Evans carries Central boys basketball team to win against Notre Dame
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Central's Garan Evans should probably sell life insurance, because Tuesday night the Tigers were certainly in good hands.
The senior guard scored a season-high 29 points to lead Central past Notre Dame 56-50 in a SEMO Conference boys basketball game at the Show Me Center.
Evans was 9 of 14 from the floor -- including 7 of 9 from behind the 3-point arc -- as the Tigers improved to 11-7 on the season.
"He was huge tonight," Central coach Drew Church said after the game. "When a team shuts down your inside scoring, you've got to have senior leadership, and Garan certainly gave us that tonight."
Evans had 11 points in a first half that saw the Tigers trailing 23-18 at intermission. But he added three more 3-pointers in the third period, and teammate Andre Statam had back-to-back conventional three-point plays as the Tigers outscored the Bulldogs 21-9 in the third to take a 39-32 lead.
The closest Notre Dame would get in the final period was three points as the Tigers closed out the win at the free-throw line, hitting 10 of 14 from the charity stripe over the final eight minutes.
"Evans is a good player," said Notre Dame coach Kevin Roberts, whose squad fell to 9-10 on the season. "That senior leadership is there, you could see he really wanted the ball."
Roberts' game plan was to clog the middle and not allow Jamal Cox, Central's 6-foot-6 junior center, to roam free. The strategy worked as Cox was held to six points.
"We usually like to play inside-out," Evans said. "But they were doubling and tripling Jamal. It was open, so I just took the shots."
Cox contributed in other ways, blocking five shots and keeping the Bulldogs off the glass, including a pair of rebounds off Notre Dame misses in the final minute with the Tigers clinging to a slim lead.
Evans and Notre Dame's Cody Debrock had matching threes in a slow first quarter that had each team feeling the other out. But Debrock -- who led Notre Dame with 22 points -- added two more in the second quarter as the Bulldogs jumped to an 18-8 lead midway through the period.
"We came out on our heels," Church said. "They really put it on us, and that was frustrating."
Church was much happier with how his squad played in the second half.
"I'm happy we battled, especially in the second half. It wasn't pretty. We've still got to clean some stuff up. But tonight, the effort was there."
Trailing 30-26 midway through the third, Central went on a 13-2 run to close the quarter and take a 39-32 lead into the final frame. Statam had eight of his 13 points in the run, and Evans finished it with a 3-pointer just as the third-quarter buzzer sounded.
"Andre's coming around," Church said. "He's been getting more confident, getting more physical, and he's knocking down his shots. We needed that tonight."
The Tigers, plagued by turnovers in a loss to Poplar Bluff last week, kept them to a minimum Tuesday night. After committing eight in the first period, the Tigers had just four in the next two quarters when they took the lead.
"Coach was emphasizing turnovers in practice," Evans said. "If we don't turn it over, than we can score. We just did what coach said, did what we had to do."
NOTRE DAME (50) -- Cody Debrock 22, Quinn Poythress 7, Patrick Williamson 8, Luke Mocherman 2, Grant Ressel 6, Jordan Barber 2, Tanner Shively 3. FG: 16, FT x11-18, F 19. (3-pointers: Debrock 5, Poythress 1, Ressel 1. Fouled out: none)
CENTRAL (56) -- Sentrell Blackmon 4, Al Young 4, Garan Evans 29, Jamal Cox 6, Andre Statam 13. FG 17, FT 15-20, F 17. (3-pointers: Evans 7. Fouled out: Young)