Evans and Grovetown got their seasons off to a start on the right foot Monday night at Grovetown's Warrior Thanksgiving Classic.
The Knights began the night with a 64-58 win over South Aiken while the Warriors used a last-minute come-from-behind effort to defeat Cross Creek 57-52.
Neither the Knights or the Thoroughbreds led by more than five points through three periods as the lead continually changed hands. Trailing 41-39 entering the fourth period, the Knights tied the score at 43. A Jacob Buchanan basket with 6:13 to play gave the Knights a 45-43 lead they would not relinquish. The Knights would outscore Cross Creek 25-18 in the decisive final stanza.
"I think our depth wore them down in the fourth period," said Knights' head coach Kevin Kenny.
Leading 53-49, a Matt Epps layup and Buchanan putback gave the Knights some breathing room at 57-49 with 1:34 to go.
Buchanan had two of his shots blocked in the early going, but made adjustments and finished with a game-high 24 points and 12 rebounds. It was a team effort as seven players scored for the Knights including Damian Foreman with 13 points and Kameron Mason with 10.
Jordan Dingle led South Aiken with a team-high 23 points and Austin Kyles chipped in 10.
Grovetown sank six three-pointers, including a clutch trey from sophomore Solomon Gause that gave the Warriors its first lead of the game at 53-52 with 1:04 to play.
"The team needed the shot and I thought I could hit it," said Gause, who scored a game-high 19 points.
Jawun Rouse and Gause would add baskets in the last minute for the final margin of victory as the Warriors held the Razorbacks to eight fourth-period points
The comeback capped a furious rally that saw the Warriors (1-0) down 10-0 to start the game and behind 30-17 at halftme.
"Everybody stepped up and we can build off this," said head coach Bill Madigan, who told his team to keep plugging along at halftime. "It was a good win for us."
Down 39-25, the Warriors used an 11-0 run to get within 39-36 before Cross Creek's Treaine Moore scored five of his team-high 18 points in the final 36 seconds of the period, including a long 3-pointer as time expired, giving the Razorbacks a 44-38 lead heading to the fourth period.
Gause led all scorers with 19 points while Logan Morris had nine points on three three-pointers for the Warriors.
Vince Worris added 16 points for the Razorbacks.