With the District 8-6A lead on the line at Ellison High School on Tuesday night, neither team wanted to leave with a loss, and in the end, Shoemaker came away with 63-60 victory in overtime on the road in front of a loud and rowdy crowd.
J’wan Roberts came up huge for the visiting Grey Wolves. The sophomore scored a game-high 24 points, with six rebounds and two blocks.
Following the win, Shoemaker head coach Emund Prichett admired the way his team played on the road against a ranked-team in a hostile environment.
“As the game went on, I feel like my team played a lot tougher,” Prichett said. “Early on, I felt like (Ellison) pushed us around a little, and in the end, we were able to create some turnovers and hit some shots, and it worked out for us in the end.”
Both teams met for the first district game on Dec. 16 at Shoemaker and Ellison picked up a 59-55 win on the road.
On Friday, Shoemaker (20-6, 7-1) outscored No. 22 Ellison 11-8 in overtime to come away with a huge win. The Grey Wolves hit 6 of 8 free throws in the extra period to help preserve the victory.
The Grey Wolves started the game hitting shot after shot. Javon Levi and Roberts hit back-to-back baskets, and just like that, Shoemaker grabbed a quick 16-7 lead with 1:57 remaining in the first quarter. At the end of the opening quarter, Shoemaker led 21-12.
Ellison head coach Alberto Jones Jr. quickly regrouped his team, and it showed.
The Eagles started the second quarter on a 10-0 run to allow them to get the lead for the first time. Six-foot-6 post Elijah Moleon hit two shots, Casey Armour had two dunks, and Dajuan Jones scored a bucket and Ellison stormed ahead with a 22-21 lead with 4:11 before halftime.
The Eagles outscored the Grey Wolves, 20-6 in the second quarter.
At the break, Ellison (20-6, 6-2) had a 32-27 lead over Shoemaker.
Josh Childs hit a 3-pointer right before the buzzer and Ellison led by five, 35-30, at the end of the third quarter. Roberts scored eight points in the quarter to help the Grey Wolves stay in the contest.
Shoemaker grabbed the lead for the first time since the second quarter when senior Levi hit two free throws to give the Grey Wolves a 48-47 lead in the final quarter.
Both teams traded baskets from there. Moleon tied the contest at 52 when he put back a missed shot with 40 seconds left.
Shoemaker tried to win the game, but turned the ball over with 11 seconds remaining to give Ellison one final chance in regulation.
The Grey Wolves’ lockdown defense caused the Eagles havoc on the final possession and Dajuan Jones’ shot at the buzzer missed, and both teams headed into overtime tied at 52.
Six different Grey Wolves scored in the game. Levi scored 17, senior Devyn Brewton helped with 10 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.
For Ellison, Dajuan Jones scored a team-high 18 points, while Moleon and Michael Aranda each scored 12. Casey Armour had with nine points and seven rebounds.
Coach Jones admitted that down the stretch Shoemaker made plays that his team did not, and it cost the Eagles.
“We gave them a couple of second-chance points that were crucial in overtime,” Jones said.
“They got some big offensive rebounds, and a couple of loose balls that we couldn’t get. It was the little things tonight.”
Shoemaker finished the game 10 of 16 in free-throw shooting, while Ellison went 9 of 14.
Prichett said sophomore Roberts’ future is bright on the court.
“We expect him to do that when he steps on the floor,” Prichett said. “We expect him to make layups, seal his man, hit buckets,and catch the ball down the stretch.
“Yeah, he is only sophomore, but we know he can do those things that we ask.”
Shoemaker returns to action Friday hosting Belton, while Ellison will look for revenge after losing to Copperas Cove earlier this season as the Eagles host the Bulldawgs on Friday.