Wolfpack finally earn redemption over rival

GREENBRIER 67, EVANS 60

 

Greenbrier junior Dejon Britton and his teammates eased their bitterness about recent losses to Evans, beating their rival 67-60 at home Thursday night.

The Wolfpack had not beaten the Knights since January 2008, a four-game skid.

"This was my last time to do it," Greenbrier senior Jonathan Hampton said. "So I'm glad we won."

The Wolfpack were propelled early by the shooting of guards Justin Cofer and Chad Waddell, who combined to drill seven 3-pointers. Unlike previous games, when the 3-point shooting served as a last-ditch comeback attempt, the Wolfpack's long-range attempts came during the normal flow of their offense, coach Casey Heckathorn said.

Back-to-back 3-pointers from Waddell and Cofer to start the second half pushed the Greenbrier lead to 15, the largest margin of the game. Evans would battle back to within four during the fourth quarter, but the game didn't include the drama of past contests.

"A seven-point win is a blowout in this series," Greenbrier athletic director Garrett Black said, as he nodded to the scoreboard after the game.

Greenbrier players sounded relieved the shots were falling, a fortune they said had not been there in previous games.

The Wolfpack will finish their region regular season Monday at home -- a game that was pushed back because of today's forecast. The result could dramatically shift Greenbrier's seed in next week's Region 2-AAAA tournament.

Heckathorn said he was scrambling to adjust the schedule before Thursday's game, and that the Wolfpack's routine was changed in that the boys game was the only one played Thursday. The game was moved back from Saturday because of the winter break.

The hectic day didn't remove Greenbrier's focus from its rivals, Heckathorn said.

"It's the game of the year every year in the county," he said. "I don't know how you'd look it over."

The Knights tried for a sweep of their rivals.

An 8-0 run early in the second half brought the Knights within seven. Forward Troy Griffith's three-point play with 1:33 left brought Evans within four.

But Greenbrier made nine of its final 12 free throws to seal the victory.

Evans (17-7) plays Hephzibah today at Josey to close the regular season. The Region 3-AAAA tournament begins Saturday.

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