Giovanny Evanson shines the most when there is a lot at stake.
For example, Saturday’s regional 1A men’s basketball game against Lakeside of Nine Mile Falls, where the goaltender scored 35 points to lift King’s Way Christian to a 62-59 victory.
Not only is this a new career high for the junior, but the mark is just two points off King’s Way’s single-game school record of 37. The win also sends King’s Way Christian (16 -5) in his seventh consecutive State 1A Tournament. at the Yakima Valley SunDome next week.
Says Evanson: “Finding my shot is a big thing, especially when I’m getting into a rhythm,” Evanson said. “The coach likes to say, ‘An aggressive Gio is a good Gio. “”
And good Gio was great on Saturday, and it turned out King’s Way needed Evanson’s 35 points. In the opening possessions, he was already 2 for 2 shooting and registered a blocked shot. He had 27 points late in the third quarter, including a key role in King’s Way’s 10-0 run that pushed the Knights to their first double-digit lead. He capped it off by going 6 for 6 from the free throw line in the final 28.5 seconds of the game.
The two-time 1A Trico League MVP turned in an MVP performance, and head coach Daven Harmeling said what he saw of his junior guard started with him being relentless throughout the game.
“They were physical with him throughout the game, and he was really tired – rightly so,” Harmeling said. “But it was nice to see him still attacking and getting to the rim and sticking to plays and getting to the line instead of just 3 seconds. It was continuous.
Alex Fulton added 12 points on four 3-pointers, including a corner 3 that made it 56-52 that ended up being the Knights’ final field goal. Jamison Duke added his eight points in the third quarter.
Dayne Kreuch led the Eagles with 19 points and Kole Hunsaker added 18. Lakeside had 12 3s in the game.
King’s Way will face Freeman at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday in a losing match at Yakima. In fact, this will be the team’s fourth straight losing game. After a district semifinal loss to eventual district champion Castle Rock, the Knights won two consolation games just to reach regionals. This included a 53-43 victory over league rival Seton Catholic behind Evanson’s 34 points.
The path taken by the Knights to reach the state is a lesson in humility for Evanson.
“We really had our backs against the wall this time,” Evanson said, “and I think that brought out the best in us.”
KING’S WAY CHRISTIAN 62, LAKESIDE (9 MILE FALLS) 59
LAKESIDE – Sadahiro Patterson 3, Jacob Splichal 1, Dayne Kreuch 19, Dawson Tobeck 8, Brayden Field 4, Kole Hunsaker 18, Calvin Mikkelsen 7. Totals 20 (12) 8-11 59.
KING’S WAY CHRISTIAN – Giovanny Evanson 35, Jamison Duke 8, Ryan Tyler 3, Alex Fulton 12, Matthew Belefski 0, WIll Gunn 5. Totals 22 (10) 10-14 62.
LS: 13 13 14 19 – 62
kW: 17 9 23 13 – 59