If the Lakeside High School boys basketball team partied like it was 1999 last Friday night, it wasn't because the Panthers were listening to a Prince album.
There was a celebration fit for a king at the Lakeside gym, where the Panthers whipped their bitter rivals from Evans High School for the first time since 1999.
"This was my first time to beat Evans," Lakeside senior Matt Scott said after scoring 28 points to pace his team's 60-48 win. "Coming into the season I marked this game down on the schedule. One of my goals this year was to beat Evans."
The last time the Panthers topped Evans in basketball was in January 1999, but that doesn't mean the Knights' dominance came easy. Evans did pound the Panthers on many occasions, but most of the contests were close, with Lakeside taking some tough losses.
Last week, though, Evans took it on the chin. Coach Kevin Kenny's team couldn't stop Scott or Lakeside point guard Earl McCrommon, who chipped in 13 points.
Lakeside's Matt Scott hauls down a rebound during Friday night's contest with Evans. Scott helped pace the Panthers to their first win over the Knights in nearly five years, as Lakeside picked up a 60-38 home win.
Photo by Mike Howell
"Sixty points is a lot for Coach Kenny's team to give up, because they always play great defense," Lakeside coach Richie Carnes said. "I know that team right there will get better, and I dread facing them again."
The Lakeside Lady Panthers started the fun Friday night with a 46-28 romp over Evans. Both teams stuggled offensively in the first half, and the Lady Knights stuck close behind the play of Marquita Grimes, Kim Millward and Ashley Brodhecker.
The second half was all Evans - Ansley Evans, that is. The Lakeside senior started the third period by grabbing a loose ball and hitting an outside shot to give the Lady Panthers a 17-12 lead.
Evans continued to harass Evans with stellar defensive play, while teammates Jamie Lake and Kim Leeds also helped Lakeside pull away to an easy win. Evans led Lakeside with 13 points, Leeds has 12 and Lake added nine.
The nightcap played out in similar fashion.
The Knights and Panthers each seemed out of sync early on, and the first half turned into a foul fest - both teams were in the bonus barely past the midpoint of the first period.
Lakeside led 32-23 at the half, and it never got any closer. The Knights continued to struggle offensively, while the Panthers caught fire.
Jeremy VanValkenburgh opened the second half with a 3-pointer for the Panthers, Scott poured in four more 3s, and the Lakeside defense did the rest by limiting Evans to four points in the decisive third period.
"We started playing well in the second half," Scott said. "Everybody was hitting their shots. We were like glue out there - we were sticking together and working well as a team."
Lakeside's teams returned to action on Saturday night, and both chalked up easy victories over Aquinas. Scott (32 points) and Evans (25 points) again led the way at Aquinas.
With the wins last week, the Lady Panthers improved their record to 4-1, while the Lakeside boys moved to 3-1.
Of course, beating the Irish was almost an afterthought for Scott. Finally earning a win over Evans was more significant, but there's another important date marked on his schedule.
The Panthers are looking to claim local bragging rights by capturing the championship at the Columbia County Christmas Tournament, which is Dec. 19-20 at Greenbrier High School.
"One of our other goals is to win the Christmas tournament," Scott said. "We've been in the championship game the past two years, and we want to win it this year."
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