Hephzibah has been close before, only to commit a turnover, miss a shot or have a call go against it.
But this weekend has been different.
The Rebels won their second close game in as many days, beating Evans, 49-44, Saturday in the William Avery Invitational at Christenberry Fieldhouse.
“These kids have been fighting, fighting, fighting,” Hephzibah coach Bob Klofenstine said. “It’s fantastic. We’re fired up now. We can’t wait to play.”
The Rebels, who came back from five points down with about a minute left to beat Burke County on Friday night, trailed by as many as nine points in the first half on Saturday.
They led for most of the second half, using a strong inside presence.
Tamyrik Fields scored 12 points for the Rebels – he had eight in the opening half – scoring several baskets on second-chance opportunities.
“My whole philosophy is getting the ball inside,” Klofenstine said.
Eight players scored for Hephzibah, but Corey Powell and Levonte Reddick had especially clutch plays.
After a Corey Powell basket gave the Rebels a 45-39 lead, Myles McDavid kept hopes alive for the Knights (13-9).
The guard drilled three 3-pointers in the game, his last cutting the lead to 45-44 with less than 45 seconds remaining.
But Reddick, who scored all eight of his points at the foul line, hit four consecutive free throws in the final minute and also grabbed a defensive rebound with less than 25 seconds to play to ensure the win.
“We work hard,” Rebels senior Lavorius Beasley said.
McDavid put up a game-high 18 points for Evans.