De’Andre Davis may have caught some people at the Shoemaker gym off guard with his ball handling ability, cross over skills or knack for finishing at the basket, but first year Shoemaker head coach Emund Prichett was not one of them.
Prichett saw this show before, when he was still a Grey Wolves assistant.
“I watched him play last year and said he’s the best high school player I’ve seen since I’ve been coaching high school basketball,” Prichett said. “He showed it again tonight, he’s a player, he does everything he does within a team concept.”
Davis scored 28 points and helped Round Rock Cedar Ridge to a 74-59 win over Shoemaker (4-1) on Monday.
The loss was not only Shoemaker’s first of the season, but it was also the first setback for Prichett, the first-year Grey Wolves head coach.
Junior post Torenzo Saunders led all Shoemaker scorers with 13 points while fellow post Nykolas Dawson added 11 in the loss.
“It felt bad,” Dawson said. “We could have done better, but our defense is kind of weak so we’re going to work on it tomorrow.”
Davis is one of Central Texas’ top basketball prospects, and the 6-foot-1 senior guard is currently a Grand Canyon University commit and made his presence felt from start to finish.
He gave the Raiders a spark with a big offensive play in the first quarter and a huge defensive play in the third.
After a time out, Majycal Howard hit Davis on an inbound pass for a two-handed alley-oop dunk that put the Raiders (5-1) ahead 16-15 with 1:17 remaining.
“He’s a really good player,” Dawson said. “He’s got leadership and he knows how to keep the team together. I hope I can do the same with mine.”
With Cedar Ridge ahead 37-34, Davis brought down a Patrick Mark inbounds pass with his right hand as the Raiders eventually scored on a Brice Dudley putback to extend their lead.
The steal and ensuing point in the paint came during a 17-0 Raider run that saw them take control of the game.
“It all comes from our leaders,” Saunders said. “When the game was on the line, a lot of people should have stepped up and didn’t. If only one guy steps up, it’s not a team. Leaders have to step up.”
The bad third quarter was unlikely given how the Grey Wolves (4-1) finished the first half.
After falling behind by five points, Mark’s second 3-pointer of the game was followed by a Deondre Hopkins drive that tied the game at 31 points apiece 10 second before the break.
The Grey Wolves were able to force their seventh turnover of the half on the ensuing Raider possession, but couldn’t finish off a layup opportunity at the buzzer.
Mark opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer that made it 34-31 Shoemaker, but the Grey Wolves went on a field goal drought that lasted more than seven minutes and never recovered.
Cedar Ridge led by as many as 20 in the fourth quarter and Shoemaker never got back to within single digits.
“They played their type of basketball,” Prichett said. “They’re a good team and they showed it tonight.”
Mark had a strong game with eight points while Shane Johnson added seven.
Prichett said Monday’s game against a collegiate caliber player will help the team prepare for the Mansfield ISD/Spring Creek Classic tournament where Shoemaker opens against Plano West, the fifth ranked team in the latest Texas Association of Basketball Coaches poll.
“Thursday we’re going to play three or four on the same team so we’ve got to be ready to play,” Prichett said.