PFLUGERVILLE — The finishes hurt the Shoemaker Grey Wolves during the opening day of the Pflugerville Panther Holiday Tournament. But during Friday’s play, the starts ensured that Shoemaker would have a better second day.
The Shoemaker Grey Wolves got off to a hot start and used a relentless defense to sink their teeth into the Corpus Christi Carroll Tigers in a 48-40 win to conclude pool play.
“We played our type of basketball,” Shoemaker coach Emund Prichett said. “All season we’ve gotten off to pretty good starts. I thought about switching our starting lineup, I kept that in mind.”
Shane Johnson scored a game-high 19 points while Torenzo Saunders added 13 in the Grey Wolves (8-2) win. Shoemaker cruised past Waco University 61-38 earlier in the day.
Shoemaker will play either Pflugerville Connally or Pflugerville Hendrickson for third place today at 6 p.m.
The Grey Wolves were outscored 23-8 by host Pflugerville in a 57-45 loss on Thursday.
“A good start is always very important,” Johnson said. “Everyone is eventually going to have their slacking moments in the game. In the beginning, we tried to seal it.”
Defense was an emphasis and it showed for the Grey Wolves during the tournament’s second day.
After holding Waco University to 38 points, Shoemaker started the second game of the doubleheader on a strong note by only allowing the Tigers to score five points in the opening quarter.
“In other games we had bad defense, gave up 60 points, and we knew that we shouldn’t,” guard Patrick Mark said. “We’re a really good defensive team, we’ve just got to show it. Play harder and stop being out of position.”
Shoemaker forced six turnovers in the first and scored eight points off those mistakes while holding Carroll (10-4) to 33 percent shooting (2 of 6) in the quarter.
The Grey Wolves held the Tigers to 44 percent shooting (13 of 29) and ended the game with 15 forced turnovers.
Johnson opened the game with a 3-pointer as the Grey Wolves scored seven quick points in the opening minutes to take a lead they would not relinquish.
Despite leading by as many as 15 points early in the fourth quarter, the Grey Wolves had to hold off a strong Tigers rally attempt.
Carroll was able to score 14 points in the fourth quarter, but never cut the Shoemaker lead below seven points.
Johnson provided the final highlight reel moment when he aimed a behind the back pass to Saunders for a layup that made it 47-36 Grey Wolves with 1:40 remaining.
Tyrone Williams iced the game by hitting the first of two consecutive free throws that put Shoemaker ahead by eight points with 42.7 seconds remaining.
Eleven different Grey Wolves scored in the 23-point win over Waco University, led by Johnson’s 11 points.
Shoemaker outscored Waco University 16-4 in the first quarter and took a 31-15 halftime lead.
Saunders added 10 points in that game while Nahome Anderson and Williams combined for 17.