Knights stop rival Panthers
EVANS 67, LAKESIDE 52
By Stephen Fastenau | Columbia County Bureau
Saturday, January 16, 2010

Evans knew of Lakeside's recent run before Friday.

The Knights went on the road prepared for a different Panthers team than the one they'd faced early in the season. This one was a better fight, but with a similar result.

Evans won 67-52 by answering each run Lakeside attempted.

"We just came out and took care of business," Knights senior Troy Griffith said.

Griffith was limited by foul trouble for much of the first half.

With the starting five on the floor to start the third quarter, Griffith scored eight points in less than three minutes -- a quick 3-pointer, another 3-pointer from 25 feet and a leaning baseline shot that rattled in after Griffith attempted to initiate contact.

The Panthers matched Evans' scoring during the third quarter, but the tone was set. Griffith scored all 14 of his points after halftime.

"We told him to look for his shot," Evans coach Kevin Kenny said. "He's got the green light."

Knights forward Tony Davis led all scorers with 20 points.

The Panthers, owners of a three-game win streak entering Friday's game, missed 18 of 31 free throws and never led.

Lakeside had claimed region victories the previous weekend over Butler and Hephzibah and came from behind to win Tuesday at rival Greenbrier.

"We didn't come out with as much intensity as we wanted to," Lakeside senior Michael Punch said. "But we kept fighting until the end."

The Knights improved to 8-3 in Region 3-AAAA with the second half of the region schedule left.

The Panthers have three region wins, but Kenny and his team were wary of the county rival game on the road.

The Knights won the previous meeting, the second game of the season, by 19 points at home.

"Any time you beat a Columbia County school, it's a good win," Kenny said.

Punch led Lakeside with 18 points, including three 3-pointers.

And the Panthers made several attempts to keep the game close. The missed free throws hurt, as did the off timing on some backdoor passes and cuts that led Evans' steals.

Despite the letdown, Punch was confident Lakeside had turned a corner.

"We're scoring more points," he said. "We're playing better defense. Hopefully that will translate to more wins."

Reach Stephen Fastenau at (706) 863-6165, ext. 116 or stephen.fastenau@augustachronicle.com.

From the Saturday, January 16, 2010 edition of the Augusta Chronicle
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