By Alex Byington
Killeen Daily Herald
WACO - All they needed was a little confidence.
After going back-and-forth through the first three quarters, visiting Shoemaker found that confidence early in the fourth quarter as the Grey Wolves outscored host Waco High 27-13 in the closing frame for a 67-52 win Friday.
"When we got a lead, the kids just started playing with more confidence ... and everything just got better once they got some confidence," Shoemaker coach Marc Minatrea said.
Led by 22 points from Jose Roman, who found success beating the Lions' press defense in the second half, Shoemaker (2-0) exerted itself on both ends of the floor in the fourth, finally pulling down defensive boards and then converting them on the offensive end.
"The game was back and forth for three quarters, I just think at the beginning of the fourth quarter we just strung a bunch of possessions together," Minatrea said. "I think we just had a lot of possessions in a row where we got defensive rebounds and made some buckets on the other end."
Paris Yerry added 12 points while fellow junior guard Damani Johnson added nine to the effort.
"I'm very pleased with all our young guards," Minatrea said. "They seem like they belong and they're playing with confidence."
Belton 75, Lockhart 26 - At Lockhart, combining on 11 3-pointers, the junior duo of guard Thomas Barnes and forward Daniel Mills powered the visiting Tigers with 44 points for their first win of the season Friday.
The pair sparked Belton (1-1) to a 26-7 first-quarter effort and never let up as the Tigers led 41-11 at halftime and outscored host Lockhart by at least 11 in each of the first three quarters.
Barnes led with 24 points and six 3-pointers while Mills added 20 points and five treys. Bo Vaughn had 10 points and Tanaj Washington finished with nine.
Pflugerville Connally 60, Killeen 58 - At Killeen, the shorthanded Roos came back with a big second-half rally, but it wasn't enough to pull off a win in their home opener, despite four scorers with at least nine points.
Without several players who are still on the football team, which beat Fort Worth Arlington Heights 60-25 Friday, Killeen (0-1) was led by 15 points from Victor Glaze while Tevin Bartney added 10 to the effort.
Connally pulled away with an 18-8 second quarter and not even a 36-25 second half was enough to come back.
Pflugerville 69, Ellison 66 - At Pflugerville, last season's lone returner Ojai Black scored 23 and fellow junior Malik Hawkins added 18 on four 3-pointers, but it wasn't enough to overtake longtime nemesis Pflugerville on the road.
The Eagles (1-1) combined on eight 3-pointers, but the Panthers had four players in double figures and outscored Ellison 17-11 in the third quarter to pull away for good.
Salado 91, Crawford 30 - At Salado, playing in just his second varsity game, junior Austin Adams scored 31 points and the Eagles overwhelmed the Pirates.
Salado (2-0) outscored Crawford (0-1) 56-13 from the end of the first quarter to the start of the fourth to take a 75-19 lead.
With only nine available players, Salado could only sit four starters during the fourth quarter and still outscored the Pirates 19-11.
Kolby Spears added 17 for Salado and Jady Kornegay finished with 13.
Troy 40, Florence 39 - At Troy, the host Trojans rallied from a 23-21 halftime deficit and edged Florence 8-5 in the third in a back-and-forth game.
Matthew Mellette led with a game-high 14 points including a pair of 3-pointers while Lupe Acevedo added nine, all on 3-pointers, but Troy finished 10-of-13 from the free-throw line to send the Buffaloes to their first loss.
SIX-MAN FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS
Lometa 84, Oakwood 54 - Jose Acevedo recovered a fumble in the end zone near the end of the first half to put the Hornets up by three scores and Lometa cruised to a Region IV regional victory in the Division II bracket.
Brandon Lilly forced the fumble that led to the score.
Lometa will face Abbott, a 61-14 winner over Rochelle on Friday, in the next round of the playoffs at a time and site to be determined.