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Rashad King, Brasen James and Joshton Mincey Shoot Evans Past Norcross

McEachern, another nationally renowned program, will await the red hot Knights when they return to Atlanta Tuesday night.

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                          #4 Rashad King (Evans) 

School1Q2Q3Q4QFinal
Evans 1520191569
Norcross 1918161063

    Evans – Brasen James 6 2-2 18, Rashad King 7 7-8 25, Joshton Mincey 6 2-2 18, Devin Story 2 0-0 5, Jaydnt Stephens 0 1-2 1, Tyson Jones 1 0-0 2. Totals: 22 12-13 69.

    Norcross – London Johnson 5 0-0 13, Samarion Bond 0 2-2 2, Jaden Harris 4 6-6 16, Jahki Howard 6 3-6 17, Jacob Foster 1 0-0 2, Kok Yat 4 0-0 9, Hezekiah Flagg 0 4-4 4. Totals: 20 15-18 63.

Three-point goals – Evans: 13 (James 4, King 4 Mincey 4, Story). Norcross: 8 (Johnson 3, Harris 2, Howard 2, Yat).

Rashad King (25 points), Brasen James (18) and Joshton Mincey (18) combined for 61 points to lead Evans to a 69-63 win over Norcross, marking a second statement win in two Lemon Street Classic tournament games for the Knights, who will face McEachern, another nationally renowned program, Tuesday in the championship game.

King, a 6-5 senior guard, left his fingerprints all over Tuesday’s win. When Evans trailed 51-47 late in the third quarter, King reeled off 7 points during the final 2:28 of the third quarter to send Evans into the final period with a 54-53 lead. King’s spurt began with a three pointer that he released with his foot touching the Marietta High logo around the jump ball circle, and it ended with a left handed dunk in transition after deflecting a Norcross pass.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, King threaded the needle with a post entry pass to James, who dunked it with two hands to give Evans a three point lead. Minutes later, King came free on a “flex cut,” and he converted a left handed layup while being fouled with 4:56 to go. He made the free throw to give Evans a 60-53 lead, and almost immediately after that he fed Mincey in the right corner for a three pointer that put Evans ahead 63-53 with 4:22 remaining, completing a 22-6 Evans run.

The three by Mincey gave Evans its largest lead of the game, and it was the fourth bomb the senior point guard made in the second half. Mincey also made back-to-back three pointers right after Evans trailed 47-41 in the third quarter to help jump start the decisive second half run.

Earlier, King combined with James in the first half to help Evans establish control after falling behind Norcross 19-10 when the Blue Devils came out smoking hot from long distance to bury 5 three pointers in the first quarter. King steadied Evans’ attack by nailing a deep three after dribbling left behind the top of the key and working off of a high ball screen. On the next play, using the same action, he made a beautiful pass to 6-6 sophomore Tyson Jones, who rolled after setting the screen for King and finished to make it 19-15. James then made a pair of free throws and a three pointer that gave Evans a 22-21 second quarter lead. After 2 more three pointers by King, Evans had completed an 18-2 run and gained a 28-21 advantage.

King, James and Mincey combined to score all but 8 of Evans’ points, and the trio made 11 three pointers in total. In the post game interview below, head coach Kevin Kenny credited his starters’ for the extra work they have put in outside of official practice time for the team’s hot shooting in the last two games. The Knights have made 20 threes so far in the tournament.

Coach Kenny also talked about King’s unique mix of size and skill and about how his players are out to prove that Augusta’s teams can compete with anybody. After Tuesday’s championship game, Evans will have faced three Atlanta based teams who are all state title contenders, two of whom are regularly recognized as national powers. If coach Kenny is hard to hear, it’s because he was driving home in a car while giving the interview. After every tournament game, Evans has had to drive back home before returning to Atlanta. Coach Kenny noted that the team would not return until 1:30 A.M. Tuesday and would tip off against McEachern at 8:30 P.M. Tuesday. That will be after a fifth 3 hour drive in three days for the Knights. Meanwhile, Lanier, Norcross, and McEachern, Evans’ three opponents, have had the luxury of operating in their hometown throughout the tournament. But something tells me the Evans players wouldn’t trade this ride for anything right now.

