Trevon Evans had half the court to himself. With time dwindling down, the Andover Central defense had retreated. Cheers from the student section were asking for it, so Evans searched for a green light.
“I just looked over at coach (Steve Blue) to see if he wanted me to do it or not. I was wide open, so I was like 'Why not?'” Evans said. “I just went up.”
On the way, Evans pumped both hands behind his head, then unfurled a swift and silent jam. It was the period on a contest filled with statements. The biggest one? Goddard Eisenhower wants your best shot for a full 32 minutes.
“I think it was more of a message saying, 'Hey, if you're going to play us, we want some competition,'” said Eisenhower's Matt Morris.
The Tigers were comfortable on their way to a 64-51 victory at Andover Central, sweeping the regular season series against the Jaguars.
Evans was ho-hum early, shooting 1-for-6 from the field. It did not last.
Evans polished off a 3-point play in the second quarter that punctuated a 9-0 run and put Eisenhower ahead 22-10. Up nine as the second half revved up, Evans fired off a 3-pointer to spring the lead back to 12.
After the slow start, Evans crescendoed, hitting 10-of-17 from the field the rest of the way. He scored 19 of his game-high 29 points in the second half. Three times, Evans dug deep in the paint and left with an and-one.
“He's good,” said Andover Central coach Jesse Herrmann. “He's definitely tough to guard.”
Andover Central (12-4) struggled to produce buckets in the first half, shooting 6-of-21 from the field.
The Jaguars put up a fight in the fourth, as Cameron Hurley's 3-pointer trimmed the deficit to 49-45, but there was not enough firepower to keep pace.
“It just didn't seem to me like we had the same energy as we have had in games before,” Herrmann said. “That's my fault. We didn't seem like we were ready to go.”
Zach Winter scored 18 points to lead Andover Central. Darraja Parnell and Hurley each added 12.
Eisenhower won the first meeting 63-56 in December.
“I honestly think our defense stepped up. Our defense is a lot better than last time,” Morris said. “That's one thing we emphasize in practice, is defense, defense, defense.”
Morris tallied nine points and 11 rebounds for the Tigers (14-1), who now have a double-digit win streak, pushing it to 10 games.
Andover Central's girls' squad defended home court in a 74-40 romp over Goddard Eisenhower.
The Tigers (7-8) scored a basket to cut the lead to 29-15 in the second quarter, but Skyler Snodgrass swished a 3-pointer that highlighted a 9-0 spurt to end the half for Andover Central (12-4).
Snodgrass led all scorers with 18. Rachel Lee paced Eisenhower with 11.