At halftime Friday night at home, Javon Levi told Shoemaker’s shooters to keep taking their shots.
The Grey Wolves did not make a single 3-pointer in the first half and trailed Harker Heights 18-17 at the break. But they came out in the second and hit five treys — three by Antoine James — and outscored the Knights 49-37 for a 66-55 District 8-6A victory.
“Devyn (Brewton) and Antoine, they’re going to miss some,” Levi said. “But once they hit one, they can get it going. I try to get them looks because they can get it going just like that, and it makes it easier on me.”
Shoemaker head coach Emund Prichett agreed, adding the team played a little out of character in the first segment of the contest.
“I don’t think we were playing our role in the first half,” Prichett said. “In the second half, we came in and played our roles, and it was a different half. We need everybody playing their role and doing what they’re supposed to do.”
Levi led Shoemaker (17-6, 4-1 8-6A) with 18 points, four rebounds and nine assists, and J’wan Roberts had 17 points and five rebounds.
Levi made it a point to look for the 6-foot-7 Roberts underneath to finish off multiple plays Friday, and the senior said he tries to get Roberts the ball early to get him engaged in the game.
“He’s the type of player that when he starts scoring, he really starts playing and rebounding,” Levi said. “I try to look for him and give him the ball so he can get active. I try to get him a bucket quick to get him going, because he’s a key to our team.”
But it took a half for the Grey Wolves to get going.
Harker Heights (10-12, 1-4) started the game on a 7-2 run thanks in large part to two putbacks by Chalanc Bennett.
But Levi drove to the basket and dished the ball to Roberts on the left block for a quick field goal to kick off an 8-0 surge and give Shoemaker a 10-7 lead with 1 minute, 11 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Bennett replied with a basket from the right block for the Knights, but the Grey Wolves ended up taking a 10-9 advantage into the second quarter.
With Shoemaker leading 15-11 at the 2:31 mark in the second, Harker Heights finished the half on a 7-2 run to snag a one-point lead at the break. Shalimar Whitfield had five points during the outburst, and Dillon Gooding added a transition jumper in the lane.
Brewton hit a trey on the first possession of the third quarter for the Grey Wolves before James hit his first 3. Whitfield answered for the Knights with a 3-pointer of his own.
After a basket by Shoemaker’s Christopher Barnett, Harker Heights went on a 6-0 run. But another trey from James ended it gave Shoemaker a 28-27 advantage with 3:30 left in the third.
The Knights answered with four straight points to regain the lead, but the Grey Wolves exploded on a 14-2 run to take a 42-33 lead into the fourth period, and they coasted the rest of the way for the 11-point win.
James finished with 12 points and one rebound for Shoemaker, and Brewton had nine points and three rebounds.
Bennett spearheaded Harker Heights with 18 points, nine rebounds and two assists, and Gooding registered 14 points and four rebounds.
Knights head coach Celneque Bobbitt was pleased with his team’s performance Friday, but he is still waiting for more consistency.
“It was the tale of two cities,” Bobbitt said of the game. “It’s a heavyweight fight, a 12-round battle. The first six rounds, we came out victorious, but we forgot we had six more rounds to fight. …
“I am real excited about the way they played, but it is horseshoes and hand grenades, and right now we’re not playing horseshoes.”
The Grey Wolves are scheduled to host San Angelo Central on Tuesday at 7 p.m., and Harker Heights will host Killeen on Tuesday at 7.