Evans outscored Rockdale County in only one quarter in the ABR Tip Off Tournament on Friday night, but what an glorious quarter it was.
After coming out cold, the Knights trailed the Bulldogs 17-5 after the first quarter. By halftime, the Knights turned the 12-point deficit into a 39-21 lead, outscoring the Bulldogs 34-4 en route to their 79-64 victory.
“We went with the small lineup in the second quarter when we were down 17-5,” Evans head coach Kevin Kenny said. “We actually had five guards out there that second quarter and those were our scorers. They all played last year and they’ve been through the battles … We figured go small and go experienced.”
Junior Matlin Marshall hit two free throws and a 3-pointer to jumpstart the Knights, then his steal led to junior Kameron Mason’s free throw. Mason followed that up with consecutive conventional three-point plays to tie the score at 17 with 4:51 left in the half.
When Mason came out of the game after picking up his third personal foul, senior Patrick Lawrence took over and scored seven of the team’s next nine points as the Knights went up 26-20.
“We picked up our defense and really realized they can’t run with us, so we just ran them the whole time,” said senior K’lon Lovett of the second period.
The Knights (2-0) stymied the Bulldogs (0-and sank 12 of 14 free throws in the second quarter. They made 3 of 9 in the first quarter.
Lovett and Lawrence tied for game-high with 17 points, each sinking three 3-pointers while Marshall finished with 13 points.
Attacking the basket and getting to the free-throw line in the second half, the Bulldogs closed to within 55-43 seconds into the fourth. Lovett drained 3-pointers on the next two possessions to quickly build the lead back to 18, effectively ending the threat.
Brian Jessie led the Bulldogs with 12 points while Connor Ferrell added 11 and Darryl Tucker had 10.
Evans led by as many as 27 before the Bulldogs scored the final 12 points.