WACO — The Shoemaker Grey Wolves spent more than two months of the District 8-5A season fighting for a shot at the Class 5A playoffs.
But it took less than 30 seconds to have it all end. South Grand Prairie’s Harrison Henderson hit a 3-pointer with 27 seconds remaining in overtime to give the fifth-ranked Warriors a 64-61 win over the Grey Wolves in the Region I-5A bi-district playoffs.
“He was open and he knocked it down,” Shoemaker head coach Emund Prichett said. “That was a big shot and he made it. They made shots.”
Shane Johnson scored a team-high 19 points for Shoemaker while Patrick Mark added 15, including seven in the fourth quarter and overtime. Both played their final game as Grey Wolves.
Grey Wolves sophomore Tyrone Williams added 14 points in the season-ending loss.
Shoemaker came up short after trailing South Grand Prairie by as many as 16 points in the third quarter.
“We just played, we just gave it all we had,” Johnson said.
The Grey Wolves still had their opportunities after the Henderson bucket.
Mark put up a shot with 10 seconds remaining that missed to the left of the basket but was rebounded by Shoemaker junior Torenzo Saunders.
Saunders passed it back out to Mark who put up another 3-point attempt that was too strong off the back rim.
“I missed it and Torenzo got another rebound and gave me another shot,” Mark said. “I just didn’t make the shot, that’s all there is to it.”
Shoemaker fouled South Grand Prairie guard Tylin Lockett with 1.7 seconds left and saw Lockett miss both shots. But with no timeouts remaining, the Grey Wolves didn’t have time to draw up a play and their final attempt from beyond half court didn’t connect.
“I’m proud of the guys, I’m proud of the season and it’s nothing to have their heads down about,” Prichett said.
The game marked the final one for Johnson, Mark and three other Shoemaker seniors.
Shoemaker entered the second half trailing one of the top ranked teams in the state by only three points, but D.J. Thorpe had a hand in putting the Grey Wolves in a hole.
South Grand Prairie’s senior guard hit a 3-pointer that sparked a 13-0 Warriors run that spanned 3:43 of game time in the third quarter.
Thorpe put an exclamation point on the run when he capped it on an alley-oop dunk from Damon Walker. Thorpe led the Warriors with 15 points.
The Grey Wolves did not go quietly as Johnson and Mark, two of the team’s senior leaders, made plays on both ends of the court to help Shoemaker steal back the momentum in the final quarter.
The Grey Wolves forced six Warriors turnovers and turned those into seven points in the fourth.
A Johnson drive for a basket sparked a 17-2 Shoemaker run that ended up sending it to overtime.
“We just took our time and didn’t rush shots, that’s all it was,” Mark said. “That’s all it was, taking our time.”
Shoemaker did have a chance to end it in regulation but converted on only two of four shots from the free throw line.
The Grey Wolves hit 81 percent (31 for 37) from the charity stripe for the game but missed six of 18 attempts in the second half and overtime.
“Free throws, we missed a lot of free throws,” Johnson said.
Lockett hit a jumper from the left elbow that tied the game at 57 points apiece with 10 seconds left in regulation and ultimately sent it to overtime.
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