AUSTIN — Shoemaker entered Monday hoping for the type of win that’d give it momentum heading into Christmas vacation.
And after a slow start, that is exactly what the No. 11 Grey Wolves got as they ran away from San Antonio Madison in the second half in a 76-45 nondistrict victory.
After opening up district play with eight 3-pointers in a win against Waco Midway, Shoemaker showed the touch from long range again Monday, hitting 10 shots from downtown in the contest.
“We’ve got a real good rhythm,” said Grey Wolf senior Byrale Carter, who had game highs in points (17) and rebounds (7). “We shoot a lot in practice. We shoot nonstop 20-footers, and we go full speed all the time.”
But head coach Emund Prichett said he didn’t feel his team was going full speed to start the game as the Grey Wolves (16-1) were in a 10-8 hole late in the first quarter.
Shoemaker, however, seized control of the game with eight unanswered points, as Darrius Runnels canned two straight 3-pointers and Javon Levi hit Deondre Hopkins with a nice feed for a layup and a 16-10 lead as the quarter ended.
Levi, a two-year starter at point guard,
actually came off the bench Monday, not because of a demotion, but because Prichett and one of his assistants had to tape his ankles before the game with the Grey Wolves’ trainer not making the trip.
But Levi didn’t miss a beat, scoring eight of his 10 points in the second quarter to help Shoemaker push its lead to 36-25 by halftime.
“Oh, he’s going to be ready to play,” Prichett said, “no matter coming off the bench or starting, he’s going to be ready to play.”
Shoemaker began the second half with a 9-0 run as Madison didn’t score its first points of the half until a pair of free throws by Donovin Sinegal more than two minutes into the period.
Madison never threatened again, as Shoemaker stayed hot from the perimeter, particularly Antonio James, who was 4 of 7 beyond the arc and finished with 14 points.
But the Grey Wolves said they prepare for those types of situations.
“Everything we do on offense (in practice) is game speed,” Runnels said, “so that when we get in the game we won’t be winded when we have a good, open opportunity.”
Runnels finished with nine points after knocking down his first three 3-pointers.
Aaron Warren added 10 points and four rebounds for Shoemaker while Levi also had six assists and five rebounds to go with his 10 points. Hopkins also chipped in 10 points for the Grey Wolves.
And while Shoemaker was happy to keep its momentum going heading into Christmas, Prichett told his team afterward that now it must find a way to hold on to it between now and its next game at the Whataburger Tournament in Birdville.
“That’s going to be up to them,” Prichett said. “An individual’s going to get ahead or a team in the state’s going to get ahead depending on what you do over those five days.
“If you take a break, you might not be the same team you were before.”