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[Livestream] Grovetown vs Evans in Region Battle for Playoff Position

Evans hosts Grovetown and looks to avenge their buzzer beater loss to the Warriors on January 22nd.

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“Sophomore Malik Ferguson picked up a loose ball in the middle of the paint with one second remaining, and right before the fourth quarter buzzer sounded, he released a shot that found its mark to give Grovetown 61-60 win over Evans Friday, a result that threw the top spot in the class 6A, region 5 standings into a three way tie between Grovetown, Evans and Heritage to mark the beginning of the stretch run for the league’s regular season championship. Ferguson’s shot came at the end of a full court dash by Grovetown after head coach Darren Douglas was able to draw up a play during a timeout that was meant to result in a bucket in only six seconds. The play was designed for senior Zach Bell, who eventually fumbled the ball after spinning between defenders at the end of a drive that began near half court after he gathered the ball from freshman Derrion Reid.”

That was Chad Cook’s rundown of the instant classic that these two teams played two weeks ago. That win by Grovetown sets up a must-win scenario for Evans as they look to maintain their footing in the race for a region championship.

Be sure to get your ? ready early because if tonight’s game is as exciting as the last one, you just might forget those jokers altogether!

Streams will be posted here. Tip-off times are as follows:
Girls – 6:30 PM
Boys – 8:00 PM

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Former Basketball Stars Lead the Way in Business, Community Service, and Artistic Pursuits

Harold Doby, Reggie Middleton and Roman Hill have turned a brand into a business, a lifestyle and a mental framework for impacting their community.

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Reggie Middleton (left) and Harold Doby (right)

On January 4th, the day after Harold Doby’s “Books and Life Lessons” (B.A.L.L.) charitable organization conducted a coat drive to help keep warm some of the most vulnerable people in the downtown area, I spoke with Doby and Reggie Middleton, two lifelong friends and former college and high school basketball stars, at Middleton’s “Came From Nxthing Designer Apparel” shop at 120 James Brown Boulevard. Our interview (below) covered the coat drive, Reggie’s entrepreneurial journey, and the meaning behind the “Came From Nxthing” brand, which originated from the music of Roman Hill, our third interviewee. Hill’s friendship with Doby and Middleton helped sprout a “movement” that has provided a framework for the three former athletes to impact the world through acts of community service, business, art, entrepreneurship and charity.

The interview provided a great chance for me to get reacquainted with two men I’ve watched grow from being boys who excelled in a game, to leaders of their families and their community. I bet others who watched them star at Glenn Hills and Winthrop (Middleton), and at Laney and Augusta University (Doby), will also gain satisfaction from hearing about their continued personal development. For example, Reggie explained how he took advantage of his basketball talent to earn a job playing professional basketball in London. Then he used his experience there to hatch a business idea to bring high-quality fashion for an affordable price to people in his hometown.

Reggie Middleton scored 1,186 points for Winthrop.

Harold’s concern for people who are most in need, whether it be the men and women he personally distributed the coats to earlier this month, or the students in his school he recalled giving clothes and shoes to when he was in grade school, is the original reason for my getting back into contact with the two men I once coached and taught when they were middle schoolers.

Harold Doby distributing coats in downtown Augusta on January 4.

I’m grateful we reconnected because they are a shining example of what can be greatest about sports and the community that builds around such a life journey: strong, caring relationships developed through shared experiences, encounters with adversity, and moments of triumph, as well as failures and hardships. Reggie’s story about how he has been able to take the difficult circumstances of the pandemic and nonetheless thrive in business with his “back against the wall” by drawing on his experiences as a basketball player growing up reinforces something I’ve always believed, that youth sports is great practice for real life. 

Harold Doby and Reggie Middleton, as well as Roman Hill, whom Doby first met as his rapping Augusta University basketball teammate, are winning the game of real life every bit as much as they did when they mastered the game of basketball as younger men.

Look out for news of the next Drive from B.A.L.L. Visit the Came From Nxthing Designer Apparel Facebook page to see Reggie’s merchandise, shop with him online or find store information:

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