PFLUGERVILLE — With the district season just around the corner, the Shoemaker Grey Wolves picked a good time to hit a winning streak.
Shoemaker used another fast start and its dominance in the paint to cruise past the Pflugerville Hendrickson Hawks 53-36 at the Pflugerville Panther Holiday Classic at Panther Gym on Saturday.
“We’re just trying to get better,” Shoemaker coach Emund Prichett said. “We got better again today and I feel good about the direction that we’re going.”
The win gave the Grey Wolves (7-2) a third place finish in the tournament, but more importantly, some momentum and confidence heading into Tuesday’s District 8-3A opener at Killeen.
Shane Johnson led the Shoemaker scoring with 11 points while Nykolas Dawson and Torenzo Saunders added 10 points each.
“It gives us enough confidence to go into the game and hopefully get the victory against Killeen,” Johnson said.
Johnson was named to the all-tournament team.
Shoemaker lost the tournament’s opener to host and eventual champion Pflugerville 57-45 on Thursday, but after that faced little resistance against Waco University, Corpus Christi Carroll and Hendrickson.
Shoemaker kept the familiar theme of a fast start in mind against Hendrickson.
Dawson got things started for Shoemaker with a putback that sparked a 14-2 Grey Wolves run to start the game. Shoemaker was comfortably ahead 14-4 after the opening frame.
From there, the Grey Wolves used their size in the middle with Dawson and Saunders to muscle out rebounds and their athletic guards like Johnson to cut inside for quick points.
“It was a little easy to get in the lane,” Johnson said. “We just took advantage of what we had.”
Shoemaker held a 24-7 rebounding edge, scored six points on eight Hendrickson turnovers and held the Hawks to just 17 percent (3 of 17) shooting in the first half.
“I’m proud of the guys and they way they’ve come together,” Prichett said.
Shoemaker put the game away as time would down in the first half.
After a personal foul and technical foul on the Hendrickson bench, Shoemaker hit two of four free throws to go up 28-12 and Patrick Mark sunk a 3-pointer on the ensuing inbound play to send the Grey Wolves into halftime with a 19-point lead.
“The guys felt that they were playing good basketball,” Prichett said. “They played the way that we wanted to play.”
“I can say that it’s probably one of our better games.”