BUDA — Shoemaker left no doubt Wednesday afternoon.
In a nondistrict tilt against Buda Hays, the Grey Wolves won the turnover battle 16-9 and outrebounded the Rebels 38-25 en route to a convincing 75-49 road win.
Shoemaker head coach Emund Prichett appreciated his squad’s effort.
“I’m really proud of my team for the most part,” Prichett said. “Everybody played hard, and that’s just what we’re trying to get to. That’s a start for us — just getting everybody to play hard, everybody to give us everything they have.
“Then, we can figure out what we really have and put our pieces together.”
The Wolves (12-5) received a double-double from J'wan Roberts, who registered 17 points and 16 rebounds to lead their effort.
“I just had to get my mind right out there,” the 6-foot-7 post said. “I played bad in the last game (against Ellison), so I had to make up for it. I just did what my coach said — just see it, get my lane down and get the rebounds and putbacks for my team.”
Roberts contributed more than enough putbacks for his team Wednesday, especially in the first quarter.
After senior Devyn Brewton opened the game with six points to give Shoemaker a 6-4 lead, Roberts took over and scored 13 in the first quarter — four on putbacks — to help push the Wolves out to a 23-9 advantage heading into the second period.
The Rebels (4-12) scored five of the first eight points to being the second stanza, but with 6 minutes, 23 seconds left until halftime, Shoemaker went on an 18-3 run to take a 44-17 halftime lead. Senior Antoine James led the Wolves during the spurt with nine points.
Shoemaker was outscored 32-31 in the second half, but the Rebels never threatened the Grey Wolves, who enjoyed a dominating 26-point victory.
Brewton finished the afternoon with 13 points, six rebounds and one assist, and James had 12 points, two rebounds and an assist.
Hays was led by senior Charles Bohannon with 18 points, eight rebounds and one assist, and freshman Luke Watson tallied 10 points and an assist.
The Wolves are scheduled to compete in the 59th annual Whataburger Classic in Fort Worth, a tournament that will feature many of the best teams in the state, Wednesday.
Prichett said his team will earn its stripes at the Whataburger Classic.
“Some people are going to get put in the fire right away,” Prichett said. “Hopefully, they get five days to relax and really clear their minds of all the stuff we’ve been trying to give them. Hopefully, they can process all of it and be ready to showcase it at the Whataburger tournament.”
Prichett felt the Christmas break has always been beneficial for the Grey Wolves.
“For me, I like it because I can recharge personally,” Prichett joked. “But for the most part, the kids have come back with more knowledge, it’s seemed like. The break gets their minds rested and gives them more knowledge.
“I don’t know what it is. I don’t have a philosophy to it, but I just like when they come back and are ready to go. Hopefully, this group is ready to do that.”