Paris Yerry had an open look at a 3-pointer.
Despite the clock approaching 0:00, he passed it up. The Shoemaker guard was 0-of-6 from beyond the arc. So, when he saw Belton forward Daniel Mills come at him, leaping into the air, he simply dribbled two steps up and took the shot as Mills flew past him.
Yerry buried the shot from the corner of the key as the buzzer sounded and sent the game to overtime Tuesday.
“As the people in the stands could see, I didn’t hit any (3s) at all,” Yerry said. “It just wasn’t falling and I took a lot. I saw Mills come at me, so I did a ball fake and just shot the ball.
“I was hitting my mid-range shots and felt like that was the best shot. We only needed two to tie it up.”
Once, there, Yerry and the Grey Wolves dismantled the Tigers with its half-court pressure and won 60-53 at Shoemaker. With the win, the Grey Wolves can get a share of the District 8-5A lead Friday if they can knock off Ellison.
“Friday is the big game. (Ellison) is in first place all by themselves,” Shoemaker coach Marc Minatrea said. “Coach (Alberto) Jones does a great job and it is going to be a battle. It is going to be the pasta versus empanada. There is a lot on the line.”
Renard Thomas and Sean Causey sandwiched 3-pointers in between three free throws from Torenzo Saunders as Shoemaker (17-6, 3-1 8-5A) went on an 11-0 run to start the game.
Belton (7-15, 2-2) scored the next six points, ending the run with a dish from Branden Hammond to Andre Ewing. Mills drained a 3-pointer as time ran out in the first quarter to cut the Grey Wolves’ lead to 16-12. Belton kept pushing in the second, but a three-point play by Nikolas Dawson stretched the Shoemaker lead out to seven with less than two minutes remaining in the half.
Yerry drove to the basket with less 28 seconds left in the third quarter to extend the Grey Wolves’ lead to 35-28.
Hammond, who led Belton with 19 points, found his rhythm in the fourth. The senior scored two baskets on fastbreaks and hit a 3-pointer from the corner in the opening minute.
Even Hammond’s misses helped the Tigers.
After he missed a jumper from the top of the key, Ewing got the offensive rebound, a putback and drew the foul.
The ensuing free throw gave Belton its first lead, 47-46, with 3:27 remaining.
“We talked to our kids about effort,” Belton coach Charlie Lewis said. “Today, we wanted to leave nothing behind and I think they did a good job of doing that.”
Mills, who grabbed 17 rebounds and added 11 points, hit a floater in the lane to push Belton’s lead to 52-46 as the clock dipped under a minute.
Dawson got a putback on the other end for Shoemaker, and Yerry got a steal and a layup to cut the Belton lead to 52-50 with 15 seconds left.
“We weren’t out of it and were able to pull it out by playing intense defense and making their guards turn it over,” Yerry said.
In overtime, the Grey Wolves forced Belton into three straight turnovers and outscored the Tigers 8-1 to seal the win.
“We had a four-point lead and we let that slip out of our hands,” Lewis said. “We couldn’t get over it. We were still holding onto that. ... They got new life and they took advantage of it.”
Contact Nick Talbot at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7569