The Harker Heights Knights proved that they could contain Shane Johnson for a half.
But keeping the senior in check for an entire 32 minutes proved to be another story.
Johnson scored 21 points in the second half to help the Shoemaker Grey Wolves upset the No. 10 Harker Heights Knights 67-60 on Friday at the Shoemaker gym. Johnson led all scorers with 23.
“This is one of the biggest wins,” Johnson said. “Playing for first place is always going to be one of the biggest games.”
The Grey Wolves (17-6, 7-2 District 8-5A) have won seven consecutive district games and are now in a first place tie with the Knights (20-4, 7-2).
Patrick Mark and Nahome Anderson had strong games coming off the bench as the pair combined for 19 points.
Cody Halvorson and C.J. Bobbitt led the Knights with 15 points apiece as Halversom hit five 3-pointers.
The district’s top two teams played a back-and-forth affair that included seven ties and 12 lead changes, but Johnson led the Grey Wolves’ second-half charge.
“We lost our composure, we didn’t play within ourselves and Shoemaker had something to prove,” Heights head coach Celneque Bobbitt said.
After being held to just two points through the first 16 minutes, Johnson broke out in the second half. He opened the third quarter with a big 3-pointer and was fouled on the play. The completed 4-point play turned a 3-point Grey Wolves halftime deficit into a 30-29 Shoemaker lead.
Cameron DeLaney hit a 3-pointer that put the Knights ahead 55-53, but the Knights were called for a technical foul a second later and the Grey Wolves capitalized on that window.
After Mark hit a pair of free throws, Johnson followed with another two points from the foul line.
“Shane came and said he wanted it,” Shoemaker head coach Emund Prichett said. “I saw it in his eyes.”
The four points from the charity stripe sparked a 12-3 Grey Wolves run that helped Shoemaker stun Heights.
“We just got to keep on playing,” Bobbitt said. “This was just a bad ball game.”
Josh DeLaney hit the first of two free throws to cut Shoemaker’s lead to 60-58 with 2:10 remaining, but Johnson answered.
After missing a jump shot, the forward attacked the paint, got his own rebound and followed through with the putback with 50 seconds remaining.
After a Heights foul, Johnson took the entry pass, dribbled down the near baseline, drew an extra defender and dished to Torenzo Saunders for a reverse layup and a foul.
“I knew I had to step up my game, I knew what I had to do to get the win,” Johnson said.
Saunders hit the ensuing free throw that extended Shoemaker’s lead to 65-58 with 34 seconds left and iced the game.
“We just need to keep our composure during the game,” C.J. Bobbitt said. “A couple of times during the fourth quarter, Coach drew up the plays and we just didn’t execute. We just let them get it.”
The Grey Wolves avenged a loss to Heights earlier this season. Shoemaker opened the district schedule with a pair of losses to both Killeen and Heights, but has not lost a district contest since.
The Grey Wolves got a push from a bench that scored 33 points.
“We’re not worried about who starts; this is an 11-man team,” Prichett said. “Those guys are believing in that. They don’t care who gets the starts, when their name is called, they’re ready to go.”
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