It looked like Evans was heading for a road loss at the hands of Burke County on Saturday. The Knights were losing by 13 points at halftime, and all the hype surrounding the home Bears and their height and athleticism had been proven.
"It was two good teams, but we just got behind," Evans coach Kevin Kenny said.
So the mood in the Evans locker room at halftime wasn't all that happy, but sometime between the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half there was a change.
"It was that halftime talk," Evans senior Trey Henderson said. "Coach didn't say too much -- just play defense and we've got to step it up. He can get his point across."
Whatever was said, it worked. The Knights slowly began to chip away at the 13-point deficit with senior Deronte Williams and Henderson leading the way.
"I challenged Trey at halftime. I felt like he didn't play well in the first half," Kenny said. "I told him we needed him to step up at point guard. He responded like the winner that he is."
Henderson took over some of the play-calling and, though the senior finished with only one point on offense, his defense and leadership from the point guard position was key.
"He was the leader in the second half," Kenny said. "Even though he's not scoring, without him we wouldn't be winning like we are."
One other Knight took responsibility to put the ball in the basket in the second half. Williams, in his second year on the varsity squad, had only five points at half time. He finished the game with a career-high 29.
"I was just thinking I was going to do anything I had to do to win," Williams said. "It was a lot of jump shots and 3-pointers."
The key moment in the game came in the third quarter.
The Knights had climbed to within eight points of Burke County when Williams cut the lead in half on one play.
"Deronte hit a 3-pointer and they fouled him and he hit the free throw for a four-point play," Kenny said. "That was huge. When momentum shifts like that in high school basketball it means everything."
Evans went on to win 68-63. It was the biggest win so far this season for the Knights -- a road win over a quality opponent that made the Augusta area take notice.
Williams said the potential to win big games like that has been there for a while.
"Compared to last year, I think we're a better running team this year," he said.
"We have the scorers," he said. "If everybody does their job and does what they're supposed to do, we're going to be a hard team to beat."
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