Evans and Grovetown started their seasons on the right foot Monday at Grovetown’s Warrior Thanksgiving Classic.
Evans began the night with a 64-58 win over South Aiken, while the Grovetown used a last-minute, come-from-behind effort to defeat Cross Creek 57-52.
Neither Evans nor South Aiken led by more than five points through three periods as the lead continually changed hands. Trailing 41-39 entering the fourth period, Evans 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 outscored the Thoroughbreds 25-18 in the decisive final stanza.
“I think our depth wore them down in the fourth period,” said Evans 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. Seven players scored for the Knights, including Damian Foreman with 13 points and Kameron Mason with 10.
In its comeback win against Cross Creek, Grovetown sank six three-pointers, including a clutch trey from sophomore Solomon Gause, to take 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 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 halftime.
“Everybody stepped up and we can build off this,” said head coach Bill Madigan, who told his team to keep plugging along at halftime.
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.