Without a doubt, the Evans Knights ruled the 2005-06 boy's basketball season. Under the direction of head coach Kevin Kenny, the Knights swept the rest of the county and finished with a 24-6 overall record.
With a win in the first round of the Class AAAA state tournament and a sweet 16 appearance, the success easily translated into Evans' best basketball season in recent memory.
The question is: Will they do it again?
"We've got a lot of work to do, but I think we've got a chance to be even better than last year," Evans post player Matt Clark said.
Clark, who will play college ball at The Citadel next year, is one of at least four Knights listed at 6 feet 4 inches or taller on the Evans' roster.
The Knights' tall and dominant inside game was a big reason for last year's success. Clark, junior Jonathan Nicely and senior Wes Wuchte are among the returning players who saw regular time on the court last year.
"We've got about eight returning - pretty much all the big kids," Kenny said. "We could be as good, if not better, than we were last year."
In the backcourt, senior point guard Brandon Durr is also a returning starter, but the Knights lost sharp-shooter Glenn Miller and defensive specialist Jerome Manuel to graduation.
"In the guard slot, we've got Durr back, but then it's going to be wide open. There's an opportunity for someone to earn some playing time," Kenny said.
With a mostly veteran lineup, Kenny will put his boys to the test early in the season. On the first possible date to play a regular-season game, Saturday, the Knights will face Savannah High School in the season opener at home. Savannah reached the state quarterfinals in the Class AAAAA state tournament last season and finished the year ranked No. 8 in the state.
"They're a perennial top five team - one of the best teams in Georgia," Kenny said with a smile. "It will be a good test for us. Hopefully my kids will learn from playing a team like that."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.