HARKER HEIGHTS — Despite taking back-to-back District 12-6A wins to start 2019, coach Brandon Gilbert believes he’s got to get the 18th-ranked Grey Wolves back on track to finish strong in the district standings.
“I have to give them rest, but then practice at the same time,” he said. “Two days off is hard, but those five days off almost killed us, so we have to relearn and reteach right now.
“The struggle is real.”
Shoemaker (21-5, 6-1 12-6A) played through the struggles and took a 66-47 win over the Harker Heights Knights (9-12, 1-5) on Friday afternoon.
With the win, the Wolves took sole possession of first place, a half-game ahead of idle Ellison.
The Wolves opened the game with a 9-0 run, including an early dunk from senior J’Wan Roberts.
It took just under seven minutes for the Knights to answer with senior guard Jarius Cherry getting Heights on the board with a fadeaway jumpshot from the top of the key.
Junior Malik Goodrich scored from the left corner before Cherry added another jumper to pull the Knights within two points at the end of the first quarter.
A technical on Shoemaker’s Jalen Childs sent Cherry to the line and the Knights quickly tied the Wolves 13-13 early in the second quarter.
“We need to start back playing hard and with more energy,” said Gilbert of his team. “We’re not playing with a lot of energy right now. I don’t know if it’s because we’re tired or is it just because we came back here and we’re kind of kicking ourselves from the way we played in Allen, but either way, we have to get it fixed.
“Well, I have to get it fixed. It’s my job to get it fixed.”
The Wolves mustered some energy and took off with a 10-0 run led by Roberts and senior Ta’veon Sevaaetasi.
Both seniors dropped 3-pointers and combined for 18 of Shoemaker’s 32 first-half points.
Sophomore Philip Richardson brought Heights within eight of the Wolves and led the Knights with six points in the second period.
Despite the rally, Heights was down by 10 at the half, 32-22.
Cherry led the Knights with 21 points, including three from beyond the perimeter in the second half, but it wasn’t enough as Shoemaker senior Romeo Postell dropped in 11 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to help secure the victory.
Roberts led Shoemaker with 21 points, three rebounds, three assists and a steal. Postell ended the night with 16 points and three assists. Sevaaetasi posted 10 points and four assists.
And while there is still work to be done, there was one positive Gilbert took from the afternoon matchup.
“The way we played wasn’t right,” he noted. “But one bright spot was Jaysen (Collins) off the bench.
“Jaysen Collins stepped up and played some minutes, some good minutes, and brought a lot of energy out there off the bench.”
The Knights will head to Temple (5-13, 2-4) on Tuesday. Shoemaker has a bye Tuesday and travels to Temple on Friday.
SHOEMAKER 66, HARKER HTS 47
No. 18 Shoemaker (66)
Collins 7, Roberts 21, Childs 7, Sevaaetasi 10, Postell 15, Starling 6.
Harker Heights (47)
Jolly 5, Smith 5, Cherry 21, Nero 2, Goodrich 5, Dixon 2, Richardson 8.
Shoemaker 11 21 15 19—66
Harker Heights 9 13 12 13—47
3-Point Goals—Shoemaker 4 (Collins, Roberts, Childs, Sevaaetasi), Harker Heights 5 (Cherry 3, Jolly, Goodrich). Free throws—Shoemaker 17-28, Harker Heights 10-22. Fouled Out—Richardson. Total Fouls—Shoemaker 20, Harker Heights 20. Technicals—Childs.
Records—Shoemaker 21-5, 6-1 12-6A; Harker Heights 9-12, 1-5.
FRIDAY'S 12-6A BOYS
- Copperas Cove 65, Temple 33
- No. 18 Shoemaker 66, Harker Heights 47
- Waco Midway 67, Belton 47
- Killeen 65, Waco 61