TEMPLE — Temple head coach Joey Martin lifted his right hand and moved his index finger and thumb about as close as possible without having them touch.

“We are right there. We’re right there. We just haven’t been over the hump,” Martin said.

For the second consecutive District 12-6A outing, the Wildcats had an opponent in their sights late in the proceedings after trailing by double digits but couldn’t complete the comeback, falling Tuesday night to Shoemaker, 62-54, at Wildcat Gym.
Five days after streaky shooting went toward a narrow, four-point loss to Bryan, the hump Tuesday night was formed out of a game-long bout with turnover troubles, induced mostly by smothering defense implemented by the Grey Wolves’ guards. Temple committed 29 turnovers, including 18 in the first half — when they managed just 22 shots — after which they were down 42-31.

It was a 12-point deficit for Temple (13-13, 1-3) heading into the fourth, 52-40, but just a four-point margin after Jaydon Hall’s steal and layup with 52 seconds to go made it 58-54. However, layups from Jezrael DeJesus and D’Rayvion Starling down the stretch sealed the road victory for Shoemaker (17-8, 3-1).

“I thought in the first half, the guys came out ready with energy. We got up and down and created some advantages,” said Shoemaker head coach Karron Taylor, who graduated from Temple in 1995. “Then it came down to execution, which is one of the things we have to improve on — guys have to be in certain spots and things like that. But, defense was the key.”

The Grey Wolves’ Jaymes Brown-Peterson had a game-high 19 points, including a 3-for-3 shooting performance from 3-point range in the second quarter. DeJesus added 15 points and Antwone Gonzales 14.

oemaker shot 17-for-32 from the floor in the first half. It was more of a struggle in the second, though, when it went 10-of-34, leaving the door open for the Wildcats’ rally.

Temple went 10-of-22 in the first half and 10-of-26 in the second. Jaylon Hall led the way with 13 points before fouling out with about a minute remaining in the contest. Quinton Anderson posted 11 points, Luke Law eight and Jaydon Hall seven. Tomas Torres and Amaree Sewell each had six points.

“That first half, those turnovers really put us back. And then you spend so much energy to get back in it, you don’t have enough to finish. But, we have to convert on layups. We had opportunities for layups and we missed them. A couple set plays gave us a free shot and we were too late, got the shot blocked. Just lay the ball up. So, that hurt,” Martin said.

Jaylon Hall’s three-point play gave Temple a 15-13 advantage with 2 minutes to go in an up-tempo opening quarter. The Wildcats never led again.

The Grey Wolves closed the first with a 10-0 run for a 23-15 lead and added the initial three points of the second quarter for 26-15. Jaydon Hall hit a 3 for the Wildcats, who were down 13 after a 3-pointer by Brown-Peterson with 1:45 before the break, scored the next five to get within 39-31, then gave up another 3 to Brown-Peterson that put the visitors ahead 42-31.

“Kids played really, really hard, but trying to simulate (Shoemaker’s) speed, their athleticism, we don’t see that very often until we play it. That’s Shoemaker, that’s Ellison, that’s Harker Heights. Nobody else in district has that speed and athleticism,” Martin said. “So, trying to simulate that in practice is really hard to do.”

Temple returns to action Friday on the road against first-place Harker Heights. The Grey Wolves are at Copperas Cove.

12-6A BOYS BASKETBALL

Harker Heights 4-0

Belton 3-1

Bryan 3-1

Shoemaker 3-1

Copperas Cove 1-3

Ellison 1-3

Temple 1-3

Killeen 0-4

TUESDAY'S GAMES

  • Belton 64, Ellison 50
  • Bryan 66, Copperas Cove 59
  • No. 14 Harker Heights 82, Killeen 60
  • Shoemaker 62, Temple 54

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