Each basketball season has its statement wins, and one of those occurred Tuesday at Waco in District 8-6A action when Shoemaker earned an impressive 70-56 road victory over No. 10-ranked Midway.
“Going to Midway is always tough,” Grey Wolves head coach Emund Prichett said Wednesday. “It’s a hard place to play, and their team is really confident this year because they’ve gotten a lot of wins. Going in there and getting a win against a team of their caliber, I’m really proud of our guys’ effort.”
Shoemaker had the scoring advantage in each quarter.
The Grey Wolves (16-6, 3-1 8-6A) outscored the Panthers 10-4 in the first quarter and 15-14 in the second for a 25-18 halftime lead. They then earned an 18-17 edge in the third period for a 43-35 advantage, and they enjoyed a 27-21 fourth for the 14-point win.
But it didn’t come easy.
Down 15, the Panthers (19-4, 3-1) quickly rallied back to within five points late in the fourth stanza thanks in large part to a barrage of quick 3-pointers. But Shoemaker finished the ballgame on an 11-2 run to put it away.
Prichett felt it was the Grey Wolves’ transition game that gave them a leg up Tuesday.
“Our kids really spread the floor and ran to their spots,” Prichett said, “and we played really hard on defense. We made a lot of tough plays last night.”
Point guard Javon Levi spearheaded Shoemaker’s effort with a triple-double. He had 15 points — 11 of which he scored in the second half — to go along with 12 rebounds and 11 assists.
Jwan Roberts paced the Grey Wolves offensively with 17 points. Devyn Brewton added another 12, and Duwain Thomas had 11.
Prichett said everyone on the floor “chipped in tremendously,” and he was pleased with the play off the bench.
“It took some time to figure out,” Prichett said, “but we’re starting to accept our roles and trying to excel in them, which is all we’re trying to do. The guys that came off the bench were confident and played as hard as they could.
“I couldn’t ask for more from those guys off the bench.”
The win was Shoemaker’s fifth in a row and seventh of its last eight, and it entrenched the Grey Wolves in a three-way tie for the district lead with Midway and Ellison (17-5, 3-1).
And while it might be easy to look ahead, Shoemaker is solely focused on a big game against rival Harker Heights (10-11, 1-3) at home Friday at 7 p.m.
“We’re just trying to take it one game at a time,” Prichett said. “We can’t let one game be bigger than the next one. Yesterday’s game was big, but so is Friday’s game and Friday’s game is just as big as Tuesday’s game.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re focused and coming out with the same energy we did last night on the road against a very good team. We’ve got to come in on Friday and protect our home court against Harker Heights. Both teams are going to play hard, and both teams are going to be confident.
“We’re just playing as hard as we can to get better every night.”