Shoemaker sophomore Tyrone Williams is only in his first season at the varsity level and faced crosstown rival Ellison for the first time, but he still knew the importance of hustle plays.
Williams’ hustle was on display late in the game when he chased down a blocked shot and dished to Torenzo Saunders as he was falling out of bounds for a dunk.
The play gave the navy blue-clad Grey Wolves supporters another reason to cheer during Shoemaker’s 59-47 home win over Ellison on Friday.
“Coach told us that if you do these little things, you come up with the victory,” Williams said.
The win is Shoemaker’s third straight in District 8-5A after the Grey Wolves began the district season with two losses.
Williams and Shane Johnson both scored 14 points for Shoemaker (13-6, 3-2 District 8-5A) while Ronnie Edwards led Ellison (12-9, 3-2) with 12 points.
“I felt a little nervous at first, but coach told me it was my time to shine,” Williams said. “I stepped it up more and I did what I had to do.”
Williams’ play may not show up in the box score or stat box, but plays like that came at a vital time.
With Shoemaker leading 49-42 with 3:17 remaining, guard Javon Levi came up with a steal, but his ensuing layup attempt was blocked. After Williams assist extended the Grey Wolf lead to nine points, plays like that became infectious.
Johnson took a charge a few seconds later and Shoemaker’s full court press forced a turnover when Ellison couldn’t break the half court mark in five seconds.
The Grey Wolves scored three more points on the ensuing possessions to extend their lead to 54-44 with 2:22 remaining.
“It was a great play,” Shoemaker coach Emund Prichett said. “That’s the Tyrone that I know, that’s the Tyrone that I expect.”
The game started off with a close fourth quarter where the teams traded leads with neither building more than a 3-point advantage.
But Shoemaker took over after a Patrick Mark jumper sparked a 13-2 Grey Wolf run to close out the first quarter.
“They played a little harder than us,” Ellison coach Alberto Jones Jr. said. “That run at the end of the second quarter kind of hurt us and late when we were coming back they made a run that hurt us.”
The Grey Wolves led by as many as 13 points in the second half.
Ellison guard Knigel Key managed to cut Shoemaker’s lead to 43-40 with a drive in the final six minutes of the game, but the Eagles diddn’t come closer than that the rest of the game.
Ellison guard Shannon Bogues’ 3-pointer cut the Shoemaker lead to 54-47 with 1:45 remaining, but the Grey Wolves put the game away after Mark and Levi combined to hit three out of four free throws down the stretch.
“This is a great game,” Prichett said. “This is why you play sports, this is why you play basketball, and this is why you show up in the morning to practice. For games like this.”
Point guard Isaiah Stevenson also had a strong game for the Eagles putting up 11 points.
Shoemaker looks to make it four in a row when it hosts Temple on Tuesday while Ellison hopes to rebound when the Eagles visit Waco Midway.
Contact Albert Alvarado at email@example.com