The polls support what Marc Minatrea already knows.
Shoemaker’s head boys basketball coach freely admits in addition to being a very good player, Grey Wolves starting guard Shane Johnson is a popular guy.
“He can score the ball, he plays hard, and he’s good on both ends,” Minatrea said. “He’s one of the main reasons a lot of people in our community of Shoemaker High School come to watch us play.
“All the kids like him. All the coach’s like him. He’s just funny, he’s ‘Supa Shane.’ S-U-P-A, Supa Shane, that’s what he dubs himself.”
Fans certainly showed plenty of support for their hero, casting 811 votes his direction, earning Johnson the KDHpressbox.com Player of the Week award after he averaged 16.5 points per game during a pair of wins against Ellison and Temple.
Johnson posted a team-high 17 points while guiding Shoemaker (25-8 overall) past then-No. 25 Ellison 60-58 and finished with 16 points in a 56-49 victory against Temple.
The wins helped propel the Grey Wolves back into the playoffs, where they hope to build on last season’s success. In 2012, Shoemaker earned its first victory as a Class 5A program.
“I thought he played really well against Ellison, but he’s been playing well for about four weeks now,” Minatrea said. “He scores the ball well, but in the last month or so, his defense has really picked up. He is guarding better and playing better defense on the perimeter.”
Following a coin flip with Harker Heights, the Grey Wolves finished second in District 8-5A and will face Cedar Hill at 6 p.m. at Hillsboro in the bi-district round of the playoffs.
“Our faculty and administration, parents and the school have really gotten behind our basketball team the last two seasons,” Minatrea said.
Receiving 45.1 percent of the 1,800 total votes cast, Johnson beat out some impressive performances from around the area.
Belton senior forward Jamie Boone finished second with 39.7 percent of the vote after leading the Lady Tigers to a pair of victories against Temple and Ellison. Boone recorded a total of five goals during the week, posting a hat trick against the Tem-Cats, and received 715 votes.
Garnering 193 votes, Ellison senior Ryan Stuckey finished third in the polls following a two-goal performance as the Eagles defeated Harker Heights last Friday for the first time in their 22-match history.
Copperas Cove guard Cory Scott rounded out the nominees after averaging 25 points per game during consecutive victories against Harker Heights and Killeen to help the Bulldawgs make the playoffs for the first time since 2008, when they were a Class 4A program.
Contact Clay Whittington at firstname.lastname@example.org