Troy Griffith knew what the Evans boys basketball team faced Friday night. Richmond Academy had met little resistance during its undefeated start in Region 3-AAAA.
"They are just a really good basketball team," he said. "They are resilient."
Griffith, a senior guard, did his part to put a scare in the Musketeers, but they came from behind and held on for a 75-69 victory. Richmond Academy's winning streak stretched to 18 games.
Griffith had 27 points to lead Evans, including 12 of its 14 third-quarter points, before the Musketeers got wise.
"They were denying everything (the last 10 minutes) on me, but our other guys did a good job of stepping up there at the end," Griffith said.
Trevor Foreman added 17 points for Evans, which had lost to Richmond Academy by 10 points earlier in the year.
"They are a very experienced team, and their experience helped them," Evans coach Kevin Kenny said.
Richmond Academy, ranked second in the state, improved to 15-0 in Region 3-AAAA and is 34-2 against region teams the past two seasons. It leads each of the other 10 teams in the region by at least three games with two weeks to play in the regular season.
The Musketeers have all but locked up the top seed for the region tournament, which will be played on their home floor the week after Valentine's Day.
Their latest victory didn't come without resistance. Evans made eight 3-pointers and led by nine points midway through the third quarter.
Richmond Academy, which hasn't lost since November, went ahead for good with a 17-2 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters, mostly because of its ability to turn turnovers into quick buckets.
"It may age me a little bit, but it's good for the team to go through a little adversity," said coach Steve Nobles, whose team has won all but two of its region games by double digits.
Raston Brown led the Musketeers with 19 points. Don Quarles and Desmond Lofland added 15 each.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Austin Sandifer pulled Evans within two points with 14.9 seconds left. Lofland then hit just one of two free throws, but the Knights couldn't corral the miss, even though Richmond Academy had only one player in the lane attempting to rebound. The ball went out of bounds off Evans, essentially ending the game.
The Augusta Chronicle staff writer Matt Middleton contributed to this report.
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