado at email@example.com