The Knights showed up early for their Tuesday afternoon shootaround and their touch stayed late. Doing their own thing, the Knights worked themselves up to shoot better against Shoemaker than they did against Copperas Cove on Friday night.

After shooting a dismal 27 percent from the floor in their narrow 48-40 win over Cove, the Knights made almost 60 percent of their shots in the first three quarters and rolled to their eighth straight win, 62-48, over the rival Grey Wolves.

“They weren’t trying to overlook Copperas Cove, but I think what happened was the kids were just so hyped to get to this game that they kind of, since they think they can beat Copperas Cove, that’s the kind of game you get,” Harker Heights coach Celneque Bobbitt said. “But, they came in today at 1 o’clock and they were shooting and they were sweating. I didn’t even get to go through a shootaround because them messing around with their shooting games, they were ready to go, so I just left them alone.”

The Knights (21-3, 6-0 12-5A) — the district’s only unbeaten team — were 8-of-12 from the field in the third quarter, scored on all but three possessions and ballooned their 10-point halftime lead to 22 to start the fourth. Heights shot 22-of-42 in the game and 20-of-34 through the first three quarters.

“Before we came up here to the gym, we practiced working on shooting drills and it paid off,” said Heights forward Brandon Bullock, who scored seven of his nine points in the third.

Shoemaker’s Anthony Gonzales scored eight of his game-high 17 points in the fourth quarter to help the Grey Wolves (12-9, 3-3) cut their deficit to 11 with the Knights starters on the bench. But with 2:12 left and Heights’ lead down to 13, Bobbitt put his starters back in to secure the Knights’ win.

“We just weren’t playing hard the whole game,” Gonzales said. “... We just didn’t run an offense, and you see what happens when you don’t run the offense.”

Royce O’Neale led the Knights with 11 points and Allantae Faust added 10. Ten different players scored for the Knights, including seven in the first quarter, where the Knights jumped out to an 18-8 lead and hit 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. Harker Heights hit seven of its 15 3-point shots in the game while the Grey Wolves were just 3-of-15.

A.J. McDonald, Malcolm McDonald and Chris Runnell each scored eight for Shoemaker.

“You can’t keep up with them if you don’t play the defense,” Shoemaker assistant coach Emund Prichett said. “I think we had a lot to do with them shooting the ball well because I don’t think we stayed in front of the ball, I don’t think we guarded anybody well, I don’t think we closed out on 3-point shooters. We let them do whatever they wanted to do and they had their way.”

A.J. McDonald scored all of his points in the second quarter, including five in the first 2:09 of the period to cut Heights’ lead to six, 23-17. The Grey Wolves hit just 1-of-8 from the floor in the final six minutes, though, allowing the Knights to build the lead back to 10, 33-23, by halftime.

Despite how it finished, the Knights’ third quarter didn’t start out great. They hit just two of their first five shots, and that included a Bullock layup that officials counted after whistling Malcolm McDonald for goaltending.

Shoemaker hit three of its first four shots of the period, cutting the lead to 37-29 with 6:05 left in the quarter, but the Knights were nearly flawless in the final six minutes. They hit 6-of-7, turned the ball over once and hit 4-of-4 from the free-throw line. Heights’ only miss during the stretch was a blocked shot by McDonald.

“It’s great. I think a lot of it was just coming down to focus (more) than a lot of guys rushing shots,” Bobbitt said. “The No. 1 thing, if you take a shot out of the flow of the offense, meaning your forcing a shot, it’s usually not going to go in. ... Basically, they just shot the ball because they played some good, consistent offense for once.”

Contact Kevin Posival at or (254) 501-7562.


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