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Blue Devils sweep by Windsor Forest

Blue Devils sweep by Windsor Forest

Blue Devils sweep by Windsor Forest

    After a crucial Region 3-AAAA sweep over Wayne County Friday night, Statesboro’s boys and girls picked up another pair of wins Saturday against Windsor Forest at the Devil’s Den.
    The Statesboro boys scored the first 15 points in their game and led by as many as 24, but had to withstand a late Windsor Forest rally to claim a 71-60 win.
    In the boys game, O’Aaron Ware scored 17 of Statesboro’s first 27 points as the Blue Devils (12-4) raced out to a 42-21 halftime advantage. Ware led all scorers with 23 points on the night.
    “(O’Aaron) did a great job tonight,” SHS coach Lee Hill said. “I felt like we came out strong and set the tone. When things got close late in the game, our starters came in again and took control to get us the win.”
    Statesboro’s transition game keyed its early run and threatened to take the Knights (1-12) out of contention early on. Zaquavian Smith (12 points) and Jerquale Lee each hit on a pair of early jumpers before Miles Walker — who led Windsor Forest with 20 points — scored the Knights’ first points on a jumper at the 3:24 mark of the first quarter.
    Statesboro held a 16-7 edge after the first quarter and stellar inside play by Jaylan Rawls (11 points, seven rebounds) helped the Devils double up the Knights’ output by halftime.
    Blue Devil reserves played the majority of the second half and Windsor was able to claw back into contention.
    Walker and Malik King (18 points) each hit a pair from beyond the arc and the Knights put together a 14-0 run in the third period before Statesboro’s starters returned to the court.
    “We might have subbed a little early,” Hill said. “But we wanted to get some guys more playing time. Windsor Forest played hard and made us get our starters back in, but we felt pretty comfortable the whole way.”
    Things went a bit easier for the Statesboro girls.
    The Lady Blue Devils (12-7) built a 28-15 lead during a hard-fought first half and allowed Windsor Forest (1-13) to score just seven second half points en route to a runaway 57-22 win.
    “We didn’t play our best early on,” SHS girls coach Jeff Seier said. “In the second half, we were able to execute a little better. Overall, I was just happy that we were able to take some momentum from (Friday’s win over Wayne County) and carry it through tonight.”
    Senior forward Shanikwa Buie had a dominant performance, netting 24 points — 16 coming in the second half.
    Tanice Johnson added 15 more as seven different Lady Devils scored on the evening.
    Before the varsity action started, Statesboro’s junior varsity boys ran their record to 11-0 with a dominating 66-26 win over the Knights.
    Miller White led the Devils with 12 points while Jordan Wright and Aaron Houston each contributed 10 in the winning effort.
    Statesboro’s varsity squads will get a bit of a breather before hosting South Effingham as Region 3-AAAA action resumes next Friday.
    “I think we’ll be ready,” Hill said. “We need to be. It’s tough having these long layoffs in our region schedule, but that’s the way things are and we know that we have to be ready to go.”

    Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9404.

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