A strong defensive effort led the Evans High boys to victory Tuesday in a final tuneup game against Grovetown prior to the start of region contests.
The Knights won 69-53 in the home game against their county rival.
“Our defense pushed hard tonight,” said Evans head basketball coach Kevin Kenny. “We’re trying to get more consistency and tonight was a good start toward doing that.”
Evans also ruled beneath the boards, scoring at least eight points on offensive rebounds.
Grovetown kept the game respectable in the first period, holding the score to within two points. But the relentless Evans defense started to wear on the Warriors as they ended the half down 26-35.
The deficit grew by another point at the end of the third, but Grovetown’s composure started to unravel as time for a comeback grew short in the fourth.
The Warriors sent Knights to the free-throw line five times in the fourth, giving Evans six points.
Evans guard Myles McDavid put up 20 points in the contest, followed by the Knights’ big man Jacob Buchanan. He added 17 more from his post position.
In the girls game, Grovetown’s Malia Kency ruled the night with 21 points, 12 from behind the 3-point line, in the first three periods of the 51-46 Lady Warriors win.
But the lack of baskets doesn’t mean Kency didn’t have a big impact in the fourth period.
Sitting on a four-point lead, Grovetown’s strategy shifted. Kency simply held the ball near half court while the Lady Knights stayed in a zone defense.
Nearly four minutes passed by in the fourth with no one putting up points.
Eventually, Evans’ girls were forced to chase after Kency, opening up holes in their defense.
In the final 1:20 of the game, Evans sent Grovetown to the free-throw line five times, resulting in three more points for the Lady Warriors to pad their lead.