It's not easy trying to survive in this season's Region 3B-AAAA.
Evans, Greenbrier, Richmond Academy and Statesboro are all fielding veteran boys basketball teams with veteran coaches and expect nothing less than a winning record and state playoff appearance.
And then there's Lakeside.
The Panthers came into the 2006-07 season with a built-in disadvantage. Greenbrier boys basketball coach Casey Dees, now in his fourth year of coaching the Wolfpack, entered the year with seniors he's coached since they were freshmen. Evans coach Kevin Kenny has had his basketball program established even longer.
At Lakeside, head coach Ryan Morningstar is in his first year as a varsity coach. His squad holds only two players with varsity experience.
That's why a 3-14 overall record isn't much of a surprise.
"Nobody expects anything out of us," Morningstar said. "I think people counted us out at the very beginning and assumed we were the worst in the region, but you can't take us for granted."
With such a dismal outlook, the Panthers haven't given up on the 2006-07 season. On Tuesday, Morningstar saw a glimpse of what his program is capable of when Lakeside traveled to Evans for a region game.
Lakeside left with a 69-58 loss, but the Panthers hung with the 14-5 Knights through the first half and trailed by only two points at halftime.
While Evans played without starting center Matt Clark, Lakeside was missing two starters, Cody Marsh and Jermel Bennett, who were serving two-game suspensions.
Still, Lakeside took a 7-6 lead with three minutes left in the first quarter after Panther guard Rosbie Mutcherson, who scored a game-high 23 points, hit a 3-pointer and a free throw to give his team the lead.
Evans head coach Kevin Kenny quickly pulled all five starters out of the game.
"They weren't playing like we expected them to play," he said. "At halftime we appealed to their pride. It takes a special kid to wear that jersey."
The Knights woke up in the second half and a 13-2 third-quarter run turned into another Evans region win.
Brandon Durr, Jonathan Nicely, Wes Wuchte, Brandon Skinner and Steven Hardy scored double figures in the win.
Big region win
The Evans girls basketball team took a big step toward securing a region playoff bid with a 27-9 win over Lakeside on Tuesday night. No Lady Knight scored more than six points in the game, but the Evans defense held Lakeside to two points in the second half. The win put Evans in fourth place in the sub-region standings.
Best record in county
Greenbrier's girls improved to 21-0 on the season with a 65-37 win over Aquinas on Tuesday. Michelle Swiec scored 10 points and Kaila Hunt netted 11 points while 12 Greenbrier girls scored in the win. During the 21 games played so far this season, the Lady Wolfpack have won by an average of 29.1 points per game.
A 21-10 Greenbrier first-quarter lead was whittled to five points at halftime, but the Wolfpack held on for a 63-56 win over Aquinas on Tuesday. Sophomore Bryan Andrews scored a game-high 27 points to give the Wolfpack their 18th win of the season.
Augusta Prep's Mary Beth Horton and Laura Kopald combined for 51 of the Lady Cavaliers' 55 points in a 55-46 win over Alleluia. Augusta Prep trailed by one point at halftime but held Alleluia to only 15 second-half points in the win.
Augusta Prep win
Sophomore Cavalier Jim Hull paced his team with 20 points in a 78-66 win over Alleluia. Ajay Sethi hit four 3-pointers on his way to a 16-point performance to put Augusta Prep's record at 11-11 overall.
First in the region
Augusta Christian's Tyler Bourdo scored a game-high 23 points in a 64-55 region win over Carson Newman. The Lions now own a share of the SCISA Region 1-AAA lead with a 3-1 region record.
Lady Lion loss
Augusta Christian senior Lynlee Satcher scored 16 points in a 47-41 loss to Cardinal Newman. It was the first region loss of the season for Augusta Christian who fell to 11-7 overall.
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