BELTON — Belton boys basketball coach Charlie Lewis has been frustrated with the number of turnovers his team has made this season. On Tuesday that area of concern was especially troublesome.
In fact, thanks to an offense that went cold late the Tigers nearly had as many turnovers as points as they dropped a 54-28 decision to Shoemaker in a District 8-5A game at Tiger Gym.
Belton (5-13, 1-3 District 8-5A) failed to score a field goal in the fourth quarter as Shoemaker (12-6, 2-2) closed the contest with a 19-1 run.
The Tigers had 27 turnovers, 15 in the second half.
“Turnovers got us again,” Lewis said. “We have to do a better job of taking care of the ball. We have to keep teaching on adjusting and handling the pressure.”
Despite their passing problems the Tigers were able to keep the game competitive for almost three quarters, trailing 26-23 with three minutes left in the third on a Jackson McGowan layup off a Colby Potvin assist.
Javon Levi countered with a 3-pointer for the Grey Wolves as outside shooting started Shoemaker’s late-game burst. Pat Mark scored all eight of his points in the final two minutes of the third, including two 3-pointers and two free throws that put Shoemaker up 39-27 with 15.4 seconds remaining.
Shane Johnson was an all-around catalyst for Shoemaker as he led his team with 11 points, eight in the second half. The senior forward also had team-highs in rebounds (six), assists (four) and steals (four).
First-year Shoemaker coach Emund Prichett was impressed with his team’s defense in the second half, especially after the Grey Wolves were sluggish in building a 20-14 halftime lead.
“I told the guys to play with heart and after halftime they bought into it,” Prichett said. “It all starts with defense. I think we guarded them on the ball pretty well. We got through their screens and anticipated their passes pretty well.”
There were just eight fouls called in the game. The Tigers did not attempt a free throw until McGowan scored Belton’s lone point in the fourth quarter with 3:51 remaining and Shoemaker holding a 47-28 lead.
Lewis wants his team to initiate more contact in the future.
“Right now our shooters are not attacking. They’re relying on jump shots more often,” Lewis said. “You’ve got that one-on-one situation, attack the basket. Right now we’re not doing that.”
Lewis praised the play of McGowan, who was an effective post presence when his teammates could get him the ball. The sophomore center led Belton with nine points on 4 for 7 shooting from the field while adding a game-high eight rebounds.
Shoemaker center Torenzo Saunders also had a strong game with 10 points on 5 for 5 shooting from the field. The Grey Wolves shot 14 for 23 (60.9 percent) from the field in the second half.
Belton plays at Hewitt Midway on Friday while Shoemaker hosts crosstown rival Ellison.