NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – It was a bad night for both Evans basketball teams when they traveled to North Augusta on Tuesday.
The Lady Knights let the game slip away late, falling 53-36, and the boys lost 69-40.
The Lady Knights (3-2) led at halftime and trailed by a point after three periods, but the Lady Yellow Jackets turned up the defensive pressure in the final eight minutes and outscored the Lady Knights by a 19-3 margin.
“The last four minutes we kind of fell apart,” said Lady Knights head coach Ryan Morningstar. “They were able to capitalize on our mistakes.”
The Lady Knights took a 23-18 lead with 1:19 left in the first half after Accacia Blue fed Jasmine Stone for a layup. The Lady Yellow Jackets would score four quick points, however, and go into the break down a point.
Stone led the Lady Knights, scoring all of her nine points in the first half, while Taylor McChesney chipped in with eight points and Autumn Johnson finished with seven.
But time and again in the final period the Lady Knights took the ball down the court only to see it end up in the hands of a Lady Yellow Jackets player heading the other way for a score. Mallory Stone was the biggest culprit with five steals and five layups, scoring 11 of her game-high 27 points in the period.
The Lady Knights only mustered a single 3-pointer from Johnson in the fourth.
“We were shorthanded, down a point guard, and I felt the girls rose to the occasion,” Morningstar said.
The Knights scored just six points in both the second and third periods and both squads got extensive looks at their benches in the later stages of the contest.
The Knights (4-2) turned the ball over on three of its first four possessions in the second half and the Yellow Jackets turned those into six quick points to build its lead to 44-20. That would be a snapshot of the game for the Knights, who allowed the Jackets to get out in transition or inside for numerous second-chance opportunities.
In a game in which 11 players scored, TJ Sheppard led the way for the Yellow Jackets with 14 points, scoring 12 in the first period. Kameron Mason led the Knights with 10 points.
The Yellow Jackets’ 13-0 run, beginning at the end of the first period and starting the second, broke open a close 16-14 contest.
“We didn’t play hard tonight,” said Knights head coach Kevin Kenny. “We were outplayed, outcoached, out everythinged.”
The teams will play again Tuesday, Dec. 11, at Evans.