The good news for Shoemaker was that it held visiting Kerrville Tivy without a field goal for the final 10:34 of its season opener Tuesday.
The bad news was that it still wasn’t enough to rally for a win as Tivy scored five points from the free throw line in the final two minutes to hold on for a 31-22 victory at Shoemaker Gym.
“I liked our defense,” Shoemaker coach Lori Shead said. “Our offense was absent at some points in the game, and we couldn’t score.
“Not to discredit that team. It wasn’t because we couldn’t score, but we would get shots in the paint and not capitalize on them and you just can’t win that way.”
Not only did the Lady Grey Wolves (0-1) hold Tivy (1-0) without a field goal for the entire fourth quarter — including a 9:01 stretch in which the Lady Antlers didn’t score at all — but they also outrebounded Tivy 24-16 and forced 24 turnovers in the game.
But Shoemaker turned the ball over 30 times itself and shot less than 40 percent from the floor.
“We made too many mistakes,” Shead said, “and we caused them to make a lot of mistakes, they just made fewer than we did.”
Shoemaker had four turnovers in the first 2:30 of the game as the teams slogged to a 5-3 score at the end of the first quarter.
“First-game uglies,” Tivy coach Christy Dill called it.
After the Lady Antlers went into halftime with a 13-12 lead, Dill told her team it needed to step it up.
“At halftime, she told us we were playing really ugly, and after halftime we really just started to get things going,” Tivy guard Kendall Dyal said, “started to make our layups, which helped us a lot, and then free throws.”
The Lady Antlers reverted to set plays to beat the Shoemaker zone, repeatedly finding backdoor cutters for layups.
Dyal, who had 10 points on 4 of 5 shooting, hit Kendall McKenzie with a laser pass at a 2:34 mark in the third quarter, which McKenzie laid in, despite falling down, for a 24-14 lead.
Shoemaker held Tivy without a field goal the rest of the game, but Shoemaker was never able to get its offense going enough to make a rally.
“Our defense helped tremendously,” Dyal said. “We came to the ball, we denied, we read the eyes of the offense and, overall, we did better.”
Olivia Robertson led the Lady Antlers with 12 points in the game while Reshaya Parker led Shoemaker with 5.
And after the disappointing start to the season, Shead said her team is going to get back after it with hard work.
“Practice is going to be real hard for the next, probably, weeks — months,” Shead said. “It’s going to be real hard — they’re going to go home tired every day.”
Contact Jordan Mason at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7562