Evans High School's boys basketball team started the right way coming out of the holiday break.
The Knights resumed their Region 3-AAAA schedule Tuesday by clamping down on Glenn Hills for a 47-38 victory.
"It's great to have," Evans coach Kevin Kenny said of his team's fifth region win. "Glenn Hills is one of the top teams in the region, and they're going to be there in the end."
Kenny and Knights sophomore Austin Sandifer said the win was key after the team's loss to Laney during the final of Evans' holiday tournament.
The Knights defense propelled them, especially late in the fourth quarter. After the Spartans pulled within 1 with 6:29 left and upped the defensive pressure, Evans responded.
Knights senior Troy Griffith snatched a loose ball and called time out before falling out of bounds. Guard Trevor Foreman stole a Spartans' in-bounds pass out of a time out and laid it in. A Tony Davis block shook the rubber padding on the backboard.
"We had to pick up our defense at the end of the game," Sandifer said. "They started picking up theirs and being more aggressive. So we had to pick up ours."
Sandifer led all scorers with 10 points. He produced the game's top play, a 3-pointer launched from the top of the key at the opposite end of the floor that rattled in at the buzzer to end the first quarter.
Except for that play, the offensive highlights were few, though the Knights took advantage of several fast break opportunities during the second half.
The game was a letdown of sorts for the Spartans. Coach Travis McRae's team last week won a holiday tournament in Columbia but could not sustain that momentum on the road. No Glenn Hills player reached double digits, and the Spartans were done in by a four-point third quarter.
McRae said his team lacked focus. He referenced missed layups and free throws during the fourth quarter.
But McRae was optimistic.
"In the end, it's just one game," he said. "They've got to come back to our place. We got 12 more region games. One thing about basketball, you got to get over it quick, because the next game's coming."
Grovetown 44, Cross Creek 39
Warriors senior Marianne Davignon scored a game-high 17 points and Grovetown improved to 4-3 in Region 3-AAAA. Davignon's big night included three 3-pointers. The Razorbacks were led by Jasmine Gilgore's 14 points.
Augusta Prep 35, Westminster 28
The Cavaliers opened region play with a victory over their cross-town rivals. Prep was led by Madeline Batcheller's 8 points. Haley Barinowski scored 8 points for Westminster.
Lakeside 58, Westside 41
The Panthers continued their strong start by rolling over the Patriots. Lakeside juniors Carolyn Hennecken and Tishal Turknett combined for 39 points. The Panthers improved to 10-2, and 7-1 in Region 3-AAAA.
O'burg Prep 48, Aug. Christian 40
Amaura Brandt scored 10 points and three other Lions scored 8, but it wasn't enough for Augusta Christian. Orangeburg was led by Kate Edwards' 17 points.
Grovetown 59, Cross Creek 55
Sophomore Myles McDavid scored 16 points and Toney Threatt added 12 for the Warriors, who opened their post-holiday schedule with a region win. Denzell Garrettt added 8 points for coach Casey Dees' team.
Westside 66, Lakeside 45
Westside's Allen Elmore scored 20 points and Ivory Drummer added 18 for the Patriots. A.J. Bennett scored 10 points for Lakeside, which fell to 1-7 in Region 3-AAAA.
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