The Shoemaker Grey Wolves were challenged but left Waco with a 54-51 win over Midway on Tuesday for its eighth straight District 8-5A win. Shoemaker (18-6, 8-2) is in a two-way battle with No. 13 Harker Heights (21-4, 8-2) for the district title. First year Grey Wolves coach Emund Prichett talked with the Herald’s Albert Alvarado on Thursday. Shoemaker hosts Belton tonight.
What can you take away from the close road win over Midway?
Like I told the guys before, it was a hostile environment and Midway is fighting for a playoff spot, so I knew it would be really hard. I asked them to give it everything they’ve got. I think it was a good opportunity for us to execute down the stretch.
Do you think the team would have been mature enough to have won that game a month ago?
I would hope they would have been. Shane (Johnson) and Torenzo (Saunders) both finished the game on the bench because they fouled out. I guess they’re experienced enough to win those games. I would hope that we could have beaten them a month ago.
In recent weeks you’ve put freshmen Javon Levi and Vernon Burns in the starting lineup. How have they come along?
Those guys are basketball players. Those guys give us the opportunity to say that we’re going to have a very, very bright future here at Shoemaker. I’m very, very confident in those guys. I don’t look at them as freshmen, I look at them as varsity basketball players and I think they’re ready to perform when they need to.
How have Patrick Mark and Tyrone Williams adjusted to their roles?
With Patrick and Tyrone, they started for us earlier in the year. I can’t really say it’s adjusting to a role because since the first time I brought them off the bench, I’ve never heard a peep from them. I had a thought in my head that whenever I put them in the game, they’re going to play hard and I was right about that. They’re showing good character, they’re showing good spirits, and they’re being team players because they’ve never said anything about starting or coming off the bench. They just come in and play as hard as they can.
What do you remember most about your 54-28 win over Belton?
They have some pretty good players. They run a lot of sets, a lot of double screens. No. 10 (Braden Hammond) is a really good player, their big guy (Jackson) McGowan is a solid player as well. The key thing is probably getting through screens, pressuring the ball, blocking out and rebounding.
How long do you hope to keep this roll going?
I hope we never lose. I told the kids that I hope we play into spring break. I know most coaches do want to play into spring break because that means you’re playing in the state tournament. I hope it never ends, I just want to keep playing and playing as hard as we can and see if someone can knock us off.