After being blown out by Round Rock Cedar Ridge in its last home game, Shoemaker coach Lori Shead took this week’s cue from a Seattle gridiron superstar, of all people.
After the Seattle Seahawks beat the New Orleans Saints on Monday night, Shead heard quarterback Russell Wilson say that one of the important things is for the team to be 1-0 every week.
“I liked that, so I came in here today and said our goal is to be 1-0,” Shead said. “I think that when they understood that, we have to take care of right now, today. Next week our goal is to be 2-0.”
Wilson has his Seahawks on the right track and Shead hopes Tuesday’s game bodes well for her Lady Grey Wolves.
Freshman forward Mikayla Gatewood scored a team-high 11 points to help the Lady Grey Wolves beat the Bryan Lady Vikings 44-35 at the Shoemaker gym.
The game marked the first time that Shoemaker (2-8) has won on its home floor all season and comes on the team’s final warm up before district play begins next week.
The last time Shoemaker was at home, it fell to No. 7 Cedar Ridge 71-36.
“It feels great,” senior guard Daysha Roberts said. “I know that we can do it, we’ve just been struggling as a team. But today we came together and pulled out a win.”
Yeritza Valentin also had a strong game with seven points and Roberts scored all six of her points in the second half.
“It feels really good,” Valentin said. “We really got hyped up in the locker room after the game. We talked a lot to each other and built off each other’s energy.”
Shoemaker’s defense made sure to pick up the slack for its struggling offense against Bryan (6-4).
The Grey Wolves made up for shooting 30 percent (12 of 39) from the field and turning the ball over 30 times by holding the Lady Vikings to 36 percent (14 of 38) shooting, forcing 27 turnovers and getting seven points off those turnovers.
“Offense has been our nemesis,” Shead said. “As a coach, I probably shouldn’t admit that, but one thing I can say is that defense has been our strong point.”
The second half was the better one for the Grey Wolves as Shead told the team to be more aggressive driving to the basket.
Shoemaker took a 17-12 advantage into the locker room at halftime and the girls heeded her advice.
A pair of Hannah Jones free throws sparked a 14-0 Shoemaker run that was capped by a Shadazia Birchette layup off a turnover that put Shoemaker ahead 31-19 with less than four minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Bryan couldn’t cut the lead to less than eight points the rest of the game as Roberts helped keep the momentum going by opening the fourth with a pair of made free throws and finishing off a 3-point play after a steal.
“Anytime any one of us gets an and-one, we get excited and that hypes us up,” Roberts said. “I guess I got the and-one, we were all hyped and that’s how it goes.”
The Grey Wolves began the fourth with a 7-2 run as Kaitlyn Brown’s putback with 5:06 remaining put Shoemaker ahead 42-21 and put the game out of reach for the struggling Lady Vikings.
Shoemaker opens District 8-5A play at home against Temple on Tuesday.
“The good part is that we showed up for the first time as a team and more of a unit instead of a bunch of individuals,” Shead said. “I feel that we can build off that. I think we’re finally gelling as a team and they’re beginning to trust each other.”