On December 27, the Evans High School Knights lost 79-75 to Grovetown in the second round of their Christmas tournament in a game that went down to the final buzzer.
On Tuesday night in Grovetown, the Knights ensured the outcome was decided well before the end with a 69-48 thumping of the Warriors.
With the win the Knights improved to 12-4 overall and 3-0 in Region 2A-AAAAA after the first of three rounds of sub-region competition. While the Knights want to win all of their contests, the games before January didn’t hold as much signifigance for head coach Kevin Kenny.
“The only games that count are the nine sub-region games, that’s what we look at,” Kenny said. “This is the third step of nine steps we’re going after.”
Like the previous game against Lakeside, it took the Knights a while to warm up, but once they did they broke the game wide open.
The Warriors (7-9, 0-3) were taking it to the Knights early and led 11-5 after a Tarik Turner layup with 1:11 left in the first quarter.
After the Knights missed their first six 3-pointers, Matlin Marshall got the Knights started on a 17-0 run. He hit two consecutive treys, the last tying the game at 11 as the buzzer marked the end of the first quarter.
Patrick Lawrence started the second quarter where Marshall left off, draining the Knights third in a row from downtown as they scored the first 11 points of the quarter.
“I don’t know what happens in the first quarter, I guess we wait and when the second quarter hits we’re there, we’re on fire,” said Lawrence.
The Knights forced eight turnovers and held the Warriors to five second-quarter points while building a 33-16 lead and didn’t let the Warriors put together a sustained push the rest of the way.
“Our kids have a lot of pride in their defense and they know they didn’t do a good job that (first) game against Grovetown, so they really dedicated themselves at the start of the sub-region schedule to really come out defensively and make a difference,” Kenny said. “They take pride in their defense.”
While the Knights sank seven 3-pointers, they were also aggressive throughout the game taking the ball to the hoop. K’lon Lovett led the Knights with 16 points, Kameron Mason added 13, Lawrence chipped in with 12 points and Marshall had 11.
Logan Morris led the Warriors with 10 points.