The high school basketball games Friday night between Columbia County rivals Lakeside and Evans featured a kinder, gentler atmosphere this year.
It was loud but not lewd, raucous without being raunchy.
That wasn't the case when the schools staged their first court meeting last year at Evans High School, where the students went wild and angered their respective principals.
Everyone was on their best behavior last week at the Lakeside gym, because Santa's not the only one making a list and checking it twice.
"Evans had all their administrators there, and we had ours," Lakeside principal Jeff Carney said. "We were pleased with the way things went. There was plenty of supervision, but the kids understand what we were trying to do."
This December, there was no question who was naughty and nice - both sets of fans remained under control.
"It was the kind of game you want the kids to be a part of, and it was the kind of game coaches want to be a part of," Panthers coach Richie Carnes said.
There were standing-room only crowds, and there was some good-natured banter going on between the Evans and Lakeside students.
"They wanted to have some fun, but they knew where to draw the line," Carney said.
Each side drew at least one warning from administrators.
When the Lakeside students started a "You suck!" chant, it was nipped in the bud, prompting one fan to ask "Is it OK to say 'You stink?"'
On the Evans sideline, there wasn't really much to cheer about, because Evans lost the girls and boys varsity games.
The Knights followers did have some fun, though. When the Lakeside dance team hit the court for a halftime routine, the entire Evans student section started a hoe-down to the rhythm of Cotton Eyed Joe.
"The Evans fans sat right behind our bench, and I thought they did a great job of trying to disrupt our kids," Carnes said. "Everything was positive. I didn't hear any profanity, and nobody spit on us this year."
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