Three nights, three thrillers.
This time, Cameron Caberrus swished two free throws in the final minute, R.J. King added a layup and Evans rallied once again for a 67-64 win over Fayette County in the Monterrey Christmas Tournament championship game Saturday night.
Dylan Cardwell led the Knights with 12 points, while Caberrus, the tournament MVP, added 11.
“It’s good, because we beat a very good team in Fayette County,” Evans coach Kevin Kenny said. “They’re a well-coached team. That’s a bonus to beat a quality team like that.”
Evans (9-4) extended its winning streak to six games, having previously won last-second thrillers over Lake Nona and Strom Thurmond the previous two nights. The Knights trailed by one when Caberrus knocked down his free throws. After a defensive stand, Evans got the ball back and inbounded with seven seconds remaining. King scored off the inbound pass to extend the lead to three.
Fayette County tried to tie it in the end, but Josh Dupree’s game-tying 3-point attempt missed long.
“The kids learned how to win,” said Kenny, whose team won its past three games by a total of seven points. “That’s the most important thing. We pulled out those close games.”
Fayette County (10-4) advanced to the championship contest after defeating Grovetown and Midland Valley. The Tigers jumped out to a 22-17 lead after the first quarter thanks to six 3-pointers. Ricky Knight had 21 for Fayette County.
In the girls game, Franklin County pulled away in the second half for a 49-23 win over Cross Creek. The undefeated Class AAA school from Carnesville, Ga.,defeated local Class AAAAAA powers in Grovetown and the Lady Razorbacks in consecutive nights.
“It was good to come see some different teams and some different styles of play than what we see back home,” Lady Lions coach John Strickland said. “If you’re fortunate to get to the state tournament, you’re going to see some different things and you better be prepared for that.
Franklin County (13-0) entered having allowed its previous four opponents 22 or fewer points a contest. The Lady Lions practiced each of the previous two days, taking this tournament serious.
“We talk about being detailed all the time,” Strickland said. “If you’re detailed, good things will work out for you. The other part is buying in, because I’m going to coach them real hard. They’ve got to accept that, and I think they’ve done a good job of doing that.”
Mya Jones scored 12 points to lead Franklin County, while Bailee Breedlove added 10.
Cross Creek (12-4) bounced back from a close loss to Laney the previous week with wins over Butler, Strom Thurmond and Statesboro.
The Lady Razorbacks scored two points in the opening quarter and struggled to get any offense going the rest of the way. Jordyn Dorsey led Cross Creek with six points.