By Angel Verdejo
Killeen Daily Herald
LAMPASAS - Both Shoemaker and Lampasas made progress Tuesday, but neither head coach was totally happy afterward.
Even Shoemaker's Shauna Showers, whose Lady Grey Wolves had just beat the host Lady Badgers by double digits, started her postgame comments by voicing her displeasure.
It wasn't that Showers was upset about her team's 64-41 win at Lampasas - she mentioned the Lady Grey Wolves improved from their loss Friday at always-tough Pflugerville.
But it was the fact that Shoemaker, from start to finish, didn't do the "little things" it will need to do later in the season when more-important District 12-5A games roll around.
Those "little things" included staying aggressive and playing tough defense to lead to opportunities on offense.
"For the first half it did," Showers said. "Then we just kind of got
lackadaisical and we need to get out of that ... That's the only frustrating part about the win is you don't compete for 32 minutes.
"I want them to start learning how to compete for 32 minutes."
Shoemaker (2-1) didn't have that problem early. Using their athleticism and full-court pressure, the Lady Grey Wolves jumped out to a commanding lead.
The second of two Cion Hicks jumpers put Shoemaker up 6-1 three minutes into the game, as Lampasas struggled to get the ball up the floor. A Megan Mason free throw put the Lady Badgers on the board, but they didn't score again until a Lizzy Tulius foul shot with 43 seconds left in the quarter.
By then Shoemaker already had a double-digit lead, while also forcing 13 Lampasas turnovers. Lampasas head coach Stuart Beckwith used two timeouts in both the first and second quarters, as he tried to settle his young team down.
"I was trying to get the deer-in-the-headlights look off their faces," Beckwith said. "Trying to convince them that it was just another basketball team and let's go play."
Not helping Lampasas' situation was the hole left by senior point guard Kayla Prescott, who suffered a left ankle sprain Monday and watched from the bench. The Lady Badgers turned the ball over 21 times in the first half against Shoemaker's pressure and 36 times total.
"We're so young and missing a senior leader is a big, big deal," Beckwith said.
Lampasas (0-3) missed its opening 12 shots from the floor, with an Amanda Moreno jumper that cut Shoemaker's lead to 18-4 two minutes into the second quarter. Shoemaker answered with six straight points and later ended the half on a 16-4 run in which guard Kiara Rawls hit two 3-pointers and a layup in the final seconds.
Rawls, who stepped up last year when senior guard Jasmine Dill was lost for the year, finished with 30 points - 21 in the first half - to go with eight steals and four assists. Nerissa Logan added 12 points and four assists, while Tearra Roberson had six steals.
Moreno and Whitney Cauthen led Lampasas with 10 and nine points, respectively.
"Wow," Beckwith said of Rawls. "She shot the ball extremely well."
Contact Angel Verdejo at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7564.