In a county where baseball reigns and football also gets a strong share of media and fan attention, boys basketball has managed to draw record crowds this season.
A region matchup two weeks ago pitted Evans at Greenbrier, and the 1,200 seats in the Wolfpack gym sold out before the girls varsity game even started. The same type of crowd is expected Friday when Greenbrier goes to Evans for round three between the two teams.
Greenbrier's boys beat Evans by four points in the Wolfpack's first game of the season Nov. 20.
Evans returned the favor in a big way two weeks ago when the Knights won a region game at Greenbrier on a last-second, buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
The final regular season meeting between the two schools will take place Friday, with the boys varsity game scheduled for an 8 p.m. start.
Beyond bragging rights in the county, the game is an important matchup in the Region 3B-AAAA standings.
"We need this one to stay even with the others in the region; plus, if we win, we'll have the head-to-head tie-breaker (over Greenbrier)," Evans boys basketball coach Kevin Kenny said.
No matter what the outcome, Greenbrier boys basketball coach Casey Dees said, this year's three-game series between the schools has dramatically improved the county's basketball profile.
"Since I've been here, I've never seen this much interest in it," he said. "It's a great environment every time we play."
That environment will be a bit smaller this time around. The Evans High School gymnasium, which seats 1,100 people, is smaller than Greenbrier's gym by 150 seats, Kenny said.
The Evans athletic department and administration have already taken steps to ensure that students from both schools will get into the game, though.
"Greenbrier gets some tickets to sell, and we'll sell our tickets Wednesday during all three lunch tickets," he said.
A total of about 500 tickets will be sold in advance, Kenny said, with the remaining 600 tickets available at the door.
The gym will open just before the girls junior varsity game begins Friday afternoon at 3:30.
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