There must be something in the water at Evans. What has been a stellar year for both basketball teams continues at the state level this week.
The girls got there first with a win over Jones County on Tuesday, followed by the boys, who beat Houston County on Wednesday, both in the first round of their respective Region 2-AAAAA tournaments.
The Knights (22-4) were unbeaten in the 2A sub-region during the regular season and won 17 of their last 18 games and eight in a row entering Friday’s semifinal. They had a few close games during the year, including a pair of one-point wins against Lakeside, and that served them well in the region’s first round as they held off Houston County 60-57.
There are a few players that other teams have to concentrate on when facing the Knights, such as Jacob Buchanan down low and Damian Foreman from the guard slot, but coach Kevin Kenny gets the most out of his entire squad and it’s that team effort that has gotten them where they are.
The Evans girls have gone from an 11-15 record a year ago to 17-7 before their Friday semifinal and potentially finals appearance in head coach Ryan Morningstar’s second year. Like the boys, the girls have won nine of their last 11 and had a six-game win streak heading into Friday.
The girls cut their teeth in the region with fierce battles against Greenbrier, led by Jasmine Stone and Allysha McFarland. As with the boys team, Morningstar has plenty of pieces around the duo.
The same could be said for the Harlem boys, who achieved last week what they’ve been waiting a decade for.
The Bulldogs beat East Laurens 69-42 Wednesday in the first round of the Region 3-AA Boys Basketball Tournament, getting to the state tournament for the first time since 2002.
Super sophomore Reggie Reid is the focus of opposing squads, as is to be expected of a player who topped the 1,000 point mark in less than two years. He scored 30 points in Wednesday’s win, but Dylan Farmer and Torien Beard also scored in double figures. Head coach Kim Chambers said the team has been practicing all year for games like Wednesday’s when teams turn their attention to Reid.
I’m happy to see Chambers get to the states. I like to see good things happen to good people – and to fellow Redskins fans.