By Nick Talbot
Harker Heights Herald
Thomas Cherry scored 11 as one of 13 Knights scorers in a 65-44 win over Belton on Tuesday.
Harker Heights jumped out in a hurry, taking a 21-7 lead after the first quarter en route to a 20-point halftime lead.
Daniel Mills led all scorers with 28 for the Tigers, who outscored the Knights 22-9 in the fourth to make a more reasonable final.
Harker Heights plays Mesquite Horn at 6 p.m. at Waco University in the first game of a doubleheader with Shoemaker on Tuesday. The Grey Wolves play Mesquite in the second game at 8 p.m.
Heights 55, Shoemaker 42 - At Shoemaker, Cameron Delaney didn't think it was going in.
Harker Heights coach Celneque Bobbitt couldn't believe it when it did.
"Somebody in the crowd was like '3, 2, 1' and I just shot it hoping it would go in and it just fell," Delaney said. Delaney's desperation 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded to end the first quarter gave Harker Heights its first lead of the game as they held off the desperate Shoemaker Grey Wolves.
"They were just giving me space and leaving me open," said Delaney, who hit four 3-pointers and led the Knights with 14 points. "It was like they were hoping I couldn't shoot so I was just pulling (the trigger)."
Shoemaker (19-12, 7-6 12-5A), which now needs a win Tuesday at Bryan to guarantee itself a playoff bid, took off in the first quarter, jumping out to an 11-2 lead.
It was short-lived.
In the final two minutes, the Knights (25-7, 11-2) went on a 10-0 run, including the desperation heave by Delaney at the end of the quarter.
"I told the guys these games are always ugly. ... They were the home team and at the beginning of the game, the home team is usually going to hit a couple of shots" Bobbitt said. "We got a couple of things at the end of the quarter and hit that 3 and went up.
"It was huge. I couldn't believe it went in."
C.J. Rodriguez opened the second quarter hitting a bomb from the corner and Thomas Cherry finished off the 15-0 Knights run with a steal and a layup to put them up 17-11.
"We had problems scoring in the half court all night," said Shoemaker coach Marc Minatrea. "Heights is a good defensive team and they play it with very long athletes and they are tough to score against."
Chris Runnels, who had 12 points for Shoemaker, got back-to-back buckets underneath the rim to cut the lead back to two, but Rodriguez and Delaney added 3-pointers to stretch the Knights' lead back to five.
Roman did hit a three-point play to cut the lead to 33-32, but Josh Delaney got a steal and three-point play to give Harker Heights a 37-34 lead going into the fourth quarter.
That's when Cameron Delaney hit his fourth and final 3 to give Heights some breathing room and ignite a 13-0 run that was dominated by Cherry, who scored six of his 13 points in the stretch.