There was no celebration.
As the final buzzer sounded, Shoemaker’s players did not jump up and down or pump their fists in the air. The Grey Wolves did not ceremoniously cut down the nets or take team pictures with the scoreboard serving as a background.
After Class 6A No. 7 Shoemaker clinched its first outright district championship in program history Tuesday evening, the Grey Wolves merely walked off the court because they still have other objectives.
“This was one of many goals we want to accomplish,” Shoemaker guard Javon Levi said. “It feels good, but the season is not over, so we’re not going to be happy about it. We’ve got to keep working.”
The Grey Wolves never trailed en route to defeating Killeen 75-31 at home, securing sole possession of the District 12-6A title after finishing in a three-way tie atop the standings last season.
Like Levi, Shoemaker swingman Aaron Warren believes there is not time to revel in the achievement.
“This was just a small step,” the senior said. “Now, we’ve got to get ready to finish district strong and put together a playoff run. We’re not going to sit back and enjoy this. Tomorrow, we get back to working toward reaching state.”
Killeen was overwhelmed from the opening tip as the Grey Wolves (28-2, 10-0) posted 13 unanswered points to start the game. Josh Jones scored the Kangaroos’ first points on a putback with 3:45 remaining in the first quarter before teammate Mike Aranda found Jequell Johnson for a 3-pointer, trimming the deficit to five points, 13-8.
But the Kangaroos would not get any closer.
“We could have played a lot better if we just put forth more effort,” Killeen head coach Reggie Huggins said. “Shoemaker is a good team, and they rightfully won, but we’ve got to be ready for teams like this. I thought we were ready, but they got up real quick, and we just never recovered.”
Warren scored eight of his team’s final 10 points of the opening period, and after taking a 21-11 advantage into the second quarter, the Grey Wolves outscored Killeen 25-4 to create a 31-point cushion by halftime. During the stretch, Shoemaker made 10 of its 11 shots, including three 3-pointers, while holding Killeen (8-19, 2-9) without a field goal.
Along with dominating defensively, the Grey Wolves’ ability to share the ball made them a force on the offensive end.
Led by Tyrone Williams’ game-high five assists, all but three players on Shoemaker’s roster recorded an assist, giving the team a total of 17 while making 30 field goals.
“It’s pretty hard to defend a team when they are moving the ball like that,” Levi said, “and we like playing together, so sharing the ball is not a problem for us. We don’t care who scores.”
Shoemaker juniors Antoine James and Devyn Brewton shared game-high scoring honors with 14 points apiece, while Warren finished with 12 points, three rebounds and three steals.
Montego Muckelvaney, a sophomore, scored eight of his team-high 11 points in the second half for Killeen, and teammate Thomas Robinson complemented the effort with a seven-point outing in defeat.
The Grey Wolves will look to continue their undefeated run through the district schedule Friday, when they host Belton,
But Shoemaker head coach Emund Prichett admits he is not concerned about the Tigers.
“We are only worried about ourselves,” he said. “We want to be the best we can be.
“We just want to fine-tune our defense and fine-tune all the things we do well and think that will carry us on to what will hopefully be a long playoff run.”
Contact Clay Whittington at firstname.lastname@example.org