The year had changed but the story remained the same as the Evans High Knights and Greenbrier's Lady Wolfpack repeated wins in the third annual Firehouse Subs Classic basketball tournament Saturday.
Playing at their home field in the tournament hosted by Evans High, the Knights dispatched Harlem High 69-61 to win the championship a second consecutive year.
Greenbrier beat Lakeside's girls 52-38 Saturday to win their second consecutive tournament championship.
Strong defensive pushes by both squads earned them the tournament titles.
Up by only 3 after one period, Evans held Harlem to just six points in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs mounted a near comeback, getting as close as 7 points, but the Knights fended them off.
"I thought we broke some defensively in the second half, but overall we played solid basketball," Evans coach Kevin Kenny said.
An aggressive Greenbrier denied the Lady Panthers a single basket in the third period on their way to a blowout win.
"There's no secret to what we do. We come out and go after it," Greenbrier girls coach Garrett Black said. "We have to play that way. We're not going to outsize anybody."
The Evans boys' basketball team cruised to a 67-43 win against the Lincoln County Red Devils in Thursday's first-round game. The Evans squad outscored Lincoln County by 12 points in both the first and second halves.
Though the Red Devils jumped off to an early lead, forward Jonathan Nicely, named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, started the Evans scoring attack by dropping a 3-pointer with 6:23 to go in the first quarter. He led the team in scoring with 30 points.
Down much of the first half in Thursday's first-round match, the Greenbrier girls took the lead off a Janay Moore three-pointer with just seconds remaining in the second period against Jefferson County and never surrendered it the remainder of the match.
Though averaging 10 points per game prior to Thursday's match, girls MVP Moore posted 19 points to lead her team to a 54-49 win.
In the 16-team tournament, representing the boys and girls squads of eight area schools, the Evans girls were the only Columbia County team defeated in the first round with a 43-33 loss to Lincoln County .
Perhaps the toughest hurdle the Lady Wolfpack faced on their way to a second consecutive championship came Friday from Harlem.
Heading into the fourth period tied at 25 each, the Lady Bulldogs committed five fouls in the last three minutes of the game and Greenbrier capitalized by sinking five for 10 free throws and winning the match 42-31.
The Greenbrier boys didn't fare as well as their lady counterparts on Friday in a 55-45 loss to Harlem High.
The Bulldogs exhibited excellent ball management throughout the match-up. Harlem established the lead heading into the second period and never gave it up. In that period, they scored 16 points to Greenbrier's 5 to earn a finals match-up against Evans.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.