TEMPLE — Senior Nyteria Colbert scored 10 fourth-quarter points before fouling out, including six in a key 2-minute stretch that helped Temple regain a much-needed double-digit lead against comeback-minded Shoemaker, and the Tem-Cats held on for a hard-fought 45-42 victory Friday night at Wildcat Gym.
Colbert finished with 22 points, helping Temple (10-5, 5-1 District 12-6A) extend its overall win streak to five games and stay near the top of the league standings.
“She’s going to be aggressive no matter what. She doesn’t know how to not be aggressive,” Temple head coach RaShonta LeBlanc said of Colbert, who picked up her fourth foul with 3:19 to go in the fourth, pleaded to stay in and proceeded to score four important points that boosted the Tem-Cats ahead 41-29 before her fifth foul ended her night with 1:19 to play.
Aniah Hall added 11 points, including 10 in the first half when she and Colbert combined for 18 of Temple’s 22 points. Taliyah Johnson added six points, five in the fourth.
Shoemaker (6-13, 2-4) outscored Temple 13-4 over the last 2:30 but didn’t get any closer than five until Jamesha Reece’s layup 2 seconds before the final buzzer.
Reece had 10 points and Novotony Smith chipped in nine to pace the Lady Grey Wolves, who trailed 22-11 at halftime but went to a press defense out of the break. That adjustment slowed the Tem-Cats in the second half (23 points and 17 turnovers), but Shoemaker couldn’t trade its hard work for offense.
The Lady Grey Wolves were 12-of-39 from the floor in the second half (16-of-67 in the game) and went 7-of-23 at the free throw line after halftime.
“Defensively, we’ve been there all year long. It’s just trying to turn that into offense. You have to be able to make some shots,” Shoemaker coach Karron Taylor said. “I was proud of the energy and the effort and the fight. But at the end of the day, it’s not about what play I’m running, what play the other coach is running. It’s about, ‘Hey, are you going to make shots and free throws?’”
Temple didn’t score until the 4:01 mark of the first quarter, falling behind 4-0. Hall’s bucket inside and two free throws a minute later evened it at 4, and another close-range make from Hall lifted Temple in front for the first time with 1:05 to go in the opening 8 minutes.
The Tem-Cats led by as many as 12 points in the second quarter then navigated Shoemaker’s comeback bid over the final 16 minutes.
“We had to keep playing through it,” LeBlanc said. “Shoemaker does a good job of throwing different defenses at you, being aggressive, but we have to do a better job of taking care of the ball.”
Temple wraps up the first half of district competition Tuesday night at Harker Heights.
12-6A GIRLS BASKETBALL
Harker Heights 6-0
Copperas Cove 1-5
- Bryan 55, Copperas Cove 48
- Ellison 27, Belton 25
- Harker Heights 63, Killeen 36
- Temple 45, Shoemaker 42