Evans entered Tuesday night’s county rivalry game against Lakeside feeling it had something to prove.
The Knights were coming off consecutive region losses, including losing a double-digit lead against Alcovy four days prior.
That, coupled with a matchup against defending region champion Lakeside, proved to be the motivating factors.
Evans pulled away in the second half to top Lakeside 76-66 and put itself back in the league picture.
The Knights entered the week staring down the challenge of a much-needed win against a talented Lakeside team. Led by 35 points from Cameron Cabarrus, including six 3-pointers, they put themselves back in the thick of the Region 3-AAAAAA race at 3-2 while improving to 11-7 overall.
“They know that they let one slip away and they had something to prove,” Evans coach Kevin Kenny said. “It’s a great group. They were ready to play tonight. They wanted to come out and show everybody they’re a quality team, which we are. They had a little chip on their shoulder. No doubt about that.”
Christian Chambers added 12 points for Evans and Dylan Cardwell chipped in 10 while playing solid defense under the basket.
Lakeside (9-9, 3-2) fell for the second consecutive region game after losing to league leader Heritage this past Friday. Kalen Williams scored 30 points, including four 3s, and provided several highlight-reel plays early en route to 20 first-half points.
The two teams matched shot for shot for much of the first half, combining for 40 first quarter points as Evans led 21-19, and the Knights held a 37-32 advantage into the half. Williams juked his way to a highlight layup at 2:30 in the second to tie at 32, but Evans bounced back with the quarter’s final five points.
The Knights continued to hold a close lead at 55-49 entering the fourth, but they outscored the Panthers 21-17 in the final quarter to pull away. Cabarrus hit a 3 at 7:30 for a 58-49 advantage, and Cardwell provided the exclamation point with a dunk at 1:10 for a 70-61 lead.
In the girls game, Lakeside drained eight 3-pointers en route to a 52-42 victory over Evans.
The Lady Panthers set the tone early with a heavy dose of 3s, including three early from Claire Messer, who finished with 17 points. Caroline Johnson posted 14 for Lakeside, while Alexis McClain led Evans with 10.
Reach David Lee at (706) 823-3216 or email@example.com.