The middle school basketball season has come to a close in Columbia County, and it was a memorable campaign for the Evans Middle School Lady Knights and their second-year coach Blake Crewe.
The Evans Middle School girls basketball team finished the season with a 12-2 record, the highest among middle school girls teams in the county.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Crewe, a former baseball player at Augusta State University, was a bit apprehensive when he took over the girls' basketball team a year ago.
I would imagine that apprehension is gone after this season's 12-2 record with the Lady Knights. The two losses were by a total of three points, so Evans Middle was a whisker away from going undefeated. The squad finished with the best mark in Columbia County.
"Last season we played a lot of seventh-graders, so I knew we could be good," Crewe said. "I told the girls we wanted to go 14-0, and we came real close."
The Lady Knights were led by eighth-graders Tynisha Butler, Sherrell Parks and Kayla Hale, and by seventh-graders Lauren Middleton and Kelly Segraves. Also, eighth-graders Abby Donnelly and Allie Young were solid off the bench.
Tynisha was the leading scorer, while Sherrell and Lauren controlled the boards and contributed outstanding defense. Kayla and Kelly anchored the backcourt, while Abby and Allie both played well defensively.
Congratulations to the Lady Knights on an outstanding season.
Other top middle school players this season were Brittany Leverett (Greenbrier), April Woodward (Harlem), Jessica Gray (Columbia), Jori McMurtry (Lakeside) and Amanda Glover (Riverside).
On the boys' middle school scene, Riverside and Columbia were the top teams in the county.
Despite losing star player Eric Taylor and point guard Peyton Marsh from last season's squad, Riverside coach Glen Roberson racked up a 10-3 record to match Columbia Middle's mark.
Riverside, however, had a 2-1 edge in head-to-head meetings with the Raiders.
"I wasn't sure how good we'd be this year, but we just had a great group of kids," Roberson said. "We had 10 eighth-graders, they all played, and they all played together."
Riverside's top threat was point guard Andrew Jenkins, but he had plenty of support.
The Columbia Middle School boys had a tremendous season as well. Coach Tony Kramer's team featured one of the county's top players, Rich Poythress, who grew six inches in the off-season and used his 6-1 height to average 16 points per game.
"Rich is a talented young man. At times he carried us this season," Kramer said.
Eighth-grade forward Shawn Ward and Kevin Lewis also helped boost the Raiders to 10 wins; another key to the successful season was the play of seventh-grade point guard Brendon Grey.
"The difference between this year and last year was that we had someone to handle the ball and run the team," Kramer said of his point guard's contributions.
Other top middle school players in the county included Reggie Rice (Harlem), Andavione Costen (Evans) and Chris Johnson (Greenbrier).
Ashley Brown's radio program can be heard from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday on News-Talk Sports 1630 AM. His e-mail address is AB@WRDWAM.com.
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