Emund Prichett’s philosophy each night for his team is simple — play Shoemaker basketball.
On Tuesday evening at home, the 16th-ranked Grey Wolves did just that.
Sophomore J'wan Roberts and senior Devyn Brewton spearheaded the team in the first half, and senior Javon Levi took over in the second to help guide Shoemaker to an 83-61 rout of Austin Lanier.
Roberts tallied 16 points in the first half, while Brewton added 10 to aid the Wolves in taking a 43-33 lead at the break. In the second segment alone, Levi registered all of his 12 points, six assists and four rebounds as Shoemaker (2-1) outscored the Vikings 40-28 to win by 22.
Roberts finished the night with 18 points and nine rebounds, and Prichett said it was something the Wolves know the 6-foot-7 post is capable of night in and night out as he continues to gain experience.
“He’s a good presence down there,” Prichett said. “He’s just starting to get a feel for the game and pick his spots, and the guys are really doing a good job of looking for him and finding him. He’s just trying to play his role, and hopefully that role picks up as he starts to get more comfortable.”
And Levi’s second-half performance is exactly what Shoemaker expects from the veteran point guard.
“He came in and did his job,” Prichett said. “As long as he continues to do that, we’ll be fine. If he stops doing that, the engine is not going to run as well as it has been running.
“He has the keys, and he needs to drive us every single day.”
The Wolves won big despite big nights from Lanier’s junior duo of Davion Buster and Tajik Bartholomew. Buster recorded a game-high 31 points to go along with six rebounds, and Bartholomew had 21 points and five boards.
The difference, however, was turnovers and rebounds.
Shoemaker forced 20 Viking miscues while turning the ball over just eight times, and it outrebounded Lanier 37-27.
It was tough sledding for the Wolves in the first quarter, as Buster scored 14 points while sinking four 3-pointers to give the Vikings (1-3) an early 21-20 lead.
After a free throw by Lanier sophomore Alex Stone to begin the second period, Shoemaker went on a 9-2 run to grab a 29-24 advantage at the midway point of the stanza.
Senior guard Carlos Vasquez opened the spurt with two free throws before Roberts scored five of the Wolves’ next seven points to help put his team up five.
Shoemaker never trailed again and cruised to victory.
“It was a total team effort,” Prichett said afterward. “We have a lot of guys that I think can play, and we’ve just got to get them used to varsity speed — playing at the varsity level. The intensity we’re trying to play at, I think we are taking steps toward that, which is a good thing.”
The Wolves are scheduled to compete in a tournament in Mansfield beginning Thursday.