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SHS ladies win game, not toss

    Sometimes it’s not how you start, but how you finish.
    Monnette Bennett’s second free throw with 1:40 left in the fourth quarter proved to be the game winner and the Lady Blue Devils held on for a 46-43 win over the Academy of Richmond County Friday on Senior Night.
    Trailing 42-30 in the fourth quarter, SHS (16-9, 5-3) ended the game on a 16-1 run. Statesboro head coach Jeff Seier called a timeout with 5:58 left to settle down his troops.
    “It was nothing fancy, nothing to do with X’s and O’s,” said Seier. “It was just ‘Hey, were going to be alright. Take care of the basketball, they’re getting tired, play good defense and we’ll be back in this thing.’”
    Victoria Mikell scored five points during the run, including the game’s final free throws with 6.1 and two seconds left, respectively.
    “We just said we had to get it,” said Mikell. “We had to get it for our seniors. They beat us by two last time — we couldn’t have that this time.”
    Senior Gwennetta Jones registered a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
    Jones also had the task of guarding ARC’s Kaylyn Small. Small, the center, finished with a game-high 17, but was limited to just six points in the second half.
    “Our goal, mainly, was to get (Small) out on the block,” said Jones. “That’s the only person we were really worried about. With her being big, we knew she could post-up and she could shoot too.”
    Small’s seven points in the second quarter helped ARC (15-10, 5-3) build a 17-6 lead. Small hit  turnaround jumper after turnaround jumper while also pulling down 14 rebounds. When she got into foul trouble, point guard Brittney Jones picked up the slack by dropping in 15 of her own.
    Statesboro’s leading scorer Bennett was held to just eight points and went scoreless in the first half. The junior was 1-for-her-first-13 field goals but still managed to sink the game-winning free throws.
    After the game, Seier and ARC head coach Harry Bufford conducted a coin toss to see who would claim region 3-AAAA’s No. 2 seed.
    The Lady Musketeers won the toss, meaning the Lady Devils will be on the road next week for round one of the region tournament.

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