By Nick Talbot
Killeen Daily Herald
Kiara Rawls didn't have her best day.
Shoemaker's all-district guard, who averaged 30.5 points in her first two 12-5A games this year, didn't even hit her first shot from the floor until only 18 seconds remained in the game.
But her posts more than made up for the all-district guard's off day. Hailee Showers and Cion Hicks combined for 29 points and 20 rebounds as the Lady Grey Wolves won their second straight District 12-5A game with a 49-35 win over Belton.
"We have had our post play - even against Bryan. But, that is one of the things we have been talking about - we have to have everyone contribute in a positive way and we struggle right now at the guard spot and (Rawls) was not on today," Shoemaker Coach Shauna Showers said. "But she is going to have to learn to get out of that slump."
"We have to work through our demons or every game is going to look like that."
Belton coach Brenda Gomez didn't want Rawls to beat them.
Imposing a diamond and one on the Grey Wolves, she hedged her bets that they could contain the rest of the Grey Wolves.
But the Lady Tigers couldn't outrebound Showers and Hicks.
And even if they could have, they couldn't hit enough shots to take advantage of Rawls' containment.
"When you shoot 29 percent you are not going to beat anyone," Gomez said. "You can't make a shot, then it doesn't matter ... when you get layups and you can't make them - I don't know what else you can do."
Shoemaker (9-10, 2-1 12-5A) started slowly, only connecting on two field goals in the first quarter.
Belton didn't fare much better, hitting only 2-of-9 in the first quarter. However, they got three free throws from Torie Henderson and led 7-6.
"We started out slow with the turnovers and during halftime we got our butt chewed out, so that was like a fire under our butts," Hailee Showers said. "But, it feels good to get a win."
Shoemaker pulled ahead 18-14 late in the second quarter on back-to-back baskets from Hicks, fed each time by Hailee Showers, when the defense collapsed on the junior forward.
"I always depend on Cion to be there behind me," Hailee Showers said. "She is like my right-hand man. If I am double teamed, I know she will be there to help me out ... Cion has a lot of heart and I know she is going to be there. So, I just do the wrap-around pass and she's there."
Hicks added a putback at the end of the half and Belton missed a wide-open layup as time expired as the Grey Wolves went into halftime up 20-18. Showers and Hicks kept it going in the third quarter as Shoemaker extended its lead to 26-20. Allexis Levy then added two short-range jumpers as Shoemaker continued to pull away, but Belton's Kenedy Fowler hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the lead to 34-28 going into the fourth quarter.
It didn't matter. Momentum already belonged to the Lady Grey Wolves.
Shoemaker went on a 10-0 run to begin the final quarter, with Hicks, Levy and Showers all scoring.
Aubrianna Garcia and Torie Henderson, who led Belton with nine points each, tried to rally the Lady Tigers, driving into the lane on nearly every possession, but they couldn't connect and had to settle for going to the free-throw line - where Belton finished 12 of 20.
"You can come up with all kinds of gimmicks (like the Diamond and one on Rawls)," Gomez said, "but if you can't score, you can't win."