When Evans and Green-brier play in any sport, the intensity level is always a notch above a normal game.
When both teams have playoff aspirations, as is the case in boys basketball, there is enough excitement to tear the roof off a gymnasium.
In a possible preview of the Columbia County Christmas Tournament Championship game, Evans knocked off Greenbrier 57-53 on Friday.
Evans (2-4) controlled the pace of the game throughout the first half and held on as Greenbrier made a late run.
"We knew, because it was Evans/Greenbrier, that we'd be in for a fight," Evans senior Hank McCladdie said. "We wouldn't have expected any less."
He scored 10 of his 18 points in the first half as the Knights took a 27-13 halftime lead.
The Knights knocked down three 3-pointers in the first quarter, including two from Glen Miller, an Augusta Prep transfer new to the rivalry.
"Our team came out with a lot of intensity in the first quarter," Knights coach Kevin Kenny said. "Glen made a few big shots and we got up big early."
Greenbrier (2-2) stormed back in the third quarter, out-scoring the Knights 23-14.
Reggie Rice scored 13 of his game-high 24 in the third quarter to get the Wolfpack back in the game.
"We knew Reggie Rice was a great player," Kenny said. "We knew he would come to play."
The Wolfpack cut the lead to five after three quarters, but the Knights jumped back out to a 12-point lead after two breakaway layups by Miller.
"Those were huge," Kenny said. "I'm proud of the way he stepped up. This was his first experience in this rivalry. He really responded."
Greenbrier closed the Knights' lead to three points twice in the fourth quarter, but Jerome Manuel and Miller made key free throws to seal the game.
"We battled back, and I'm proud of that," Greenbrier coach Casey Dees said. "We couldn't match their intensity in the beginning and dug a hole for ourselves."
The Lady Wolfpack beat the Lady Knights 45-38 before the boys game.
Sophomore Michelle Swiec scored 21 to lead Greenbrier.
"Michelle played great," Greenbrier coach Garrett Black said.
"I am really disappointed by our effort. We didn't press well and we couldn't score down low.
"But we picked up a win, and it was a region win at that."
Greenbrier (5-0) had trouble getting points in the paint from Melissa Lewis, the team's leading scorer, who seemed to be encased by Lady Knights' defenders every time she touched the ball.
"We couldn't get our post game going in the first half," Swiec said.
"But it came around a little in the second half, and we made the shots we needed to."
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