There's only one way to find out who has the best basketball team in Columbia County: Bring all four public school teams together for a two-day, eight-game tournament.
Lakeside's Turkey Tip-Off Tournament on Monday and Tuesday did just that.
On the boys' side of the court, Evans High School emerged as the No. 1 team, while the Lady Wolfpack of Greenbrier High School kept top honors on the girls' side.
For two quarters Tuesday night, the king of the county throne was still up for grabs.
"We weren't playing well at all in the first half," Evans junior Brandon Durr said. "We were just a little too hyped up."
The extra hype gave Greenbrier a 31-26 halftime lead.
During the break, Evans coach Kevin Kenny said he reminded his players that hundreds of Knight fans had paid to come see the team win the tournament. Kenny asked his players to give them what they wanted.
"The speech got to us," Durr said. "It pushed us to play harder."
After that speech, Evans started the second half by trading baskets with Greenbrier. Then the Knights took over.
With the Wolfpack still leading 33-28, Evans went on a 12-0 run and took the lead on a Carter Turner lay-up. After Greenbrier's Sean Gray hit a shot with 7:20 to go in the third quarter, the Wolfpack failed to hit another field goal until Luther Holmes' shot finally fell with 1:45 left in the quarter after a scoring drought of 5 minutes.
While the Evans defense held, Durr took over offensively.
The junior scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half and was named tournament MVP.
"We knew Brandon was going to have a big year," Kenny said. "He's part of my three guards. I'll put them up against anyone in the county."
Durr joined teammate Turner, Greenbrier's Holmes, Lakeside's Bena Tshishiku, and Harlem's DeMarcus Morris on the Turkey Tip-Off All-Tournament Team.
On the girls' side, the Lady Wolfpack left little doubt as to who was the best after defeating Harlem 61-46 on Monday night and cruising to a 50-27 win over Evans on Tuesday for their fourth straight win of the season.
Senior center Melissa Lewis totalled 34 points in two games to claim the tournament MVP.
"If Melissa scores down low for us, our guards will take care of the rest," Greenbrier coach Garrett Black said.
Lewis led a Turkey Tip-Off All-Tournament team that included Greenbrier's Michelle Sweic, Evans' Lauren Middleton, Lakeside's Perrin Fryer, and Harlem's April Woodard.
Also on Tuesday, Harlem faced off against Lakeside in the boys' consolation game.
The Bulldogs survived a late rally from the Panthers and escaped with a 56-49 win despite a fight between two Harlem teammates in the fourth quarter.
Harlem's Brendan Gray and Mike Leverett threw punches at each other after arguing on the bench.
The two teammates were quickly separated, ejected from the game and escorted out of the stadium.
"I don't know all the details of what happened, but one of them started running their mouth." Harlem coach Kim Chambers said.
"There's definitely going to be some disciplinary action," Chambers said of the fight.
The Lady Bulldogs also got into the win column with a 57-15 victory over Lakeside in the girls' consolation game.
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