High school basketball teams from North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia made their way to the area Saturday for some live competition before the beginning of their regular seasons.
In all, 56 teams competed in 28 scrimmages, played like games, at the Fourth Annual GA/Lina Hoops Preview at Evans Middle and High School and at Greenbrier and Lakeside High Schools.
Evans basketball coach Kevin Kenny, who runs the event along with former Duke and NBA player Will Avery and Sam Ward through the GA/Lina Foundation, was happy with the way the day had progressed.
“I was over at Evans Middle and they were having some really good girls games,” said Kenny. “The head coach from Clemson was over there and a couple of other assistants from the school were there. It’s a big girls venue. They’ve got some really good Carolina girls teams so they came to see them. So everything’s been going good.”
The day also went well for Kenny as the Evans boys basketball coach.
Facing Westwood (S.C.) High School, the Knights came away with the 69-56 win, leaving the squad in good spirits.
“I think we’re going to be better than last year,” said senior forward Jacob Buchanan, who was a tough inside presence, scoring 15 points. “We’ve got good guard play, good post players, good coaching. If we all get together, we’ll be a good team.”
Sophomore Kameron Mason led the Knights with 18 points and junior Dylan Montgomery chipped in with 13.
Kenny was pleased for the most part.
“I think we played hard, I think we played good defense,” Kenny said. “Offensively, we’re a little behind the defense, which is still understandable. Physically, everything was good. Mentally, we need to make better decisions.”
The Knights finished 15-11 in 2012 and Kenny likes the way his team is coming together. He said depth will be a major strength, especially when he gets five or six football players in, most of whom he expects to be key.
“Practice is going to be very exciting,” Kenny said. “Very intense for competition, for positions, so it’s going to make us a better team all the way around.”
The Knights open the season against Grovetown at the Warrior Thanksgiving Classic Monday and Tuesday, while the Lady Knights play tournament hosts Monday and Tuesday as well. The Lakeside season begins for both squads at Jefferson County Tuesday night while Augusta Christian squares off against Brentwood at home.