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Statesboro teams cruise in season-opening wins against SEB

    BROOKLET — Eric Ferguson scored a game high 21 points, including two one-handed jams  to ignite a packed gym, and the Statesboro Blue Devils ran away from the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets 92-55 Saturday night.
    The Blue Devils (1-0) scored 50 points in the second half on their way to the blowout.
    "I like the intensity the players had throughout the game," said SHS head coach Lee Hill. "We got that lead but they didn't really lose anything and they continued on playing."
    The Blue Devils had a 22-point lead coming into the second half and Ferguson's second dunk of the night got things rolling in the third quarter.
    The Yellow Jackets began to press and hung with SHS for much of the frame, but it was a little late. SEB hit three 3s in the frame, two from Tony Raymond and one from Leroy Evans. But the speed and quickness of Statesboro wore the Yellow Jackets down.
    The Blue Devils would go on to add 28 more points in the fourth quarter, using five-man rotations off the bench to keep fresh legs in the game.
    "I found I can play a lot of guys," said Hill. "We played five and five and I'm very pleased with that."
    Raymond had a team-leading 11 points for SEB (0-1), which opened the game with a 6-0 lead after back-to-back 3s. The lead was short lived, however, as SHS stormed back to score six straight and eventually take the lead for good at 9-8. It was a hectic first eight minutes for both teams, but things settled down in the second quarter.
    Statesboro begin to separate themselves from SEB in the second as the Jackets got into foul trouble. SHS scored 19 points on the night from the line and SEB ended the game with six players having three or more fouls. Eight different players scored for SHS before the half, and the Blue Devils held on firmly to a 42-20 halftime lead.
    Shanchez Ware added 13, Patrick     Parker had 10 and Jared Houston had nine for the Blue Devils.

Lady Blue Devils empty bench in win
    Gwenneta Jones had 12 points, 11 Lady Blue Devils scored and head coach Jeff Seier got his first win as girls basketball coach at Statesboro Saturday night in a 50-24 victory over Southeast Bulloch.
    Every girl on the SHS team played for Seier as the Devils held SEB (0-1) to just eight second-half points.
    "Well, we thought we could get that bottom three into the game tonight because we know somewhere down the road we're going to need all 12 girls," said Seier.
    Southeast Bulloch attempted to slow the game down in the second half, having just nine girls dress for Saturday's contest. But the Lady Jackets could only manage two points in the third quarter.
    "I was disappointed offensively," said SEB head coach Milton Williams. "I was disappointed the way we didn't get into our offense and work there. I was surprised and happy to see our young girls step up, but our seniors are going to have to do a better job."
    Those seniors, Lauren Akins and Brittany Carter, combined for 16 of SEB's points, but the scores were each a quarter apart.
    The Lady Devils (1-0) pushed the halftime lead thanks to a 22-point outburst in the second quarter. Eight Statesboro players scored in the quarter, but SHS scored just 16 points the rest of the way.
    "The score was pretty good but the play was a little ragged," said Seier. "I thought we would shoot the ball better than what we did tonight and we really weren't in the right places in our press (defense). So we still have some things to work on."
    Monnette Bennett added eight points for SHS on an off-shooting night while DeAnn Lewis added four for SEB.
    Southeast Bulloch returns to action on Tuesday when they travel to Portal. The Devils will be off until Friday when they travel to Johnson in Savannah.
    
    Chad Bishop can be reached at (912)-489-9404.

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