A strong defensive effort led the Evans boys to victory Tuesday night in a final tune-up game against Grovetown prior to the start of region contests.
The Knights won 69-53 in the home game against their county rival.
“Our defense pushed hard tonight,” Evans coach Kevin Kenny said. “We’re trying to get more consistency and tonight was a good start toward doing that.”
Evans (8-5) also ruled beneath the boards, scoring at least eight points on offensive rebounds.
Grovetown (5-8) stayed close in the first period, trailing by only two points.
But Evans’ relentless defense started to wear on the Warriors as they ended the half down 35-26.
The deficit grew by another point at the end of the third quarter, but Grovetown’s composure started to unravel as time for a comeback grew short in the fourth.
The Warriors sent the Knights to the free-throw line five times in the final period, giving Evans six points.
Evans guard Myles McDavid put up 25 points in the contest, followed by Knights’ big man Jacob Buchanan with 17.
In the girls game, Grovetown’s Malia Kency ruled the night with 23 points, 12 from behind the 3-point line in the first three periods of the Lady Warriors’ 51-46 win.
The lack of baskets in the fourth period doesn’t mean Kency didn’t have a big impact.
Sitting on a four-point lead, Grovetown’s strategy shifted. Kency simply held the ball near half court with the Lady Knights packed in their zone.
Nearly four minutes passed by in the fourth quarter with no one putting up points.
Eventually, Evans’ girls were forced to chase after Kency, opening up holes in their defense to potentially exploit.
However, the Lady Knights frustration with the ploy often ended in fouls.
In the final 1:20 of the game, Evans sent Grovetown to the free-throw line five times, resulting in three more points for the Lady Warriors to pad their lead.
Region matchups start Friday for both Evans and Grovetown.
Evans takes on Greenbrier at home in a Region 2-AAAA contest. Grovetown travels to Harlem for a Region 3-AAA matchup.