TEMPLE — Momentum can turn at the most unexpected moments. For the Shoemaker Grey Wolves it turned when they were called for a technical foul.
The Grey Wolves outscored the Temple Wildcats by 12 after the fourth-quarter technical to top the Wildcats 63-50 at Wildcat Gym.
“It killed out momentum a little bit,” Temple coach Michael Thomas said of the technical foul. “Normally it’s be the other way around,. But it was a little reverse on us.”
The momentum changer happened less than a minute into the final quarter after the Grey Wolves (7-14, 5-6 District 12-6A) hit a 3 to go up 38-34.
The Wildcats were trying to answer with a fast transition basket, when Shoemaker’s Antwone Gonzales was called for a foul. As Gonzales walked away from the play, visibly upset about the call, he was called for the technical, sending Temple’s Jaylon Hall to the line. Hall made three of the four free throws to cut the lead back to 38-37.
And then Shoemaker took over.
After the Wildcats (5-14, 2-9) inbounded the ball, K’zjari Herrera got a hand on it for the steal and he was able to direct it to teammate Trent Hudson who finished the play with an open, forceful dunk to put the Wolves up 40-37 with 7:18 left.
Hudson, who led all scorers with 22 points, then got a block, and the Wolves went up 43-37 on a 3 by Gonzales.
Hudson then got a steal and Kobe Burgess got a fast-break basket along with a free throw on a foul to put the Wolves up 46-37 with just under 6 minutes to play.
After a turnover, Ti’aje Owens gave Shoemaker a double-digit lead with a basket underneath with 5:35.
It was a disappointing finish for the Wildcats, who never trailed until the final seconds of the third quarter.
“They played hard,” Temple coach Michael Thomas said. “It was just some nerves on our end. I just tell them ‘You just have to keep fighting.’”
And while the Wildcats have already been eliminated from postseason contention, the win for the Wolves kept their hopes alive.
The Wolves are two games out of fourth place with three remaining.
“I keep telling them every win we need right now,” Shoemaker coach Jeremy Hensley said. “You can’t stand back and have to fight the whole game. Glad they started doing it before it was too late. They did a good job coming out and finishing this game.”