Kevin Kenny has the Evans Knights boys basketball team flying high this season.
After a win over Burke County on Tuesday night, Evans stands at an impressive 14-2 on the campaign. The start is one of the best in Columbia County history and has Evans in position to set a new school mark for wins in a season.
The Knights are doing it with a balanced attack on offense.
As expected, senior guards Glenn Miller and Jerome Manuel have been leaders for the team. They're far from alone.
Junior guard Brandon Durr has emerged as the team's top scorer, and the inside play of Wes Wuchte, Carter Turner and Matt Clark has been just as vital to Evans' early success.
Sophomore Jonathan Nicely also has started to come on of late. This balance gives evidence that the Knights are going somewhere. They should contend for a state playoff spot in Region 2-AAAA, which happens to be an extremely tough region.
State powers Statesboro and Baldwin appear to be the top teams, but don't be surprised if the Knights are in the thick of the region race next month.
The biggest plus for Evans is their scoring balance. On any given night, Evans has shown that any of about five players could pace them in scoring. Not many high school programs can boast this kind of balance.
Also, Evans has good size inside. Clark stands at 6 feet 7 inches, Wuchte is 6 feet 5 inches and Turner is 6 feet 5 inches. The youngster Nicely is 6 feet 4 inches and is quick.
The Knights might not have a "true" point guard, but they do have a true leader in Manuel. He also is one of the more versatile guards in the area. He can handle the ball, pass, score and rebound with equal efficiency. On the defensive end of the floor, he has gained a reputation as one of the area's top stoppers.
The top scorer, Durr, might be the team's best athlete, and he uses his quickness to knife his way through opposing defenses to get to the bucket.
Of course, when the Knights need a long-range score, they have one of the top pure shooters in the area in Miller. On any given night, he can light it up from beyond the arc, and Evans will need his scoring in some of their tough region games coming up this month.
Keep your eye on the Knights the next few weeks; they have a chance to reach new heights for the school on the hardwood.
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