The Lakeside High School and Evans boys in addition to the Evans girls competed on the final day of the Region 2-AAAAA basketball tournament, though it ultimately wasn’t the contests they wanted to play.
After losing their respective semifinal games on Monday, the teams were playing Tuesday to determine seeding in the Georgia High School Association Class AAAAA State basketball tournaments.
The Evans girls (17-9) fell 51-32 to Northside a day after losing to Greenbrier 68-42 and entered play Friday night as a No. 4 seed facing No. 1 seed Drew from Region 4.
Following the Lady Knights’ game, Lakeside and Evans matched up for the fourth time with the Panthers evening the season series at two wins apiece, beating the Knights, 55-41.
The Panthers (19-6) entered the state tournament Saturday as a No. 3 seed at No. 2 McIntosh, while the Knights (18-10) were a No. 4 seed traveling to face No. 1 Mundy’s Mill.
Against Warner Robins Monday, the Panthers were down three at halftime before the second half slipped away from them, losing 67-52. Against the Knights, the Panthers led by two at the break, stretched the lead to 10 in the third quarter and went on from there for the win.
Sam Powell, who eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for his career during the tournament, scored seven of his game-high 14 points in the third quarter, attacking the basket from the baseline for three layups.
“We wanted to drive because we felt that would be our best way to score and the baseline is just what I saw, so that’s what I took,” said Powell, who also pulled down 11 rebounds.
Seven players scored for the Panthers with Trovonte’ Brown next with nine points and Jake Gilbert hauling down 13 rebounds.
Panthers’ head coach Jody Hilley liked the effort his team put forth.
“Our kids showed a lot of heart tonight by bouncing back from last night’s loss,” said Hilley. “Our kids simply wanted it more tonight. I stressed to them the importance of tonight’s outcome as far as seeding for the state playoffs.”
A night after shooting just four for 26 from three-point range in a 60-35 loss to Northside, the Knights were somewhat better converting eight of 27 attempts from behind the arc, but couldn’t keep sustained offensive pressure on the Panthers in the second half.
Kameron Mason scored 13 points to lead the Knights.
“We’re in a little bit of a slump now but we’ve got three days to fix it and we’re not going to panic, we’re still in the state tournament,” said Knights’ head coach Kevin Kenny.
Also struggling Tuesday were the Lady Knights. They trailed 11-9 after one quarter which became a 31-17 deficit at halftime and the margin was too large for them to overcome. They were led by Elyssa Melton’s nine points while leading scorer Jasmine Stone was held to a season-low six points.
“I think we’re still licking our wounds from last night,” said Lady Knights’ head coach Ryan Morningstar, who said his team would keep working hard. “I think we’re going to get these next two days of practice, we’re going back to the drawing board, clean up our mistakes, regroup and Friday night whoever we’re supposed to play, give them the best Evans team we’ve seen this year.”