By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
The Lady Grey Wolves' constant spark was all but exhausted, but the fire within Kiara Rawls was still burning and that was the difference Tuesday night, as it's been since she was a sophomore on varsity two years ago.
Rawls pushed through severe exhaustion to score eight points in the fourth quarter and 12 of Shoemaker's 19 in the second half to lead the Lady Grey Wolves to a 47-41 win over Cedar Park in the rubber match between the two teams.
"I don't think it's dehydration, but I don't know," Rawls said. "I guess I'm exerting too much energy and I get exhausted after the game and can't function.
"There's only so much energy our teammates are giving so with the energy that they give, I have to give more because sometimes it's not helping us get anywhere, so I have to push myself even more so we can win a game," she added.
Rawls finished with a game-high 22 points, including the go-ahead bucket in the third quarter and the first five points of the fourth that gave Shoemaker a 40-34 lead with 3:43 left.
Cion Hicks added 17, including 12 in the first quarter to lead Shoemaker (6-5) to a 24-14 lead going into the second. The junior hit 4 of 5 from the floor and 4 of 4 from the free-throw line in the quarter.
Cedar Park (5-7) turned the ball over on five of its last six possessions of the first and the Lady Grey Wolves finished the quarter on an 11-3 run. The Lady Timberwolves hung around though, and trailed just eight, 28-20, at halftime. They then outscored Shoemaker 14-7 in the third and took a 34-31 lead on Jennifer Kinney's putback with 3:17 to go.
"I was expecting it to be very ugly because we'd already played them before, but I think the girls needed that win because the last time we played them ... we really didn't have anything when we played Cedar Park," Showers said.
Shoemaker won the first meeting 67-57 on Nov. 17, two days before losing 51-34 to the Lady Timberwolves on a Saturday.
Cedar Park finished the third quarter like it finished the first and turned the ball over six times in its final nine possessions of the period and buckets by Hicks and Rawls gave the Lady Grey Wolves a slim 35-34 lead going into the fourth.
After Rawls scored the first five points of the fourth quarter, Allexis Levy converted a three-point play with 1:56 left that gave Shoemaker a 43-36 lead.
"This is the third time we've played Shoemaker in the last seven days, I believe. ... We're kind of used to each other and we tried running a box-and-1 (defense) on (Rawls), but they just outplayed us," Cedar Park coach Mark Myers said. "We didn't make free throws, we didn't execute, we threw the ball into the bleachers and so when you're doing that, you don't give yourself a chance to win the game."
Morgan Halstead led Cedar Park with 15 points, including eight in the third quarter and Lauren Springfield hit three 3-pointers for her nine points, including two in the first half that kept Cedar Park close despite Hicks' hot quarter. Rawls scored eight in the first and then combined with Hicks to score all 11 of Shoemaker's points in the second and third quarters.
Contact Kevin Posival at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7562.